As originally written by Queensland farmer Dan Sheahan in Australia in 1943, the song contained many lines specific to that time and place but it was written about a real bar which had been drunk dry the night before by American servicemen. The song was re-written by Gordon Parsons in 1956 and recorded by Slim Dusty in 1957 making it famous. It is Parsons' lyrics that the Dubliners sang.
Nate usually does this capo 1
A Pub with no Beerby Dan Sheahan
By the [D] campfire at night where the wild dingos [G] call,
But there's nothing so lonesome, so [Am] dull or so drear,
Than to [D] stand in the bar of a [C] pub with no [G] beer. [D] [C] [G]
Now the publican's anxious for the quota to come,
There's a faraway look on the face of the bum,
The maid's gone all cranky and the cook's acting queer,
What a terrible place is a pub with no beer.
The stockman rides up with his dry, dusty throat,
He breasts up to the bar, pulls a wad from his coat,
But the smile on his face quickly turns to a sneer,
When the barman says suddenly: "The pub's got no beer!"
There's a dog on the veranda, for his master he waits,
But the boss is inside, drinking wine with his mates,
He hurries for cover and he cringes in fear.
It's no place for a dog, round a pub with no beer.
Old Billy, the blacksmith, for the first time in his life,
Has gone home cold sober to his darling wife,
He walks in the kitchen; she says: "You're early, me dear."
Then he breaks down and he tells her, that the pub's got no beer.
Oh, it's lonesome away from your kindred and all,
By the campfire at night where the wild dingos call,
But there's nothing so lonesome, so dull or so drear,
Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer.