The Men from Sleepy Hollow


 by Rhys Howells

There is nothing so euphoric when you barrack for Geelong
And the team from Sleepy Hollow is on fire
They have joined the champs eternal – they can surely do no wrong
When they’ve roasted magpies on the funeral pyre.
And all the mighty players wearing hoops of blue and white
Were gathered at the cauldron MCG
They are brave and cool and skilful as they ready for the fight
The best of all the crowd will surely see.

There was Lingy there, the mayoral one with mane of flaming red
He plucked the Swan and hung him out to dry
A broken shnozz was just a scratch, he’d run ‘til he was dead
And kick the goal that made old Eddie cry.
And up the front the Hawkins lad was there to lend a hand
His mighty frame crashed through the gath’rin’ packs
It seemed the opposition were completely undermanned
And he exposed their ever-widening canyon cracks.

But one was there, with pigeon toes and knees that seemed to knock
His injury would surely keep him out
Though none could doubt his courage it was clear he was a crock
The poor old Cats would have to do without.
But the anaesthetic needle and the heart that beats within
Gave Stevie J the chance to strut his stuff
And he roamed across the green sward with his weird endearing grin
And he sliced and diced them ‘til they’d had enough.

And Kelly lived to bash them – he was racing on the wing
With Chappy there to link on the inside
They cut the Pies asunder with the toughness they would bring
They were the masters of the trade they plied.

The atmosphere electric, there were goals kicked to and fro
A quick riposte and now we’re back in front
The Cats threw in their bodies where the mad would only go
A deft handpass and scything quick drop punt.
They kicked them from the boundary, they soccered off the deck
They conjured sparks from embers surely dead
The juggernaut was faltering – there were portents of a wreck
And come three quarter time we are ahead.

We are at the mountain’s summit where the test’s now half an hour
Do we have the will, the courage to survive?
Do we have the inner fire that will concentrate our power
To push ahead our final fateful drive.

And Jim Bartel was at the head, his swarthy features set
He exemplified the things we all must do
He knew the final quarter had to be the best one yet
The honour roll for all in white and blue.
He marked it like a demon, his hands were strong and sure
His tackles left a wicked stinging pain
He led the final stanza with a madman at his core
He used his guile but most he used his brain

That you see’s the difference, between your boys and us
The product of a hundred years or more
When it comes down to the pressure, we do not fluff and fuss
We bear on down and kick the winning score.

And down by old Corio, where the Stadium is dark
A pennant new is destined for our boys
The ghosts of former players, live, in our Kardinia Park
And listen to the roiling surging noise.
“Go you mighty Catters – Go Ablett old and young,
There’s Polly there and Billy Goggin too,
Kick it Billy Brownless” – your praises are all sung
By lifelong fans with blood that’s white and blue

With memories of barren years, of desperate finals lost
Of freezing days, Antarctic winds and more
But now those days are over, at last we’ve paid the cost
Our trophy cabinet’s now no longer poor.
The legend of this mighty team with three flags out of five
Is envied by the footy world all round
We are a humble team of mates who’ve grasped the chance to thrive
And glory in that final siren sound.

RLM Incorporated
2 October 2011

(as always, apologies to Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson, 1864 – 1941)

Geelong 4.3 8.6 13.7 18.11
Collingwood 4.2 9.3 12.6 12.9

Best Players

Geelong – Bartel, Mackie, Varcoe, Ottens, Taylor, Hunt, Kelly, Corey, West, Lonergan, Selwood, Johnson, Duncan, Hawkins, Stokes, Christensen, Scarlett, Podsiadly, Chapman, Wojcinski, Enright, Ling, Menzel, Milburn, Mooney, Byrnes, Vardy, Bobby Davis

Collingwood – Meatloaf


  1. Okay, now you’ve made me cry.
    That was BEAUTIFUL!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that good in my entire life, and I do a heck of a lot of reading.

    (loved the cheery note you end on with the bests – made me guffaw some).

  2. Bloody wonderful, Rhys.
    Made me check out the link to the original poem.
    Wonder who the “colt from old Regret” is? Few have more old regrets than Pies supporters. Or is it GAblettJnr who had “joined the wild bush horses – and was worth a thousand pound”?
    A couple of verses seem particularly apposite:

    “There was Mick, who made his pile when Magpie won the cup,
    The old man with his hair as white as snow;
    But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up –
    He would go wherever horse and man could go.
    And Lingy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,
    No better horseman ever held the reins;
    For never Swan could throw him while the saddle girths would stand,
    He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.”

    “And down by Sleepy Hollow, where the pine-clad ridges raise
    Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
    Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
    At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
    And where around Corio Bay the reed beds sweep and sway
    To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
    The Scott from Brisbane River is a household word today,
    And the ‘Knackers tell the story of his ride.

  3. Peter Flynn says

    Ripper Rhys.

  4. I would have listed the umpires amongst Collingwood’s better players – all of them – but no one in Black & White played better than M. Loaf.

  5. Wally the Wordsmith does it again…good one Rissoles.

  6. Brilliant, simply brilliant.
    My Dad is mad for Banjo and Henry and Aussie poetry in general, he’s gonna love this.

  7. Loved the lyrics and am not even a Cat fan. I’m Marcus’s Eagles tragic friend. Whilst I don’t hold with his assertion that the Cats are a bunch of altarboys, their humility in victory was refreshing. Well done Catters

  8. Well done little brother. You make us all proud.
    Go the Mighty Cats!

    Your calling has now come around
    So keep your wording up
    To show the mighty Cats abound
    With their silver cup.

    The blue and white are here to stay
    We showed them all just how
    A new coach could keep their spirit strong
    And crush those Magpies – pow!!!

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