“Nine Miles from Gundagai (The Dog Sat in the Tuckerbox)”


The singer tells of his time as a bullock driver. His worst experience happened nine miles from Gundagai, in a cold storm, with the team bogged, the fire out, (the crew fighting). As a final insult, the dog sat (or "shat") in the tuckerbox


Gundagai was a town of no particular account in itself. Its position at the midpoint of the Sydney-Melbourne road has, however, made it the setting for many folk songs.

A statue in Gundagai commemorates a dog sitting forlornly on a tuckerbox (food box), guarding it for his master.

John Greenway, however, points out the falseness of this picture. He notes that bullock drivers and swagmen "kept dogs only to have something to kick."

He also notes, delicately, "That's what this song is about: a bullock driver who had the ultimate in bad luck -- not only did his wagon axle break and the team get bogged in the mud and his matches get soaked in the rain, but his dog capped the climax by s...itting (there is an aspirate missing) IN -- not ON -- the tucker box!" - RBW

Cross references


  • John Greenway, "The Dog Sat in the Tuckerbox (Nine Miles from Gundagai)" (on JGreenway01)


  1. Meredith/Anderson, pp. 95-96, "Nine Miles from Gundagai" (1 text with no title given)
  2. Fahey-Eureka, p. 184, "Nine Miles from Gundagai" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #10221 AND 9121
  5. BI, MA095


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1956
Keywords: Australia hardtimes dog
Found in: Australia