Banjo Paterson wrote this poem
just before he came to Winton.
This one was first published in The Bulletin, 16 December 1893.
On the outer Barcoo where the churches
men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk
that are lost,
Michael Magee had a shanty.
Now this Mike was the dad of a
healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor
Mike had no rest
the youngster had never been christened,
And his wife used to cry, "If the
darlin' should die
Peter would not recognise him."
But by luck he survived till a preacher
agreed straightaway to baptise him.
Now the artful young rogue, while they
held their collogue,
his ear to the keyhole was listenin',
And he muttered in fright while his
features turned white,
the divil and all is this christenin'?"
He was none of your dolts, he had seen
them brand colts,
it seemed to his small understanding,
If the man in the frock made him one of
must mean something very like branding.
So away with a rush he set off for the
the tears in his eyelids they glistened-
"'Tis outrageous," says he,
"to brand youngsters like me,
be dashed if I'll stop to be christened!"
Like a young native dog he ran into a
his father with language uncivil,
Never heeding the "praste"
cried aloud in his haste,
out and be christened, you divil!"
But he lay there as snug as a bug in a
his parents in vain might reprove him,
Till his reverence spoke (he was fond
of a joke)
a notion," says he, "that'll move him."
"Poke a stick up the log, give the
spalpeen a prog;
him aisy-don't hurt him or maim him,
'Tis not long that he'll stand, I've
the water at hand,
he rushes out this end I'll name him.
"Here he comes, and for shame!
ye've forgotten the name-
it Patsy or Michael or Dinnis?"
Here the youngster ran out, and the
priest gave a shout-
your chance, anyhow, wid 'Maginnis'!"
As the howling young cub ran away to
he knew that pursuit would be risky,
The priest, as he fled, flung a flask
at his head
was labelled "Maginnis's Whisky!"
And Maginnis Magee has been made a
the one thing he hates more than sin is
To be asked by the folk who have heard
of the joke,
he came to be christened "Maginnis"!