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Botany Bay

Farewell to old England forever
Farewell to my rum culls as well
Farewell to the well known Old Bailey
Where I used for to cut such a swell

Singing Tooral liooral liaddity
Singing Tooral liooral liay
Singing Tooral liooral liaddity
And we're bound for Botany Bay

There's the captain as is our commander
There's the bosun and all the ship's crew
There's the first and the second class passengers
Knows what we poor convicts go through

Taint leaving old England we cares about
Taint cos we mis-spells what we knows
But because all we light fingered gentry
Hops around with a log on our toes

These seven long years I've been serving now
And seven long more have to stay
All for bashing a bloke down our alley
And taking his ticker away

Oh had I the wings of a turtle dove
I'd soar on my pinions so high
Slap bang to the arms of my Polly love
And in her sweet presence I'd die

Now all my young Dookies and Dutchesses
Take warning from what I've to say
Mind all is your own as you toucheses
Or you'll find us in Botany Bay


First published in Sydney Golden Songster in 1893 This song is a burlesque, written by Stephens and Yardley, from the comedy 'Little Jack Shepherd' that played in London in 1885, and in Melbourne in 1886. 'Botany Bay' shares two verses with 'Fairwell to Judges and Juries' a broadside c.1820

In 2011 I came across this version of the song

The West Australian Wednesday 24 November 1886 p.3


O ! my rum pals, my ben culls, and barrakers,
My old lags and scampsmen so gay,
My blooming bushrangers and larrikins,
On the Shores of Old Botany Bay.

In the days of our youth I've a noshiun,
From rectitoods path we did stray,
So they shipped us across the salt o-shiun,
To do time at Botany Bay.

But now we've returned to these British shores,
Where we 'opes for a long time to stay,
They calls has Colonial Visitors,
Not menshioning Botany Bay.

And we pal on with Dukes, Lords and Markisses
Which our manners is strickly O.K.
And they don't make no nasty remarkises,
Respectu-ing Botany Bay.

O ! the fakes they get up to please as is
Quite lovely in every way,
And they've made us all K.C.M.G.esuses,
Vich you can't do in Botany Bay.

(Sing) Tooral lal looral lal laddidi,
(Also) Tooral lal looral liday,
(Likewise) Tooral lal looral lal laddidi,
(Not forgetting) Tooral lal looral liday.

Searchable archives of Irish transports are now available on at The National Archives of Ireland


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory