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Well I'll be rooned - fetish goes from fad to verse [Australia]:
IT IS one of the nation's best loved pieces of verse, but - like so much that seems quintessentially Australian - it is also very Irish.

The poem 'Said Hanrahan' still perfectly captures the famine and feast cycle of life on the land.

More importantly, with its Irish cadence and humour, it gently raises a laugh out of the gloomy yet stoic nature of bark-chewing Australian farmers.

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


And as they do every St Patrick's Day in the Riverina town of Narrandera, they celebrated the Irish-Australian author of 'Said Hanrahan' yesterday with a feast of poetry, song and food. Under the pen name John O'Brien, poet-priest Patrick Joseph Hartigan (1878-1952) chronicled the lives of his pioneer Irish Catholic parishioners.
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