Wild Colonial Boy #218
Play • 32 min

Rob the rich and give to the poor. It’s the story of Robin Hood and also of the Wild Colonial Boy. But what’s the history? Then enjoy a Celtic Geek Spotlight on why The Gothard Sisters love hobbits. And we’re gonna wreck a Steampunk pirate ship on the Pub Songs Podcast.

Welcome to the Pub Songs Podcast, the Virtual Public House for Celtic Geek culture. I am your Guide. My name is Marc Gunn. Today’s show is brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon. Subscribe to the podcast and download free music when you sign up at PubSong.com.


0:30 - SONG: “Maid Went to the Mill” from Kilted For Her Pleasure

2:05 - WELCOME

-- What song would you like to hear me sing on the podcast?

-- Post a review in Apple Podcasts.

-- Brobdingnagian Bards Podcast.

-- Listen to "Wild Colonial Boy" on Spotify. 

-- The election comes to an end today. I hope you voted. Again, voting is essential for the success of any democracy. So if the results aren’t to your liking, I hope you will remember that in the next election. The more people who vote, the better our country becomes. And as a side note, I’m happy that I don’t feel the need to campaign any longer.

-- New Irish & Celtic Song Lyrics. Check it out.

TRAVEL WITH CELTIC INVASION VACATIONS. Every year, I take a small group of Celtic music fans on the relaxing adventure of a lifetime. We don't see everything. Instead, we stay in one area. We get to know the region through its culture, history, and legends. You can join us with an auditory and visual adventure through podcasts and videos. We’re going to Scotland in 2021. Join the invasion at http://celticinvasion.com/


John “Jack” Donahue was born in 1806. Died on 1 September 1840. He was a bushranger in Australia between 1825 and 1830. Known as "Bold Jack Donahue", he became part of the notorious "Wild Colonial Boys".

Jack Donahue was born in Dublin, Ireland about 1806. He was an orphan. He began pick-pocketing and, after later involvement in a burglary, was convicted of intent to commit a felony in 1823. In September 1824, he was transported with 200 other prisoners to Australia, arriving in Sydney in January 1825.

Donahue escaped to the bush from the Quakers Hill farm and formed an outlaw gang known as "The Strippers," since they stripped wealthy landowners of their clothing, money and food. The gang was arrested two years later. Donohue managed to escape from custody.

In March 1829, Donahue, along with John Walmsle, shot and killed a Mr Clements, a settler on the Hunter River. This became the "Wild Colonial Boys", a loose gang of twelve to fifteen men. Donohue's cunning and guile soon had him on equal standing as the leaders of this gang of Underwood and MacNamara. These two had the reputation for wily pluck, daring and desperation. The gang would operate in groups of three or four in order to bail up settlers and plunder property.

They laid in wait for travellers on the highway or they would attack and plunder their houses. Donohue's tact and ways of only robbing the better off procured him a host of friends among the poorer settlers. They gave the police false information about him and, when they were dogging him rather too hard, the settlers stowed him away in their back rooms or under the beds.

In the late afternoon of 1 September 1830, Donohue was shot dead by John Muckleston, following a shootout between bushrangers and soldiers at Bringelly, New South Wales. Donohue was hit in the left temple and neck and died instantly. The Sydney Gazette, on behalf of "all respectable citizens", rejoiced at Donohue's death. Smoking pipes were made in the shape of Donohue's head, including the bullet-holes in his forehead, and were bought and smoked by the citizens of Sydney.

In 1833, Donohue's life was recounted in Charles Harpur's play 'The Tragedy of Donohoe'. Harpur had been inspired to write his play after the April 1829 shooting of a settler on the Hunter River by two bushrangers. Harpur had been sixteen at the time and believed that Donohue was one of the bushrangers.

Donohue was immortalised in the ballad 'The Wild Colonial Boy'. Authorities tried to ban the song, but failed. Instead it became a ballad of defiance, continuing to be sung by generations of Australians and becoming part of Australia's folklore. With time, the lyrics changed Donohue's name to Jack Doolan, Jack Dowling, Jack Doogan and even Jim Doolan. The ethos line that struck a chord was "'I'll fight but not surrender till I die', cried the Wild Colonial Boy."

Find out more about the song on Wikipedia.

