MUSICAL MONDAY: The Pub With No Beer

Pub-with-no-beerThe Pub With No Beer was written in 1943, during the second world war, by Dan Sheahan, an Irish cane cutter. The story is that he went to his favourite pub, the Day Dawn Hotel in Ingham, (northern Queensland) but was told by the Publican Gladys Harvey, that there was no beer left, due to a drinking binge by some black American soldiers the previous night. Consoling himself with a glass of wine, he sat down to write a poem called “A Pub without Beer.”

Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Source: Wikipedia

Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Source: Wikipedia

Dan Sheahan’s poem was later renamed “A Pub with No Beer” by Gordon Parsons, who made several changes to the lyrics and set it to music. The song made famous by the late Slim Dusty.


The Day Dawn Hotel has been replaced with Lee’s Hotel and a Commemoration Plaque records the origin of “The Pub With No Beer.”

pubwithnobeer. commemoration plaque




Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

7 thoughts on “MUSICAL MONDAY: The Pub With No Beer

    • That’s probably where you heard it Deborah. According to Wikipedia, the Clancy brothers were one of the many groups that played it … and the Pogues and the Dubliners 😀 I was fascinated to discover it’s origins. Cheerio for now.

    • Oh me too Metan 🙂 Such a fun song which cracked me up when I first heard it… my early teens, and brings back such happy memories. Was surprised to discover that it had was based on actual events in our Australian story.

    • So glad you enjoyed the story too. IMHO I reckon that songs are one of the best ways to pass on our history… maybe that’s the Irish in me, eh? As you know, I sure do have an Irish heart 🙂 …

      • There’s a lot of history in the old songs. But it’s not always factually correct…
        I do like them, though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s