John O'Brien

[Monsignor Patrick Joseph Hartigan] (13 October 1878 - 27 December 1952 / Australia)

John O'Brien
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Monsignor Patrick Joseph Hartigan was an Australian Roman Catholic priest, educator, author and poet.


He was born at Yass, New South Wales and ordained after study at St Patrick's Seminary, Manly. Writing under the pseudonym "John O'Brien" Hartigan's verse celebrated the lives and mores of the outback pastoral folk he ministered as a peripatetic curate to the southern New South Wales and Riverina towns of Thurgoona, Berrigan and Narrandera, in the first two decades of the 20th century. His poetry was very popular in Australia and was well received in Ireland and the United States.

The refrain We'll all be rooned from his poem Said Hanrahan... more »

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  • Rookie - 15 Points Garry Sharp (11/14/2013 1:00:00 AM)

    Lorna, 'Aussie English' was not by this John O'Brien. This John O'Brien was the pen name adopted by Fr Patrick J Hartigan, a Catholic Priest based around Albury, NSW then Narrandera. In 1911 he was called to a hut near Khancoban to give the last rites to Jack Riley, the man on whom Banjo Paterson based his 'Man From Snowy River'! The author of the book to which you referred wrote under the pen-name on Niño Collutta (?)

  • Rookie Lorna Wollaston (3/21/2008 4:10:00 PM)

    When I had the pleasure of visiting Melbourne for 3 months in 1969, I came across a book called 'Aussie English' by our John O'Brien. I copied 'Bloody' directly out of the book but the version you have here differs somewhat. I never could get a copy of the book as I had to come home to the U.S. By the way, I love it!

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Best Poem of John O'Brien

Said Hanrahan

"We’ll all be rooned," said Hanrahan
In accents most forlorn
Outside the church ere Mass began
One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock and crops and drought
As it had done for years.

"It’s lookin’ crook," said Daniel Croke;
"Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad
For never since the banks went broke
Has seasons been so bad.

"It’s dry, all right," said young O’Neil,
With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran

Read the full of Said Hanrahan Updates

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