The Man From Maribyrnong River


 (With apologies to Banjo Paterson)

By Andrew Leonedas

There was movement at the kennel for the word had passed around
That the coach from old Swan Hill had got away,
And had joined the wild ex-coaches – Macca had left the ground,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray,
All the tried and noted assistants from the clubs near and far
Had mustered at Whitten Oval overnight,
For they loved hard footy where the finals contenders are.

And it was Luke of the brown and gold who came down to lend a hand,
No better candidate ever held the reins;
For never team could throw him while his doggies took a stand.
His team still so slight and weedy, one would doubt their power to stay,
And the old scribes said, “That mob will never do
For a long and tiring season – Luke, you’d better stop away,
Those other teams are far too rough for such as you.”

But these pups were hard and tough and wiry – just the sort that won’t say die –
There was courage in their quick impatient tread;
And they bore the badge of gameness in their eagerness to try,
And the proud and lofty carriage of the man they just call, Bob, their new elected head.
They race toward the mountain’s brow,
And old Bob gave his orders, “Boys, go at them from the jump,
No use to try for fancy footy now.
And, lads, you must wheel them, try and wheel them with your might,
Play boldly, lads, and never fear the spills,
For never yet was a team that could keep us in their sight,
If once we make the finals and give the crowd their thrills”.

There they followed like a pack bloodhounds on their track,
Till they halted cowed and beaten, then turned their heads for home,
And it was Luke, well assisted, brought them back.
This young team by season’s end could scarcely raise a trot,
They were bloody from hip to shoulder from the fixture’s rigorous spur;
But their pluck was still undaunted, and their courage fiery hot,
For never yet was an unexpected finals charge a cur.

And where around the “G” the great oaks sweep and sway,
To the lofty goal posts and where the lush wings are wide,
The Bulldogs, no longer silent, are a household word today,
And those old scribes now tell the story of their courageous ride.

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