For me this painting offered a light hearted look at the practice of robbery at arms. I am pretty sure it was hardly anywhere near as relaxed as it seems here. The idea of having a loaded gun pointed at me makes me shudder regardless of how polite and gentle my robber’s legend may make them out to be. How would you even know they are who they claim to be? The slightest mistake and…

Alright I’ll stop there, I understand about Australia’s love affair with bushrangers. Also, I thought it would be fun to write a poem in the romantic and adventurous tone of the picture.


G’day ladies and gentleman

We’ll be your bushrangers for today.

We’ll keep this painless as we can

Then we’ll be on our way.


Pay no attention to our guns

Or the carnage they can cause.

We are the working man’s hero sons

We just do not like the laws.


What we do is not for greed

But a fairer share of wealth.

The rich have much more than they need

While we scarcely have our health.


So if you please would be so kind.

To hand over cash and jewels

Let fear of violence leave your minds.

We need not use these tools.


This deed shall end, we all shall live

And go our separate ways.

The tale of this a gift we give

To tell for all your days.


The time you met those roughish lads

So wild and tough and game,

To your mystique this drama adds

And you all may share our fame.


4 thoughts on “Blog 3: “Bailed Up” by Tom Roberts

  1. This is a fantastic poem, Nigel! It addresses, humorously the way the bushrangers are so often perceived as heroes, the colonial version of Robin Hood.

    In fact the reality may have been quite different. Not all of them were heroes, some were just violent “crooks”, as we would dismiss them today. Others were more like the gentlemen bandits, that folklore has recorded them all as.

    That’s why I try to portray the bushrangers honestly, not like the romanticized legends they have become.


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