Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shores of Botany Bay




Trad.




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Well, I'm on my way down to the quay
Where the good ship now doth lay
To command a gang of navvies
I was ordered to engage
I thought I would stop in for a while
Before I sailed away
For to take a trip on an immigrant ship
To the shores of Botany Bay


Chorus:
Farewell to your bricks and mortar
Farewell to your dirty lime
Farewell to your gangway and gang planks
And to Hell with your overtime
For the good ship Ragamuffin
She's lying at the quay
For to take old Pat with a shovel on his back
To the shores of Botany Bay

The best years of our life we spend at
Working on the docks
Building mighty wharves and quays
Of earth and ballast rocks
Though pensions keep our jobs secure
I shan't rue the day
When I take a trip on an immigrant ship
To the shores of Botany Bay

Well, the boss comes up this morning
And he says, "Why, Pat, hello
If you do not mix the mortar quick
To be sure you'll have to go"
Well, of course he did insult me
I demanded all me pay
And I told him straight I was going to emigrate
To the shores of Botany Bay

When I reach Australia
I'll go and search for gold
There's plenty there for digging up
Or so I have been told
Or maybe I'll go back to me trade
Eight hundred bricks I'll lay
For an eight hour shift and an eight bob pay
On the shores of Botany Bay

A song that I learnt at school and which I later performed with Alan Salmon and Contraband, busking on the Brisbane mall. The Australian Folk Songs site has it as collected by John Meredith from Duke Tritton, who learnt it while busking.

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