Posted By John
Nine Miles From Gundagai

traditional Australian song
composer unknown

Nine Miles From Gundagai was so popular that a memorial was built of a dog sitting on the tuckerbox. It’s located outside of Gundagai.

There are over 30 old bush songs and poems about Gundagai.

What the words mean

  • Gundagai ~ town located along the Murrumbidgee River 390 km south-west of Sydney, NSW.

Gundagai lies within the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri speaking people.

I’m used to punching bullock teams across the hills and plains
I’ve teamed outback these forty years in blazing droughts and rains
I’ve lived a heap of troubles down without a blooming lie
But I cant forget what happened to me nine miles from Gundagai

Twas getting dark the team got bogged the axel snapped in two
I lost my matches and my pipe ah what was I to do
The rain came on twas bitter cold and hungry too was I
And the dog sat in the tucker box nine miles from Gundagai

Some blokes I know have stacks of luck no matter how they fall
But there was I lord luvva duck no blessed luck at all
I couldn’t make a pot of tea nor get my trousers dry
And the dog sat in the tucker box nine miles from Gundagai

I can forgive the blinking team, I can forgive the rain
I can forgive the dark and cold and go through it again
I can forgive my rotten luck, but hang me till I die
I cant forgive that blooming dog nine miles from Gundagai

But that’s all dead and past and gone, I’ve sold the team for meat
And where I got the bullocks bogged now there is an asphalt
The dog ah well he took a bait and reckoned he would die
I buried him in that tucker box nine miles from Gundagai

As with most songs of this era, they were never written down when they were composed, but learned and passed from person to person by what they heard. So it was inevitable that there would arise different versions of the same song.

This song should not be confused with the song Five Miles From Gundagai or Where the Dog Sits on the Tucker Box which also talk about the dog on the tucker-box. We also have Along the Road to GundagaiFlash Jack From Gundagai and the poem The Road to Gundagai by Banjo Paterson.

That’s a lot of Gundagai.

Disaster Hits Gundagai. In 25 June 1852 a flood swept away the town of Gundagai. It killed over 25% of the population, making it one of the biggest natural disasters in Australia’s history. Three Aboriginal men are credited for rescuing over 40 townspeople. The men were honoured with bronze medallions.

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