Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Randwick Races





Words: John Dengate
Tune: Traditional (Galway Races)




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We arrived at Randwick races, by taxi from Clovelly.
I had money in my trousers, boys, and schooners in my belly.
Well the bookies saw us coming and they panicked in a crisis;
They tinkered with the odds and they shortened all their prices.
CHORUS:
With my whack, fol the do, fol the diddley idle day.

Well the hunger it was gnawing and the thirst was in us rising
While the crowd’s excited roaring reached a level quite surprising.
Oh, we swallowed several middies and demolished pies and sauces
And we set to work comparing prices, jockey’s weights and horses.
CHORUS:

Denis Kevans said, “I reckon we will finish rich as Pharaoh
If we back the chestnut filly from the district of Monaro.
She’s a trier, she’s a flier, never knock her or decry her -
She’s sixty-six to one; when she wins we’ll all retire.”
CHORUS:

There was every kind of punter from illiterates to scholars;
I struggled through the betting ring and wagered twenty dollars -
Then the horses were away; from the barrier they thundered
And we hoped that very day to collect the thirteen hundred.
CHORUS:

We shouted in despair; Denis Kevans tore his hair,
O’Dea began to swear at the filly from Monaro.
She was struggling in the pack and our very hearts were bleeding;
She was falling further back and the favourite was leading.
CHORUS:

It seems the filly heard us for suddenly she sprinted.
She raced around the ruck with a purpose quite unstinted.
At the ledger she was third, oh you should have seen her flying;
I got so damned excited that I choked upon my pie, singing –
CHORUS:

They stormed into the straight like cavalry invading;
The filly was improving and the favourite was fading:
“She’s won it by a nose ... but a protest has been entered;
The stewards have upheld it; curse the day they were invented!’
CHORUS:

We walked back to Clovelly from the blasted Randwick races,
With ulcers in our bellies, boys, and gloom upon our faces.
We cursed the filly’s jockey and we cursed the Randwick stewards
Then drowned our disappointment in a flood of amber fluids.
CHORUS:


A beauty from John Dengate. With thanks to Bob Bolton for transcribing the lyrics from John's book, My Shout, published by Bob and the Bush Music Club in 1982.

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