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James Raeburn's Farewell to Scotland (1880)

My name is Jamie Raeburn, near Glasgow I was born,
My place and habitation I'm forced to leave with scorn,
From my place of habitation I now must gang awa',
Far frae the bonnie hills and dales of Caledonia.

'Twas early one morning, just by the break of day,
I overheard the turnkey, who unto us did say?
Arise, ye hapless convicts, arise ye ane and a',
This is the day ye are to stray from Caledonia.

We all arose, put on our clothes, our hearts were full of grief,
Our friends they a' stood round the coach, could grant us no relief ;
Our friends they a' stood round the coach, their hearts were broke in twa,
To see us leave the bonnie braes of Caledonia.

Farewell my aged mother, I'm vexed for what I've done,
I hope none will upcast to her the race that I have run;
I hope that she'll be provided for when I am far awa',
Far from the hills and dales of Caledonia.

Farewell my honoured father, he is the best of men,
And likewise my own sweetheart, young Catherine was her name;
Nae mair we'll wander doon by Clyde, nor yont the Broomielaw
For I must leave the hills and braes of Caledonia.

The next place that we meet again I hope 'twill be above,
Where hallelujahs will be sung to Him who reigns in love,
Nae earthly judge shall judge us then but He who rules us a',
Farewell, ye bonnie hills and dales of Caledonia.


From "The Word on the Street" online collection of Broadside Ballads.

Ron Edwards in his Index writes "Russel Ward collected the second and third verses of this transportation ballad from Joe Cashmere in Sydney in the 1950s and these were recorded by Edgar Waters and Jeff Way. Twelve months later the singer had remembered 7 verses and sang these at a meeting of the Australian Folk Lore Society. He recalled the song from the 1890s, and said the police used to stop men singing it."


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory