1. Bendigo

From the recording Savage Pilgrims

Matt Hill : Vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo
Sam Lench : Percussion, organ
Mike Doward : Double Bass


You never heard of Bendigo? You should've seen him peel
Half of him was whalebone, half of him was steel,
Fightin' weight eleven ten, five foot nine in height,
Always ready to oblige if you want a fight.

well he became a Methodist—he said he felt the call,
And he'd stomp the country preachin' you can bet he filled the hall,
And if you'd seen him in the pulpit, bleatin' like a lamb,
You'd never know it was Bendigo, the pride of Nottingham.

His hat was like a funeral, and he wore a waiter's coat,
With a hallelujah collar and a choker round his throat,
And his friends would laugh and say in jest that Bendigo was right,
Tekin' on the devil, there's no bogger else to fight.

But the devil he was waitin', and in the final bout,
He hit him hard below his guard and knocked poor Bendy out.

Now I'll tell you how it happened. He was preachin' down in Brum,
He was billed just like a circus, you should've seen the people come,
The chapel it was crowded, and in the front row,
Were half a dozen bruisers with a grudge for Bendigo.

There was Jack Platt of Bradford, Solly Jones of Perry Bar,
And Connor from the Bull Ring and Franklin Bagatah
Jack Bull the fightin gunsmith, Joe Murphy from the Mews,
And Iky Moss, the bettin' boss, the Champion of the Jews.

Soon he heard them goading him "Hey, Bendy! Let us know"
"How much do they pay you for this trumped up Glory show?"
"Come on Ben, you left the ring, it was mighty sly of you
Cause we all know the truth was the ring was leavin' you."

It was like the devil himself had spoken, this was the final bout,
He hit him hard below his guard and knocked poor Bendy out.
break -

Then Bendigo said, "Lord, since I left my sinful ways,
You know it is to you me duck I've given up my days,
But now, dear Lord"—and here he laid his Bible on the shelf—
"I'll tek, with your permission, just five minutes for myself."

Then he vaulted from the pulpit like a tiger from a den,
And they say it was a lovely sight to see him floor those men
Right and left, left and right, straight and true and hard,
Till the Ebenezer Chapel looked like a knacker's yard.

Platt was lyin' on his back and looking at his toes,
Solly Jones of Perry Bar was feelin' for his nose,
And Connor from the Bull Ring? It was all that he could do
To look around and find his teeth that lay around the pew.

Jack Bull the fightin' gunsmith was in a peaceful sleep,
Joe Murphy lay across him, all tied up in a heap,
Five of them was lying in a tangle on the floor,
And Iky Moss, the bettin' boss, had sprinted for the door.

You see Bendigo was waitin', this was the final bout,
Bendigo hit him hard and low and knocked the devil out.

And that's the way that Bendy ran his mission in the slum,
And preached the Holy Gospel to the fightin' men of Brum,
'Cause when it came to fightin for the Lord there was no stoppin him
He's bare knuckle Bendigo, the pride of Nottingham.

Adapted from the poem 'Bendy's Sermon' by Arthur Conan Doyle 1909