A favorite Australian Song from the 50s based on an original lyric from 1944. (Sung to the tune of "Beautiful Dreamer").

Pre-war photoThe Cosmopolitan Hotel began life 1896 as a boarding house that is now used as a Residence. The Hotel itself, which took five years to build was first licensed in 1903. This early photograph shows that the original building was very much as it remains today.

The Pub is located in the picturesque Nambucca Valley on Australia's holiday coast just 20 Minutes from Macksville on sealed road (follow the signs to Taylors Arm) and an hour's drive from Kempsey or Coffs Harbour. This fascinating turn-of-the-century hotel offers icy cold ales if you want one, full bar facilities and a feast of attractions for both the curious and the sentimental.

The fortunes of the pub fluctuated throughout the century from the hard times of the Depression and war years, to the boom period after the Second World War, when timber mills were busy, and the still new banana industry was yielding good returns. It was the song, however, that put the tiny township of Taylors Arm and its bush pub on the map for thousand of visitors from all over Australia, and overseas.

Gordon Parsons, country music singer, song writer, and recording artist, was working in the bush with Joe Cooper, a timber cutter up past Sheet-O-Bark Creek, in search of the prized red cedar. Gordon wrote the song about the characters who frequented the old pub, and the beer that would often run out before the next quota arrived. That's how the legend of The Pub With No Beer began.

Adding a tune, he tried it at sing-songs and parties around the area. Some more words and refinements were added during a subsequent tour with Slim Dusty and Chad Morgan. Gordon used the song on the show, and planned to record it. Slim was looking for a "B" side for a recording of "Saddle Boy", a song he was confident would do well. He asked Gordon whether he would mind if he used The Pub With No Beer. A young Bob Rogers, a new Disk Jockey at Radio 2UE in Sydney, and fresh from Brisbane, heard the record, liked it, and played it. The Pub With No Beer took off. It went to No1 on the 2UE chart, and then on all Sydney charts, and then nationally. It was to remain in Australian charts for the next six months.

Well, It's lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the camp fire at night where the wild dingoes call,
But there's nothing so lonesome so morbid or drear
Than to stand in a bar of a pub with no beer.

Now the publican's anxious for the quota to come
There's a far away look on the face of the bum
The maid's gone all cranky and the cook's acting queer
What a terrible place is a pub with no beer.

Then the stock-man rides up with his dry dusty throat
He breasts up to the bar, pulls a wad from his coat,
But the smile on his face quickly turns to a sneer,
When the bar man said sadly the pub's got no beer.

Ther's a dog on the 'randa-h for his master he waits
But the boss is inside drinking wine with his mates
He hurries for cover and cringes in fear
It's no place for a dog round a pub with no beer.

Then in comes the swagman, all covered with flies,
He throws down his roll, wipes the sweat from his eyes,
But when he is told he says, "What's this I hear?
I've trudged fifty flamin' miles to a pub with no beer!"

Old Billy the blacksmith first time in his life
Has gone home cold sober to his darling wife,
He walks in the kitchen, she says you're early me dear,
But he breaks down and tells her the pub's got no beer.

Well its hard to believe that there's customers still
But the money's still tinkling in the old ancient til
The wine dots are happy and I know they're sincere
When they say they don't care if the pubs got no beer

So, It's lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the camp fire at night where the wild dingoes call,
But there's nothing so lonesome so morbid or drear
Than to stand in a bar of a pub with no beer.

How The Pub Without Beer Came To Be Written
(The Original Wartime version)

One day in the town at the time of the blitz,
So dry I was spitting out threepenny bits;
I went to the pub and I called for a "pot",
But I found that the yankees had gobbled the lot.

The boss was laid out in his favourite chair,
And writ on his dial was a look of despair;
Madam and young Flossie looked languid and faint,
All gone was the glamour, the powder and paint.

The yardman had left with a rope and a knife,
Reports had come in he had taken his life;
The cook and the slushie were out at the back,
They both had gone down to a nervous attack.

Old Billy, the hum, he lay under a tree,
The poor fellow "had it", 'twas easy to see;
He was not improving, 'twas just the reverse,
We'd soon see him sailing away in the hearse.

The dog with a sorrowful look on his face,
Kept moping and mooning all over the place;
He sat on his tail and he looked up at me,
And started to wail like an Irish Banshee.

I raced to the water and turned on the tap,
And drank as I swore at the Hun and the Jap;
Sez I to myself - "Better get out of here,
What good is a town when the pub has no beer?"

####.... Dan Sheahan ....####