Bold Tommy Payne

Australian folk song performed by William Clauson


I’ll tell you a story, it’s sad but it’s true
Of the wild pigs where I come from and the damage they do
Oh there once was a farmer called Bold Tommy Payne
Who grew some sweet pindar and Q50 cane.

It was late in the evening when an old boar he came
And started a-dining on Bold Tommy’s cane
Then up stepped Bold Tommy, the fire in his eye
He cursed and he swore that the old boar would die.

He grabbed for his rifle that stood by the door
And he called for his pigdogs and they came by the score
Then out to the canefields all dressed for the fray
In weskit and trousers Bold Tom made his way.

As he stood on the canebrake he gazed all around
And quickly he turned as he heard a strange sound
As the big boar came a-charging straight for Bold Tom
The dogs were all barking and the battle was on.

Then up jumped Bold Tommy six feet in the air
As he straddled that grunter, he heard his pants tear
Ha! You should have heard the language
and the words of Bold Tom
When he found to his sorrow his trousers were gone.

Out in old Speewah* where the pindar does grow
The folks tell the story and they ought to know
They say in the mountains an old boar resides
And they say that he’s still wearing Bold Tommy’s strides.

*Speewah: the name given to any place that is “back of beyond” or “out past the black stump.” (info sent in by Mike W — thanks!)

WILLIAM CLAUSON began studying music at the age of four. The youngest student at the conservatory, he studied violin, voice and composition. Upon completion of his formal education he gave up violin to study the guitar which provided him with a greater interest. He made several movies, including “The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap,” with Marjorie Main and Abbott and Costello, but then decided that ballad singing, and not acting was to be his career. A true troubador, William Clauson’s widespread engagements have taken him to Mexico (where he was on the faculty of Juarez Academy of Music), Spain, Great Britain, North America, the Scandinavian countries, Portugal, Italy, France, the West Indies, Malay, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Manila, Honolulu, and of course, Australia and New Zealand. ~ from album cover of Australia: William Clauson sings Waltzing Matilda and other Australian Songs

I’ve read that Rolf Harris’ version of Waltzing Matilda is the best there is, and I’ll agree it’s pretty good, and would have surpassed my old No. 1 favorite by Burl Ives, but ever since I’ve had this album, William Clauson rates as my all-time favorite Waltzing Matilda. Unfortunately, we played it so much it skips, but we probably would have chosen Bold Tommy Payne to represent this album online anyway, since there are fewer versions of it online.

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