Australian Folk Songs
songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home

 The Transport

Come all young men of learning a warning take by me
I'd have you quit night walking and shun bad company
I'd have you quit night walking or else you'll rue the day
When you are transported and going to Botany Bay

I was brought up in London town a place I know full well
Brought up buy honest parents the truth to you I'll tell
Brought up by honest parents and reared so tenderly
Till I became a roving blade which proved my destiny

My character soon taken then I was sent to jail
My friends they tried to clear me but nothing could prevail
At the Old Bailey Sessions the Judge did say to me
The Jury has found you guilty you must go to Botany Bay

To see my aged father dear as he stood at the bar
Likewise my aged mother her grey locks she tore
In tearing her old grey locks these words to me did say
Oh Son oh Son what have you done? you're going to Botany Bay

As we sailed down the river on the 28th of May
Every ship that we passed we heard the sailors say
There goes a ship of clever lads we are sorry for to say
That for some crime or other they are going to Botany Bay

There is a girl in London town a girl I loved full well
If ever I get my liberty along with her I'll dwell
If ever I get my liberty I'll forsake all other girls
I will shun all evil company and adieu to New South Wales


From a Broadside printed around 1828. 'The Transport' or 'Botany Bay', is in Hugh Anderson's Fairwell to Old England . It's a close relative to 'Botany Bay 2' in this collection.

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


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory