The wild colonial boy
The ballad, “Wild Colonial Boy” by unknown has the context of an Australian traditional bush ballad. In this ballad there are many language techniques such as similes, metaphors, personification, repetition, rhythm and rhyme.
The narrative of this ballad is that there once was a boy named Jack Doolan who robbed the rich and fed the poor. In the end he is fatally wounded by one of the troopers (police). This also leaves the question in the end that was he the good guy or the bad guy? The main setting is the Australian bush (outback) because the chorus keeps on repeating after each stanza:
“Then, come all my hearties, we’ll range the mountain sides, Together we will plunger, together we will ride, We’ll scour along valleys and gallop o’er plains, we scorn to live in slavery bowed down in iron chains.
The consistent rhythm in this ballad is AABB. The way that the rhyming techniques are set out keeps the consistent rhythm/beat in the poem. For example in the first stanza he uses “name-Castlemaine”, “joy-boy”, the first line rhymes with second line and the third line rhymes with the last line in each stanza. Also the language used in this ballad is old English (about the middle of the 19th century).
The main themes in this ballad are “the law vs. individuals” and “personal freedom”. The other themes can also be “good verses bad” because in my understanding the wild colonial boy can be the good guy and the troopers the bad or it can be the other way round.
There is direct quote in only one of the stanzas which is in the second last stanza. “Surrender now, Jack Doolan, you see there’s three to one. Surrender now, Jack Doolan, you daring highwayman.” He drew a pistol from his belt, and shook the little toy. “I’ll fight, but not surrender,” said the wild Colonial boy. This dialogue tells a conversation leading to how he was defeated in the end and it tells both sides even though...