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Lyr Add: Seizure of the Cyprus Brig in Recherche..

Bob Bolton 14 Jul 98 - 12:33 AM
John in Brisbane 16 Jul 98 - 07:32 PM
Bob Bolton 16 Jul 98 - 09:20 PM
Bob Bolton 19 Jul 98 - 07:29 PM
Bob Bolton 19 Jul 98 - 07:32 PM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Jun 17 - 10:33 AM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Jun 17 - 10:45 AM
JennieG 25 Jun 17 - 06:00 PM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Jun 17 - 07:59 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SEIZURE OF THE CYPRUS BRIG
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Jul 98 - 12:33 AM

G'day ... yet again,

While adding lyrics for some of my favourite Australian songs, I should include this one ... in several variants.

The song comes from another of 'Frank the Poet's works, (see also 'Moreton Bay', in DT and in variant I posted earlier today) known from a manuscript copy in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. The event occurred a little before Frank arrived as a convict, so once again we see convict folklore being committed to,verse by Frank.

Several convicts, being convicted of further offences (usually against the authority of the British) were being sent from Hobart to the Hellhole of Macquarie Harbour, on the wild west coast of Tasmania. As the Brig sheltered against a head wind before turning around the southern tip of Tasmania (into the full force of the Roaring Forties) the guard was too relaxed. A party of convicts seized control while the Captain and some soldiers were ashore.

Those who would not join them were also put ashore and they sailed away for Japan. This is all the convicts in Australia would have known - that they escaped. in fact they were mostly captured, some were tried for piracy, some were acquitted and others were hanged. But they were all escaped heroes to the convicts!

I give three different versions:
The manuscript - the fullest form known and probably nearest to frank's original. This is very long for modern tastes.
The Jack Davies version.
This had been collected in 1961 but not published until 1965. In early 1966 I did not know any orally transmitted version had been collected.
The Mr Wilson version
Easter 1966, along with a friend, I met an old man whose carer suggested he knew old songs and this seemed to be one of them. We didn't get well enough into his confidence but passed on the contact to John Merdith who got a copy of the word from Mr Wilson's carer.

I have put together my personal version which uses as much of the authenticated Tasmanian survival as possible, leaning on Mr Wilson's version and taking the first verse from the manuscript - as Jack Davies got confused with another transportation ballad, Van Dieman's Land.

I hope you have a place for all these versions of an important Australian ballad of the early convict era - one that was taken up by the people and sung for perhaps 150 years since.

Regards,

Bob Bolton (who is not short of things to say!)

THE SEIZURE OF THE CYPRUS BRIG IN RECHERCHE BAY Mitchell Library manuscript version

Come all you sons of freedom,
A chorus join with me,
'll sing a song of heroes,
And glorious liberty
Some lads condemned from England
Sail 'd to Van Diemens shore,
Their country, friends and parents,
Perhaps never to see more.

When landed in this colony
To different masters went,
For trifling offences
To Hobart Town gaol were sent.
A second sentence being incurr'd
We were ordered for to be
Sent to Macquarie Harbour,
That place of tyranny.

The hardships we'd to undergo,
Are matters of record,
But who believes the convict,
Or who regards his word?
For starv'd and flogg'd and punish'd,
Deprived of all redress,
The bush our only refuge,
With death to end distress.

Hundreds of us were shot down,
For daring to be free,
Numbers caught and banished,
To life long slavery.
Brave Swallow, Watt and Davis
Were in our noble band,
Determ'd at the first slant,
To quit Van Diemens Land.

March' d down in chains and guarded,
On the Cyprus Brig conveyed,
The topsails being hoisted,
The anchor being weighed.
The wind it blew sou' sou' west
And on we went straightway,
Till we found ourselves windbound,
In gloomy Recherche Bay.

'Twas August eighteen twenty nine,
With thirty one on board,
Lieutenant Carew left the Brig,
And soon we passed the word.
The Doctor too was absent,
The soldiers off their guard,
A better opportunity
Could never have occurred.

Confin'd within a dismal hole,
We soon contrived a plan,
To capture now the "Cyprus",
Or perish every man.
But thirteen turn 'd fain hearted
And begged to go ashore,
So eighteen boys rushed daring,
And took the brig and store.

We first address 'd the soldiers,
"For liberty we crave,
Give up your arms this instant,
Or the sea will be your grave;
By tyranny we've been oppress'd,
By your colonial laws,
But we'll bid adieu to slavery,
Or die in freedom's cause.

We next drove off the Skipper,
Who came to help his crew,
Then gave three cheers for liberty,
'Twas answered cheerly too.
We brought the sailors from below,
And row'd them to the land,
Likewise the wife and children
Of Carew in command.

Supplies of food and water,
We gave the vanquish 'd crew,
Returning good for evil,
As we'd been taught to do.
We mounted guard with watch and ward,
Then hauled the boat aboard,
We elected William Swallow,
And obeyed our Captain's word.

The morn broke bright,the wind was fair,
We headed for the sea,
With one cheer more for those on shore,
And glorious liberty.
For navigating smartly
Bill Swallow was the man,
Who laid a course out neatly,
To take us to Japan.

Then sound your golden trumpets,
Play on your tuneful notes,
The Cyprus Brig is sailing,
How proudly now she floats.
May fortune help the noble lads,
And keep them ever free,
From Gags,andCats,and Chains and traps
And cruel tyranny.

Jack Davies’ version (New Town, Hobart, Tasmania, 1961) (The Seizure of the Cyprus Brig)

Poor Tom Brown from Nottingham,
Jack Williams and poor Joe,
They were three gallant poacher boys,
Their country all does know,
And by the laws of amalgaymack (sic),
That you may understand,
Were fourteen years transported boys,
All to Van Diemens Land.

When we landed in this colony
To different masters went,
For little trifling offences, boys,
To Hobart Town gaol were sent,
Now the second sentence we received
And ordered for to be
Sent to Macquarie Harbour,
That place of tyranny.

Down Hobart Town streets we were guarded,
On the Cyprus Brig conveyed,
Our topsails they were hoisted boys,
Our anchor it was weighed.
The wind it blew a ncr' nor' west
And on we steered straightway,
Till we brought her to an anchorage
In a place called Research (sic) Bay.

Now confined in a dismal hole
Those lads contrived a plan,
To take possession of that brig
Or else die, every man,
The plan it being approved upon
We all retired to rest,
And early next morning, boys,
We put them to the test.

Up steps bold Jack Muldemon,
His comrades three more,
We soon disarmed the sentry
And left him in his gore,
"Liberty, oh liberty,
I t's liberty we crave,
Deliver up your arms, my boys,
Or the sea shall be your grave."

First we landed the soldiers,
The captain and his crew,
We gave three cheers for liberty
And soon bid them adieu.
William Swallow he was chosen
Our commander for to be,
We gave three cheers for liberty
And boldly put to sea.

Play on your golden trumpets, boys,
And sound your cheerful notes,
The Cyprus Brig's on the ocean, boys,
By justice does she float

Mr. Wilson' s version (Cygnet, Tasmania, 1967).
(The Seizure of the Cyprus Brig)

Confined there in the dismal hold,
We then contrived a plan,
To take possession of the brig
Or else die every man.

The plan it being approved upon,
We then retired to rest,
Determined in the morning
To put it to the test.

So then up jumped Michael Hogan
Charlie Towers and two more,
Who soon disarmed the sentry
And left him in his gore.

We then addressed the soldiers
Saying "Liberty we crave,
Deliver up your arms, my boys,
Or the sea will be your grave '

We landed all our officers,
Our Captain and the crew,
Three cheers we gave for liberty
And bade them all adieu.

Forever happy may they be,
May kind fortune keep them free,
Who boldly fought and nobly gained
Their glorious liberty.

Bob Bolton Composite (Tasmanian) version.
(The Seizure of the Cyprus Brig)

Come all you sons of freedom, a chorus join with me,
'll sing a song of heroes, and glorious liberty
Some lads condemned from England, sail 'd to Van Diemens shore,
Their country, friends and parents, perhaps never to see more.

When we landed in this colony, to different masters went,
For trifling offences, boys, to Hobarton gaol were sent,
Now a second sentence we received and ordered for to be
Sent to Macquarie Harbour, that place of tyranny.
Down Hobarton streets we were guarded, on the Cyprus Brig conveyed,
The topsails they were hoisted boys; the anchor it was weighed.
The wind it blew a sou’ sou’ west, and on we steered straightway,
Till they brought her to an anchorage, in a place called Recherche Bay.
Now confined in a dismal hole, these lads contrived a plan,
To take possession of that brig, or else die, every man.
The plan it being approved upon, we all retired to rest,
And early the next morning, boys, we put them to the test.
Up steps bold Jack Muldemon, his comrades three or more,
We soon disarmed the sentry, and left him in his gore.
“Liberty, oh liberty, it’s liberty we crave;
Deliver up your arms, my boys, or the sea shall be your grave.”
First we landed the soldiers, the captain and his crew,
We gave three cheers for liberty and soon bid them adieu.
William Swallow he was chosen, our commander for to be,
We gave three cheers for liberty, and boldly put to sea.
Play on your golden trumpets, boys, and sound your cheerful notes,
The Cyprus Brig’s on the ocean, boys, by justice does she float.
Forever happy may they be, may kind fortune keep them free,
From gags, and cats, and chains and traps, and cruel tyranny.
Source for all material: Frank the Poet, Studies in Australian folklore #1, Red Rooster Press, Ascot Vale, 1979, John Meredith & Rex Whalan.


