Henry's Songbook

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Botany Bay

  • Trad

    Singing too-ral-li-ooral-li-addity
    Singing too-ral-li-ooral-li-ay
    Singing too-ral-li-ooral-li-addity
    We're bound for the Botany Bay

    Farewell to old England the beautiful, farewell to me old house as well
    Farewell to the well-known Old Bailey where I once used to cut such a swell

    'Tisn't leaving Old England we cares about, 'tain't 'cause we misspells what we knows
    But because all us light-fingered gentry hops around with a log on our toes

    There's the captain as is our commandeu-er, there's the bosun and all the ship's crew
    There's the First and Second Class passengers, knows what we poor convicts go through

    Now it's seven long years I've been serving and seven I've got for to stay
    Just for bashing a bloke in his dial and having his ticker away

    If I had the wings of the turtle-dove, far far away I would fly
    Slap bang to the arms of me Polly love, and there I would lie me and die

    So come all you young dookies and duchesses, take warning by what I do say
    Mind that all is your own as you touchesses, or you'll join us in Botany Bay

    As sung by The Spinners

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1960:] All of the ballads in this selection [...] are by anonymous writers with the exception of the first one - Botany Bay. Moreover, it is not a transportation song, although listed as such (it was written about 1885), but it is closely akin to a very old ditty on a similar theme called Farewell to Judges and Juries. The inclusion of Botany Bay is because of the fact that like Waltzing Matilda it has become accepted as part of Australia's traditional songs. (Beatty, Treasury 262)

    [1966:] ['Judges and Juries'] is a transportation ballad from the 18th Century when convicts were sentenced to the American colonies and later to Australia for a term of seven or fourteen years or for life. The prisoners, men and women, were handed over to a contractor who received 5 a head for delivering them safely to a distant market place where they were sold as slaves. In chapter 1 of 'Moll Flanders' we read that Moll's mother suffered a similar fate for shop-lifting from a Cheapside draper. From 1816 to 1867 when transportation ceased, the convicts embarked for their joiurney from Millbank prison which was situated near what is now the Tate Gallery. (Notes The Critics Group, 'Sweet Thames Flow Softly')

    [1972:] One of the best-known of all Australian songs [...] which seems to have made its first appearance in a musical drama 'Little Jack Shepherd' (performed in Melbourne in 1886). However, we cannot discount the possibility of it being an earlier ballad which the author simply added into his musical (even if this is so it is not likely that the song dates from 1788 as Ashbee suggests in his 'Essex House Song Book'). (Edwards, Overlander 10)

    [1981:] [An] English export, which with a different air from ours, began life in a London play, 'Little Jack Shepherd' in 1885 and went out to Melbourne Opera House in 1886. (Notes The Spinners, 'Around the World and Back Again')

    [1988:] Farewell to Your Judges and Juries, issued several times in the early 19th century, consists of a dialogue between a man transported for seven years and his true love, Polly. [...] The elegiac quality was completely lost when the piece was rewritten for a musical play called "Little Jack Sheppard", which was first produced in London in 1885. A rollicking "toora lie oora lie addity" chorus was added, and a lively tune was adopted, both of which were completely at variance with the mood of the earlier song. There was nothing jolly about transportation, and the predominant feeling in many contemporary ballads was one of despair. (Palmer, History 148)


Quelle: England

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aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 08.09.99