The Shores of Botany Bay

Australia is a wonderfully rich source for incredible songs, traditional and contemporary.  This one addresses the emigration of someone willingly looking to take part in the gold rush there, rather than so many of the penal colony songs that recall more somber means of colonization.

Farewell to your bricks and mortar
Farewell to your dirty lime
Farewell to your gangers 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

I’m on my way down to the quay
Where the ship at anchor lay
To command a gang of navvies
They told me to engage
I thought I’d drop in for a drink
Before I sailed away
For to take a trip on an immigrant ship
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}    (I never seem to recall this verse)


The boss comes up this morning
And he says to me, “Hello
If you don’t mix your mortar right
I’m afraid you’ll have to go”
Well, since 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 dig 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
It’s there I’ll live for the eight hour shift
On the shores of Botany Bay

Chorus 2x:

The shores of Botany Bay!


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