A Song of Sin    

(Sunday Times (Perth)  July  13th,  1902)

by "Coolgardie"  but possibly by "Dryblower" Murphy


Catholic priest, Father James  Duff became the subject of enormous criticism both within the church, the general community and even the courts of law  for his notorious behaviour,

    A paper of the time wrote:-     "It has long been a gross public scandal that such an incubus could fasten himself onto  the Christian community.  He is the ultimate thule of antithesis, among the basest of humbugs and the most degraded of pious charlatans."


For the full article about  Fr. James Duff and the things he had been getting up to  click here   




Oh, I am a priest of Satan and Sin,

The butt of the weekly Press,

Tho' a lot the statements made therein

Are truthful, I must confess.

Who laughs the last, they say, laughs best,

But I'm chuckling all the time,

And a pressman's pars but add a zest

To my mission of sin and slime.


Let others preach of the widow's mite,

But give me the widow's all,

For her brass finds favor in my sight,

And I collar it - great or small !

She came to me for the price of a bone.

And left me her deeds of ground ;

Well, I sold the land to repay the loan

That's business strict and sound.


What odds when I bid for Coolgardie land

That I bluffed them off with a lie?

'Twas all for the Church - you understand

So the others they bid not high.

And, as for the shanties I owned up there,

They flourished on holy ground -

'Twas better than having them built elsewhere,

Too far from my nightly round.


You talk of the claims that Barney jumped

(That Barney turned out a rogue !)

Well, the mining laws should not be slumped,

And jumping was then in vogue.

And the Church was poor, and I had to work

And bustle to make a ''pot;"

And I was engaged in a pious "lurk,"

For "Charity" got the lot !


I made a match with a moneyed pair,

But the fellow got on the "scoot,''

And I was driven to blank despair

At the possible loss of loot.

So I got dear Barney to lock him in

While I went for his blooming bride.

 And amid the odors of good old gin

The nuptial knot was tied.


A good man who died in'94,

Beloved by all the town.

Gave me a chance to settle a score,

For he'd tried to cry me down.

When they came to me to bury the dead,

I reckon I gave them fits !

And tho' their curses are on my head

That fellow and I are quits !


The lack of money is Evil's root,

And so from year to year

I gather a goodly pile of loot

From the sale of the sparkling beer.

"Sell all your goods, and give the poor,"

Some nonsense I learnt at school -

A fool's advice in day's of yore

And meant for a maudlin fool.


My heart was sorrowful when I knew -

Some fools to the Palace came

A sinful, God-forgotten crew-

To blacken my goodly name !

Yet still I'm here, and betting, too,

As the "bookie" was wont to say,

As I used to say to a woman I knew,

"My darling, I've come to stay !"


That brother Barney's a worthless lad?

There's not much hope for him

The law-court's records prove him bad

A disgrace to his brother Jim !

I wish some fellow would take him in .

Where my "special brand's" for sale,*

And shout for him twice, and this imp of sin

I reckon would "kick the pail."


I need not mention dramatic schemes ;

That's ancient history now ;

Bat I've yet to realise some dreams

Some day I'll show you how.

And thus I go on my way to hell;

"Though the pious may ''cut up rough,"

For I grab the plums and the dough as well, ,

And that's what has made me - Duff !




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