Australian Folk Songs

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Election Song (1843)
Composed upon the Occasion of the Visit of W. Bowman, Esq., J. P., to address the electors of Liverpool.

This day we are met the wreath to entwine
Of shamrock, and thistle, and rose so divine,--
Blest emblem of nations renowned in the cause
Of freedom, religion, our country, and laws.

We are sons of a land uncradled as yet ;
Our nonage has been a dark page of regret.
No Grattan had we our rights to demand,
And Freedom had sigh'd in the midst of the land.

But to-day does the tocsin of liberty sound,
We no longer tread upon interdict ground ;
The climate of freedom we nobly have won,
And freely confide it to Australia's son.

Up Bowman ! take courage and fight;
Around you are gather'd electors of might :
Be true to your colours, and true to the cause
Of your country, its freedom, religion, and laws.

Liverpool, February 15, 1843.


Published in the NSW newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 22 February 1843 p. 2.

Is this the earliest Australian election Song? And is W. Bowman related to the one immortalised by Frank the Poet in his masterpiece 'A Convict's Tour to Hell'?

Bold Lucifer bade me to stay
Saying Frank by no means go man
Till you see your old friend Dr Bowman
Yonder he tumbles groans and gnashes
He gave you many a thousand lashes
And for the same he does bewail
For Osker with an iron flail
Thrashes him well you may depend
And will till the world comes to an end


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory