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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

The Death of
Alec Robertson

traditional Australian song
composer unknown

The jockey's name is also given as Robinson in some versions of this song, however the real jockey was Alec Robertson.

The Australian newspaper, The Queenslander, 21 July 1888 published the following:

"A graceful tribute of respect (says the Sydney Mail) has been paid to the memory of the late Alec Robertson by Mr. William Cooper, to whose order a handsome monument has been erected over the last resting-place of the deceased jockey in Waverley cemetery. It consists of a marble cross, artistically wreathed with floral embellishments, and supported on a massive bluestone base.

The plinth bears the following inscription

"In memory of Alec Robertson, aged 27, who was accidentally killed at Randwick on January 2, 1888, whilst riding Silvermine in Tattersall's Cup. This memorial was erected by William Cooper as a mark of esteem and respect."

Alec Robinson is another song that talks about this accident.

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Kind friends come gather round me
And a song I'll sing to you,
About poor Alec Robertson,
A sportsman brave and true.
Some say it was young Dowland's fault,
However it's too late,
The horse fell, and life has fled,
The jockey's met his fate.

Go tell my dear old mother,
Who lives down in Geelong,
That Joe's been badly wounded,
By the jockeys who rode wrong.
My head does ache, my sides do pain,
I feel I am insane,
If God would only spare me,
I'd see mother once again.

'Twas the railing horse that came down first,
He got a nasty fall,
Then up came poor old Silvermine,
And tumbled over all,
His death was caused by Valentine,
And there the jockey lay,
They raised his head e'er life had fled,
And these are the words he said.

'Tis a hobby of all boys out here,
A jockey for to be,
To ride a horse, to scale the course,
They do no danger see.
It's right enough but for a while,
To ride for a big sum,
But when the news comes home to say,
A mother's lost her son.

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