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Tommy Payne

by Jack Crossland
written in 1953

The song is based on a true story which took place in the Smithfield, QLD area. Originally it was called Bold Johnny Crane, but was later changed to Tommy Payne at the request of the Crane family. Jack Crossland is the Jack in the song.

What the words mean

  • Black Mountain ~ location of this mountain in the song is just north of Kuranda, not the one on the Cooktown road.
  • pig dogs ~ specially bred dogs trained to catch and hold the pig by the ear until the hunter arrives. These tough dogs often have a lot of bull terrier in their lineage.

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
There once was a farmer called Bold Tommy Payne,
Who grew some sweet Pindar and Q. 50 cane.

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

He reached for his rifle that stood by the door,
And he called for his pig dogs and they came by the score.
Then down to the cane fields, all dressed for the fray,
In waistcoat and trousers Bold Tom made his way.

As he stood on the headland and gazed all around
He heard the cane cracking and he heard a strange sound,
As the big boar came charging straight for poor Tom,
The dogs were all barking and the battle was on.

Up stepped Bold Tommy six feet in the air,
As he straddled that grunter he heard his pants tear,
Well, you should have heard the language and the words of Bold Tom,
When he found to his sorry that his trousers were gone.

Now out in old Smithfield where the Pindar it grows,
The folks tell the story and they ought to know.
How up on Black Mountain that old boar resides,
And they say that he's still wearing Bold Tommy's strides.

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