7:24 - SONG: “Wild Colonial Boy” (new single) from St Patrick’s Day


I wanted to try something a little bit different today--a Celtic Geek spotlight. This is where I highlight a Celtic or Geek band or artist with something relevant to our community.

Over the past couple months, I released new hobbit singles with my friend Sam Gillogly. Our first single, “Hobbit Hornpipe”, was added to a Hobbit Party playlist by none other than The Gothard Sisters.

The Gothard Sisters are a Celtic band featuring three sisters from the Pacific Northwest. They have had a long history with me thanks to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. They were first played in 2010 for episode number #81.

I enjoyed the music a lot back then. But over the past 10 years, I’ve seen them put out better and better albums and improve as musicians, performers, and composers. So today I want to get a quick glimpse into the band and how and why they put together this Hobbit Party Playlist.

I wanna to give a big, warm welcome to The Gothard Sisters. Welcome. Can you tell me a little bit about yourselves and how you got started playing music?


When I think of your music, I think of more traditional Irish music though, though these days, there’s a definite contemporary flair. You’re doing a brilliant job of adding a modern edge to your newest music.

So why then do you have a hobbit playlist on Spotify? What are your geek backgrounds?


Finally what is on your Celtic or Geek bucket list? Or what do each of you hope to accomplish with your music?


Thank you so much for joining me. Of course this is where it’s time to promote your latest or newest music and where you are found online.

Thank you so much ladies for being a part of the show.

You can stream the single for free when you sign up to their mailing list at gothardsisters.com

Here’s a track from The Gothard Sisters….

15:25 - SONG: “Chasing the Sun” by The Gothard Sisters from Single

18:49 - JOIN THE PUB CHAT (read and see videos at bottom of notes)

Are you a Celtic Geek? Well, then you probably read. You might study history. And you might watch TV or movies with a Celtic or Geek twist. It’s what Celtic Geeks do. What are you reading, learning, or watching?

You can send a written comment along with a picture of what you’re enjoying to marc@marcgunn.com. Chat in the Celtic Geeks group on Facebook.

21:18 - SONG: “Wreck of the Bold Lady Jean” from Pirates vs. Dragons


NOV 19: Celtfather Live on YouTube @ 8:00 - 9 PM EDT. Buy tickets $8.

THURS: Coffee with The Celtfather on YouTube @ 12:00 PM Eastern


If you enjoy the music in this show, please show your support. Buy music or merch. Follow me on streaming. And tell a friend.

I want to invite you to stream my music. It’s up on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, Pandora, pretty much everywhere. Yes. I’d love for you to buy a CD if you enjoy my music, but more than anything I want you to enjoy it. So go check it out.

If you want to support my songwriting, Join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. Your support pays for the production and promotion of my music AND this podcast. Follow the link in the shownotes.

Special thanks to my newest patrons: LP Chan, Minchowski, Rebekah M, Carol D

- SONG: “Black Is the Color” from Irish Drinking Songs: The Cat Lover’s Companion

Pub Songs Podcast was produced by Marc Gunn. To subscribe, go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify or to my website where you can subscribe to my mailing list. I’ll email you regular updates of new music and podcasts, special offers, and you’ll get 21 songs for free. Welcome to the pub at www.pubsong.com!



Chris Abram from Norway replied in an email conversation: "Yes, funny thing is that when i read your reply now I have "why do you torture me" on my ear in the headphones. Not saying that my daughter tortures me but....

To answer your question about being different: I think your light spirited nature, the fact that you are active with your followers (which caught me during gencon) and just replying to mails from fans is a definitely super good thing.  In contrast I am also an avid reader (worked 11years in bookstore) and right now lit-rpg is my favourite. There is one author who actually writes ok, but me and many other avoid his works because of his behaviour (he is "the best and those who do not agree with him will get trolled by him...")

The way to get new fans is to play along with them. So that is something that really calls out to me at least. Keep up the good work"

Alex emailed: "I really enjoyed the rough version of the wreck of the bold lady jean. It was fast, rough, and conveyed the excitement of a ship trying to survive an encounter with a dragon. I know faster times are harder to pull together unless it’s rock or heavy metal but could it be possible this song can be done fast and furious?"


More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu