Boy from Whyte-Yarcowie

Home / Jove's Pearls / Boy from Whyte-Yarcowie

Produced by Blue Trumpet for Radio 2RRR, Jove’s Pearls is a collection of verse 'chiefly in the Australian vernacular' by Jovial Mark ... painter, poet, dilettante, and ratbag, hailing from the deep south of South Australia...

The poem...

Y’can have your bread and dripping
And I’ll take me caviar
And I seen the Governor General
Go a-riding in his car
But will all these fine dignit’ries
Start a military affair
When a boy from Whyte-Yarcowie
Meets a girl from Sari Bair?

Now east is east and west is west
And ne’er the twain shall meet
And when two diggers meet at pub
They doff their hats and greet
Yes, the world’s a cruel and violent place
But they might still have a care
When a boy from Whyte-Yarcowie
Meets a girl from Sari Bair

Your Johnnie Turk is a violent bugger
With bullet and with knife
And the heathen devil won’t even let
Another bloke see his wife
But the Mullahs might stop wailing
And you’d see the girl was fair
When a boy from Whyte-Yarcowie
Met a girl from Sari-Bair

Many good diggers met their end
In the gully at Chukka Bar
And the hills were lined with gleaming skulls
And the blood ran thick as tar
But the power of love is a mystic thing
Its abilities are rare
When a boy from Whyte-Yarcowie
Meets a girl from Sari Bair


Whyte Yarcowie is a settlement in South Australia. It is on the Barrier Highway between Hallett and Terowie.

The Battle of Sari Bair, also known as the August Offensive, represented the final attempt made by the British in August 1915 to seize control of the Gallipoli peninsula from the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

The Battle of Chunuk Bair was a World War I battle fought between the Ottoman defenders and troops of the British Empire over control of the peak in August 1915. The capture of Chunuk Bair, the secondary peak of the Sari Bair range, was one of the two objectives of the Battle of Sari Bair.


Music featured in the poem comes from 'Keep The Home Fires Burning', WWI song by Ivor Novello and Lena Guilbert Ford (1914), sung by John McCormack.


Radio 2RRR 88.5FMProduced by Blue Trumpet for Radio 2RRR
Original verse by Jovial Mark
Adapted for radio by James Benn
With special thanks to Johnny Boxer
Poems interpreted by…

  • Johnny Boxer
  • James Benn

Introductions and credits by Amie Maguire