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Our Jack

[ Roud 1983 ; Ballad Index Doe169 ; trad.]

Martyn Wyndham-Read and Danny Spooner sang Our Jack in 1989 on their album All Around Down Under, and Danny Spooner sang it in 2008 on his CD Brave Bold Boys. He noted:

This little urban gem was collected by Joy Durst and Ron Edwards in August 1956 from a Mr R. Ure of Gembrook Victoria. It reminds me of some of my old mates in the East End of London. I guess some people never learn, or is it just the thrill that urges them on? Two versions of this appear in Ron Edwards' Great Australian Folksongs.

Beggar's Velvet sang Our Jack in 1990 on their album Lady of Autumn.

Lyrics

Danny Spooner sings Our Jack

Our Jack's come out of gaol today
To Pentridge he has been
For many a day he's been away
His face we ne'er have seen
McMenamy arrested Jack
And with a gentle jerk
Comes down upon our old friend Jack
With jemmy hard at work

Chorus (after each verse):
Our Jack's come home today
Our Jack's come home today
Quite wan and pale from out of gaol
Our Jack's come home today

When Jack came out of gaol today
It made his Polly glad
She had to pawn the things he'd shook
And found that she's been had
The price she got it weren't enough
To keep her for a day
But all is past, she's right at last
Our Jack's come home today

When Jack came out of quad today
We had a glorious spree
And did a tour of Melbourne pubs
As jovial as could be
With wine and beer and brandy punch
We started out ad lib
When Jack proposed a partnership
To crack another crib

With jemmies and with skeleton keys
Of cribs we went in search
But seeing Dave O'Donnell there
We left Jack in the lurch
Undaunted Jack he set to work
Another crib to crack
O'Donnell like a ton of bricks
Came down to lumber Jack

Final chorus 1989:
Our Jack's gone back today
Our Jack's gone back today
White wan and pale back into gaol
Our Jack's gone back today

Final chorus 2008:
Our Jack's gone back today
Set up he'll be they say
A nice record he'll get from Ward
Our Jack's gone home today

Acknowledgements

Transcribed from the singing of Danny Spooner by Garry Gillard. The two versions, 1989 and 2008, are slightly different. This has some of each.