Australian Folk Songs

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Lowlands Low (1882)

There was a British ship that sailed upon the sea,
And the name she was called was the Golden Victory;
It was thought she would be taken by a Spanish galley,
As she lay upon the Lowlands low.

Chorus, Lowlands low.

Then unto the skipper, said the little cabin boy,
Captain, what will you give me if her I do destroy ?
"Oh, I will give you gold, and my daughter, too, my boy,
If you sink her on the Lowlands low.

So then the boy undressed, and quickly he jumped in.
He dashed through the waves, so quickly did he swim.
he reached the galley's side, and to sink her did begin,
As she lay upon the Lowlands low.

And some were playing cards, and some playing dice,
While the little cabin boy carried out his strange device;
With his auger in his hand he pierced her in a trice
And she sank upon the Lowlands low.

And then the boy swam back unto the star-board side,
"Oh captain, take me aboard," so bitterly he cried
For lam vary weary, and I'm drifting with the tide,
I shall sink upon these Lowlands low.

"I'll not take you on board," the cruel captain cried,
Never again with me on deck shall you abide;
I will shoot you, I will drown you, I will sink you in the tide,
You shall die upon these Lowlands low."

So then the boy swam round unto the larboard side,
Oh, messmates, take me aboard," so bitterly be cried,
"For I am very weary, and I'm sinking with the tide;
I shall die upon these Lowlands low.

So gently then his messmates did haul him up the side,
They laid him on the deck, but with one sob he died;
And they placed him in his hammock, and they dropped him in the tide;
And he sleeps upon the Lowlands low.


From the Victorian newspaper the Ballarat Star 22 July 1882 p. 1.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory