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Tar and Feathers

Andrew Barton Paterson 1864 (Orange, New South Wales) – 1941 (Sydney, New South Wales)



Oh! the circus swooped down
On the Narrabri town,
For the Narrabri populace moneyed are;
And the showman he smiled
At the folk he beguiled
To come all the distance from Gunnedah.
But a juvenile smart,
Who objected to "part",
Went in on the nod, and to do it he
Crawled in through a crack
In the tent at the back,
For the boy had no slight ingenuity.

And says he with a grin,
"That's the way to get in;
But I reckon I'd better be quiet or
They'll spiflicate me,"
And he chuckled, for he
Had the loan of the circus proprietor.

But the showman astute
On that wily galoot
Soon dropped -- you'll be thinking he leathered him --
Not he; with a grim
Sort of humourous whim,
He took him and tarred him and feathered him.

Says he, "You can go
Round the world with a show,
And knock every Injun and Arab wry;
With your name and your trade
On the posters displayed,
The feathered what-is-it from Narrabri.

Next day for his freak
By a Narrabri Beak,
He was jawed with a deal of verbosity;
For his only appeal
Was "professional zeal" --
He wanted another monstrosity.

Said his Worship, "Begob!
You are fined forty bob,
And six shillin's costs to the clurk!" he says.
And the Narrabri joy,
Half bird and half boy.
Has a "down" on himself and on circuses.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:12 min read
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Andrew Barton Paterson

Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson's more notable poems include "Clancy of the Overflow" (1889), "The Man from Snowy River" (1890) and "Waltzing Matilda" (1895), regarded widely as Australia's unofficial national anthem. more…

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