skip to content
The Surveyor General at Berrima claims the title of Australia's oldest continuously licensed Inn. Established 1834.
Guide to Australian Newspapers

Songs at the Bar

Slim Dusty was not the first but certainly our most famous songwriter to include Aussie Pubs in his music.

Some artists write to pay homage to a particular Pub or an event that happened there. Some because the characters they talk about are well found in a front Bar. Some just because it works well in the lyrics.

What we enjoy are the songs that are claimed by more than one Pub. Lets hope the artists keep their secret. Makes for lusty bar debate.

If you can think of a song that mentions a Pub please let us know. There are probably hundreds but here is a start.

PUB WITH NO BEER

1
Slim Dusty
Pub with no beer
Hotel,
Taylors Arm Road,
Taylors Arm NSW

We reckon the king of Pub Songs.

The Taylors Arms Pub is where Gordon Parsons either wrote the ditty or revamped a piece written by farmer Dan Sheahan.

Recorded by Slim Dusty in 1957.
Covered by:
Ted Egan - 1976
The Clancy Brothers - 1988
Midnight Oil - 1988

Which Pub was it about?

The Taylors Arms Story is that it refers to the time the cosmopolitan Hotel (Now the Taylors Arms "Pub with no beer") was cut off by floods and no beer could get through.
Pub with no Beer

The Lee's Hotel claims that it refers to the time that beer was rationed during the war and the American servicemen had drunk the bar dry the night before Dan Sheahan rode 20 miles to town for a beer at the Day Dawn Hotel in Ingham, now Lee's Hotel
Lees Hotel

Ed - The claim by The Taylors Inn is that the song was actually written about their Pub. Slim in his book says its about the Day Dawn Hotel, Parsons who wrote the song from hearing a poem says the song is about Taylors Arms. So you could say that the poem which gave lyrics to the song was about one Pub from which a song was written about another.

All good for the hot debate to continue and at one stage yes both Pubs had no beer.

Heres a great article on it from a US magazine: Mountain Gazette

DUNCAN

1
Slim Dusty Based on drinkers at the
TOWN AND COUNTRY Hotel in St Peters Sydney.

I love to have a beer with Duncan;
I love to have a beer with Dunc.
We drink in moderation,
And we never ever ever get rolling drunk.
We drink at the Town & Country
Where the atmosphere is great—
I love to have a beer with Duncan
Cos Duncan’s me mate.

Phot0 20/07/2007 submitted by Jon Graham, Many Thanks

STAR HOTEL

1
Cold Chisel -
STAR HOTEL
Newcastle

Photo 2004, Jon Graham. Now Closed

Written about the riot Wednesday the 19th September 1979. The riot was outside the hotel however Police entered the hotel to close down the music to quieten the street scenes which focused the attention around the Star and escelated it into a riot.

Submitted By Glenn Ryan. Many Thanks

DREAMWORLD

1
Midnight Oil -
The BREAKFAST CREEK HOTEL
Breakfast Creek, Brisbane, Queensland

"The Breakfast Creek Hotel is up for sale
The last square mile of terra firma gavelled in the mail"

Submitted By Glenn Ryan. Many Thanks
Photo: Jon Graham. Many Thanks

ROARING DAYS


Weddings Parties Anything
YOUNG AND JACKSONS HOTEL Melbourne.

'Oh take me down to Young and Jackson's
We'll do a bit of serious drinking'.

Also the home of Chloe our most famous Pub oil painting.

Submitted By Glenn Ryan. Many Thanks

THE GAME

1
Cold Chisel
BILLINUDGEL HOTEL
Billinudgel, NSW

Who's that on the telephone"
The fisherman said
"Looks like a writer"
She turned her head
"Could be, we'll see"
Ma Ring replied
"There were rumors when he came"

And as the evening fell
Around the old hotel
The stranger left his dial-tone
His place was gone
In the game"

Submitted By Glenn Ryan. Many Thanks

JIMMY SHARMANS' BOXERS

1
Midnight Oil
The FIRST AND LAST HOTEL
Circular Quay, Sydney.
Photo 1963. Pub closed c1986. Block of flats there now.

"For Jimmy Sharman's boxers
It's no better if you win
Standing in the darkness
Lined up waiting for the bell
The days are wasted drinking
At the first and last hotel"

Informed by Glenn from a source from the horses mouth that it was the First and Last at Circular Quay, Sydney. Well done.

Submitted By Glenn Ryan. Many Thanks.
Pic submitted by Jon Graham

JOE MAGUIRES PUB

1
Slim Dusty
JOE MAGUIRES HOTEL Tamworth

photo Jopn Graham, many Thanks

THREE RIVERS HOTEL


by Stan Coster.
THREE RIVERS HOTEL-
Greenvale Queensland.

Aussie country song about the country Pub that Stan and his mates frequented whilst helping the Theiss brothers workforce build the long railway line between Townsville and Greenvale in northern Queensland.

Also covered by Slim Dusty and recently released as part of a 3CD set.

Located in Greenvale near Charters Towers

PLAZA


Cold Chisel
PLAZA HOTEL

I've been living at the Plaza Hotel
It aint the HiltonI live well
Holes in the ceiling Holes in the wall
Wallpapers peeling
There is a nude on the door

Submitted By Glenn Ryan. Many Thanks

ROMA

1
Catfish (also covered by Slim Dusty)
SCHOOL OF ARTS HOTEL
Roma, Queensland

'I met her at the disco of the School of Arts Hotel'

Submitted by Glenn Ryan Many Thanks
Photo: Robert Aspinall. Many Thanks

MENINDEE

1
Neil Murray
MAIDENS REST HOTEL

Burke and Wills camped at the hotel in 1860, prior to their ill-fated trip to Coopers Creek and the Gulf of Carpenteria.

The Neil Murray song 'Menindee' makes mention of the Pub and Burke and Wills, with the line 'I'd much rather stay at Menindee with a cold beer sloshing down my throat'.

Submitted by Glenn Ryan Many Thanks. Photo Glenn Ryan

Diesel and Dust

1
Midnight Oil.

The old cottage from the Album cover. Not a Pub but a nice piece of Australiana.

Photo 06/04/2008
Photo submitted by Glenn Ryan, Many Thanks

God drinks at the Sando

1
The Whitlams

Hi John,
There's two pubs mentioned in a Whitlam's song called "God drinks at the Sando":

Lyrics:

"'Cause God drinks down at the Sandringham these days
Since the Shakespeare changed its name
He drinks down at the Sandringham these days
He's what we call alright around here "

It refers to both the Sandringham Hotel, Newtown, and the Coopers Hotel (formerly the Shakespeare) - Caroline Duncan.
Thanks Caroline

Pic Sando Hotel
Photo 19/10/2003 submitted by Jon Graham, Many Thanks