Holberton St
Recorded May 1973

Jack Pobar


I was born in Toowoomba in the 1890s when this country was fighting its way towards nationhood. My grandfather as a sailor who came to Australia in 1852 from Ireland and he was on the Victorian goldfields. Pobar, he was a miner and fossicker and O’Keefe, my mother’s father, was a wagon builder.

“My grandfather met Nils Larson (Henry Lawson’s father) when they both abandoned their boat in Melbourne and travelled to the Bendigo goldfields.

Take Me Back To Bendigo      


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Jack says the race was in the 1890s and the winning horse was ‘Grace darling’. Fourteen horses came down and Silvermine was killed and so was her jockey, Alec Nicholson.

Caulfield Cup Smash      


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Jack talks about writing to Henry Lawson and how the poet sent him a poem, which Jack believes, was never published.

Recites My Old Hat      

Jack also met A B Paterson when he visited Toowoomba. Jack went to his hotel room where the banjo told him how to recite his most successful poem. (Paterson did indeed visit Toowoomba)

Recites The Man From Snowy River

Talks about meeting Steele Rudd who lived close by at Dareton.

Talks about writing to Ben Bowyang (Frank Sheehan) who wrote for the Queensland Register.

After Jack had recited the next item I asked him if he had ever heard it sung. He said he had not.

Nine Miles From Gundagai      


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The following song was very popular in the bush and appeared with several variants. It appears to be a Music hall song and Jack learnt it from his mother’s repertoire.

Sam Holt/Black Alice
(Tune: Ben Bolt)


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Another music hall item and of the tongue-twister variety popular at the time.

Swim Sam Swim (aka Sammy Was A Sailor)

Paddle Your Own Canoe

It Won’t last Very, Very Long
Composed by Jack Pobar

The next item should be compared with the song of the same name in AFS however it is very different in text.


The Old House on The Same Old Street
A recitation

The Changing Times In The Bush
A poem written by Jack Pobar

The Red Cross Nurse
(Song from WW1)

Oh, she’s the rose that grows on No Man’s land
And she’s beautiful to see
Though she’s stained with tears,
She will live for years,
In my garden of memory,
For she’s the rose that grows in No Man’s Land

After singing the Red Cross Nurse Jack said he knew another song “like it” and commenced singing this parody.

The One Red Nose
(Tune: The Red Cross Nurse)


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This version of the popular free selection song was learnt as a child from his mother. It is certainly an old version.

The Old Bullock Dray


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Jack said the following curse was written by an immigrant on the Bowendown Station.

The Bushman’s Farewell To Queensland


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Jack loved singing the old songs and had a remarkable memory for the words of most o the popular bush songs including a complete version of Click Go The Shears which, surprisingly, has not been recorded too often. After he had sung the song he declared “Here it is and it’s all Australian!”

Click Go The Shears
(Tune: Ring The Bell, Watchman)


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Toowoomba Beer
(Composed by Jack Pobar in 1947)

The Beer Seducer
(Composed by Jack Pobar)


Here’s a health to those that we love
Here’s a toast to those that love us
And a health to those that love them
And love those that love them that love us.

Talks about how he met Dan Kelly in the early 1930s after the bushranger travelled to Queensland. Jack said he was convinced when the man showed him his burn marks.

Kelly’s farewell to Greta
Recites part of poem

The Wild Colonial Boy

Jack had this item written down rather than as an oral piece

Tony On Da Farm


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Ten Thousand Miles Away


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At the end of the song Jack added “She was a busy girl wasn’t she?”

Les Darcy
(Tune: My Home In Tennessee)


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Just An Empty Bottle


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