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    • POEM: Tumba Bloody Rumba by John O'Brien (12/28/2008 5:19:00 AM)

      Doug and Jim,

      You’re both a little bit right...

      I’ve just been having a friendly Forum discussion on ‘What’s in a Name’. This, I would say, proves the argument – in some instances ‘what’s in a name’ is a life’s work. This url was published as a source, so in the interest of copyright and authorship, I thought I’d try to set the record straight.

      The very funny, John O’Grady, (aka Nino Culotta) , wrote, 'They're A Weird Mob” and “Tumba Bloody Rumba.'

      The wonderfully talented John O’Brien, aka, Irish Catholic priest Father Patrick Hartigan, also wrote about many a ‘weird mob’, but not Nino’s one.

      You can be forgiven for getting them mixed up – the names are similar, they were both Australian born, they were both prolific writers and their subjects were by and large, (and I know I’m on dangerous ground here) ‘real Aussie blokes’.

      John O’Brien, though, would not have used ‘The Integrated Adjective’, in the same manner, nor as prolifically, as John O’Grady did. He’d have been defrocked pretty quickly I imagine.

      Doug, your quote: “John O'Brien was a catholic priest, going by the pen name of PJ Hartigan, (probably a jab at the sensitivities of the time) ” end quote.

      It was the other way round. Father Patrick Joseph Hartigan’s pen name was John O’Brien. This pen-name was as mischievous as the man himself. It was the name of a milkman he knew, whose milk was reportedly watered down… He was a very humble man, who didn’t like to big-note himself – so it was ‘a jab’ at his own ego. What’s that new slogan for Holden; ‘When times get tough the milkmen get tougher…’

      Father Hartigan was much-loved and is honoured with a Folk festival at Narrandera in N.S.W. annually.

      As a matter of interest, Father Pat, aka John O’Brien, reportedly outsold Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, in his day.

      For his part John O’Grady had sold a million copies of his books by 1968, according to a blurb on the cover of my copy of ‘Gone Troppo’, although he is known more as a storywriter, rather than a poet.

      Your further quote: “Seems that this site does not contain any poetry of John O'Grady, which is peppered throughout his works and of very relevant and connected humourous quality.”

      Isn’t that a contradiction in terms, Doug. if John O’Grady penned the poem ‘Tumba Bloody Rumba’, above? I don’t know about ‘peppered throughout his works’, but he’s got a couple of poems in ‘Gone Troppo’ and an excerpt from John Masefield’s poem. “Bill” – the illustrations by Benier are great - but nary a one in ‘No Kava for Johnny’, which is illustrated by WEP (Pidgeon) .

      I believe John O’Grady’s, “Aussie English” was translated into Japanese. That would be really hilarious!


      Are you Jim Haynes the Bush Poet? We may have met. You were right about the author not being John O’Brien – but where did your historians get Will Carter from? Who’s been on the kava?

      Hope this helps to clear it up… “What’s in a name…’

      Joye Dempsey