Australian Folk Songs

songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home

The Ballad Of Bob Marhoney

As sung by J.H. Davies

Far out-ward bound, far o'er the deep
Slung in my hammock I fell asleep,
I had a dream which I thought was true,
Concerning Mahoney and his boat's crew.

Off yon green island out far from here,
Where we lost Mahoney and his boat's gear.

There's Captain Kennedy of Hobart-town,
There's Captain Reynolds of high renown,
There's Captain Robertson and many, many more,
They've long been cruising Macquarie shore.

They cruised east and they cruised west,
Round the sou'-west cape where they thought best.
No tale or tiding could they see or hear,
Concerning Mahoney or his boat's gear.

In Research Bay where the black whale blow,
The sad tale of Mahoney they all do know,
They say he's gone like a many many more,
He left his home to return no more.

As we draw nearer to Hobart shore,
I saw a fair maid in deep replore,
She was sobbing, sighing, saying pity me,
I've lost my brother, poor Bob Mahoney.

I've lost my brother, no more to see,
I've lost my brother, poor Bob Mahoney.


From the singing of Mr. J. H. Davies of St. John's Home for the Aged in New Town, Hobart, Tasmania in 1961 - Recorded by Dr. Lloyd Robson.

First published in Australian Tradition July, 1965, p. 9. In that issue Edgar Waters observes:

This has been made over from a song, recorded in broadside print and from the oral tradition of sailors, and generally known as Lady Franklin's Lament. That song tells the loss od Sir John Franklin and his ships on the Arctic coast of Canada, in their search for the North-West Passage (they set sail from England in 1845). It is a fitting song for whalers to make over, for Sir John Franklin had at one time been governor of Tasmania.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory