Spotlight: Over the Border

Usually referred to as the “Mad Dog Morgan song”, this anonymous poem was sung a capella over the closing credits of the film Mad Dog Morgan. The poem is about Morgan’s fateful decision to cross the New South Wales border into Victoria where he would meet his end thanks to a bullet in the back.

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OVER the border to rifle and plunder,
Over the border went Morgan the bold,
Over the border, a terrible blunder,
For over the border bold Morgan lies cold.

Over the border, why, why did he wander
‘Midst cold-hearted strangers all friendless to roam?
Was it that absence might make him grow fonder
Of those he had left in his own native home?

Over the border not long did he plunder,
Swift is stern justice as slow she is here,
Bold are the men o’er the border, no wonder,
When even the women know nothing of fear.

Fiercely they hunt him the cruel marauder,
Quickly they follow him, dead on this track,
Line with their troopers the river-side border,
Over he may come, but never go back.

Never—from far and near gathering quickly,
Stern faces watch him all night through the gloom,
Nought can avail him now sympathy sickly,
Sealed is for ever the murderer’s doom.

Shot like a dog in the bright early morning,
Shot without mercy who mercy had none,
Like a wild beast without challenge or warning,
Soon his career of dark villainy’s run.

Honour the brave hearts there over the border,
Great was the lesson they taught us that day;
Oh! that each other bushranging marauder,
Over the border would venture to stray!

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http://www.poetryexplorer.net/poem.php?id=10147596

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