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Convict Songs

During my research I was impressed with the fortitude of several of the convicts; not all of course. There is the story of a young girl, shamed and destitute, torn from her family, who wept non-stop for days when taken on board a transport. Eventually she dies, it is said of a broken heart.

Others bore their fate with a degree of cheer and composed songs and ditties. This is one I added to my volume of papers.

Farewell to olde England forever
Farewell to my olde pals as well
Farewell to the well known Old Bailey
Where I once used to look such a swell.


Singing Too-ral Li-ooral li-ad-dity
Singing too-ral li-ooral li-ay
Singing too-ral li-ooral li-ad-dity
And we’re bound for Botany Bay

There’s the captain as is our commander
There’s the bosun and all the ship’s crew
There’s the 1st and 2nd class passengers
Knows what we poor convicts go through.
Singing Too-ral Li-ooral li-ad-dity…

T’aint leaving olde England we cares about
T’aint ’cause we mis-spells what we knows
But because all we light-fingered gentry
Hops around with a log on our toes.
Singing Too-ral Li-ooral li-ad-dity…

Oh had I the wings of a turtle dove
I’d soar on my pinions so high
Slap bang to the arms of my Polly love
And in her sweet presence I’d die.
Singing Too-ral Li-ooral li-ad-dity…

Now all my young Dukies and Duchesses
Take a warning from what I’d to say
Mind all is your own that you toucheses
Or you’ll find us in Botany Bay
Singing Too-ral Li-ooral li-ad-dity…

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One comment on “Convict Songs

  1. This is one we learned at school, Malc.

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