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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

Pub with No Beer

 By Gordon Parsons

Recorded by his friend Slim Dusty.

See it on You Tube
Pub With No Beer on

Gordon Parsons with Slim Dusty sing Pub with No Beer on this YouTube version.

The story behind this famous song begins during WWII when there was a shortage of beer, especially in country areas. With this in mind, Dan Sheahan wrote a few verses in 1944 lamenting the lack of beer in his pub in North Queensland. A while later Gordon Parsons, country music singer, song writer, and recording artist, developed it into a song and added all the characters.

Gordon was friends with Slim Dusty and joined him on one of his tours. He planned to record the song, but let Slim use it for the "B" side to his new song Saddle Boy. Much to Slim's surprise, the "B" song, The Pub with No Beer, rose to #1 at 2UE radio station in Sydney from all the air play it received. It wasn't long before it was #1 across the country. Slim Dusty received the first gold record awarded in Australia for the song.

Over the years, Slim recorded more songs by his friend. Gordon Parsons was added to the Australasian Music Roll of Renown at Tamworth for 1982-83 to honour his contribution to Australian country music. Their friend Dan Sheahan enjoyed going to Dusty's shows until he was in his 90's.

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Oh it's-a lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the campfire at night we'll hear the wild dingoes call
But there's-a nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear
Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer

Now the publican's anxious for the quota to come
And there's a far away look on the face of the bum
The maid's gone all cranky and the cook's acting queer
Oh what a terrible place is a pub with no beer

Then the stockman rides up with his dry dusty throat
He breasts up to the bar and pulls a wad from his coat
But the smile on his face quickly turns to a sneer
As the barman says sadly the pub's got no beer

Then the swaggie comes in smothered in dust and flies
He throws down his roll and rubs the sweat from his eyes
But when he is told, he says what's this I hear
I've trudged fifty flamin' miles to a pub with no beer

Now there's a dog on the v'randa, for his master he waits
But the boss is inside drinking wine with his mates
He hurries for cover and he cringes in fear
It's no place for a dog 'round a pub with no beer

And old Billy the blacksmith, the first time in his life
Why he's gone home cold sober to his darling wife
He walks in the kitchen, she says you're early Bill dear
But then he breaks down and tells her the pub's got no beer

Oh it's hard to believe that there's customers still
But the money's still tinkling in the old ancient till
The wine buffs are happy and I know they're sincere
When they say they don't care if the pub's got no beer

So it's-a lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the campfire at night we'll hear the wild dingoes call
But there's-a nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear
Than to stand in the bar of that pub with no beer

Listen to the music

 

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