Sergeant Small

DESCRIPTION: "Oh, I wish I were about fourteen stone And only six foot tall. I'd take the train back north, Just to beat up Sergeant Small."
AUTHOR: Robert Lane? (see NOTES)
EARLIEST DATE: 1968
KEYWORDS: train police railroading
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Meredith/Anderson, p. 209, "Sergeant Small" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: Meredith's informant, Muriel Whalan, explained that Sergeant Small made a minor career during the depression of posing as a bagman in order to catch other travellers riding the rods of trains.
According to Gwenda Beed Davey and Graham Seal, A Guide to Australian Folklore, Kangaroo Press, 2003, p. 230, Sergeant Small was an "Allegedly historical Queensland or northern New South Wales policeman notorious for ill-treatment of vagrants during the 1930s depression. 'Tex Morton' (Robert Lane) composed a song about the man and recorded it in 1938. The chorus [which is the text quoted in the description] ensured that the song passed into oral tradition and made the song a favorite of singers, young and old." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: MA209

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