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Subject: RE: LYR Add: Seizure of the Cyprus Brig
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 07:32 PM

Bob,

I have a reel to reel copy of a field recording done by (as I recall) Norm O'Connor. I will dust it off when I get the chance. I travel quite a bit, so would ask you please to bear with me.

Regards John


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Subject: RE: LYR Add: Seizure of the Cyprus Brig
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 09:20 PM

G'day John,

Thanks, but I have access (from Don Brian, who performs with 'Backblocks', my music group) to the field recording you mention. This Jack Davies at the C of E home, St John's Park, New Town, Tasmania. (Incidentally, Patricia and I were married at St John's - where Pat's family traditionally married for the past century and a half.) I can't bring the collector to mind but I don't think it was Norm O'Connor.

Rex Whalan was collecting in Tasmania (~1961) along with an academic from the Uni. of Tas. and an ABC recording technician. Rex fell ill and returned to Sydney and the others kept at some leads - finding Jack Davies, an old whaler, at the home. Several of Jack's songs were recorded, including: 'The Waterwitch', a whaling song; another whaling song related to 'Lady Franklin's Lament'; and a version of 'Cyprus Brig' that I included in my posting.

The academic, working at academic pace, did not publish the songs until late 1965 - the month I left Sydney for Tasmania, in Tradition magazine, and I did not know (in early 1966) that an oral version was known when I found that an old bloke in Cygnet also knew a version of the song.

John Meredith corresponded with Vonny Helberg, who looked after old Mr. Wilson, after Ralph Pride and I were unable to get the song during a weekend stop at Cygnet, and she took down the words ... and his tune was lost when he died, at 91, a few months later.

What I wanted to do was to use Jack Davies' tune and edit the words to a listenable length for modern audiences - using as many of the words orally preserved in Tasmania as possible. The singing of the song ("around campfires in the interior") was mentioned in Tasmanian memoirs from 1854 and these two versions, from an ex-whaler and from a old boat-builder, show that it survided at least another century.

It is a good song; I can sing more comfortably about these convicts than I can sing about some of our bushrangers (even if I have closer connections to some of them!); I like the fact that this song comes out of some of the earliest traditions to leave a trace in colonial Australia and I seem to have a bit of fixation lately with the works of 'Frank the Poet' - all this is enough excuse for me!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Tune Add: THE SEIZURE OF THE CYPRUS BRIG
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Jul 98 - 07:29 PM

G'day MudCatters all,

I downloaded Alan of Oz's cute little MIDItext program and (all things being equable) should have ABC / MIDI for the tunes to the songs I posted last week.

This is the collected version of the Seizure of the Cyprus Brig, as sung by Jack Davies at St John's Park, New Town Tasmania, Australia in 1961. The tune is straight out of British Isles tradition of the mid 19th century and is slightly worked over as a singing version, by Ron Edwards - a folklorist of venerable status and astonishing breadth of interest - now resident in Kuranda, up above Cairns, Far North Queensland.

Regards,

Bob Bolton

MIDI file: cyprusrb.mid

Timebase: 240

TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Tempo: 120 (500000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0720 1 60 080 0096 0 60 064 0024 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 65 080 0288 0 65 064 0072 1 65 080 0096 0 65 064 0024 1 65 080 0192 0 65 064 0048 1 65 080 0192 0 65 064 0048 1 65 080 0384 0 65 064 0096 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 64 080 0192 0 64 064 0048 1 65 080 0288 0 65 064 0072 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0576 0 60 064 0144 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0288 0 60 064 0072 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 72 080 0384 0 72 064 0096 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 69 080 0192 0 69 064 0048 1 70 080 0288 0 70 064 0072 1 72 080 0096 0 72 064 0024 1 70 080 0192 0 70 064 0048 1 69 080 0192 0 69 064 0048 1 67 080 0576 0 67 064 0144 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 60 080 0288 0 60 064 0072 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 72 080 0384 0 72 064 0096 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 69 080 0192 0 69 064 0048 1 70 080 0288 0 70 064 0072 1 72 080 0096 0 72 064 0024 1 70 080 0192 0 70 064 0048 1 69 080 0192 0 69 064 0048 1 67 080 0576 0 67 064 0144 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 67 080 0288 0 67 064 0072 1 65 080 0096 0 65 064 0024 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 64 080 0192 0 64 064 0048 1 65 080 0192 0 65 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 65 080 0288 0 65 064 0072 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0576 0 60 064
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:
M:4/4
Q:1/4=120
K:C
C7E|F3FF2F2|F4G2E2|F3EC2C2|C6C2|C3EG2G2|c4G2A2|
^A3c^A2A2|G6G2|C3EG2G2|c4G2A2|^A3c^A2A2|G6G2|
G3FC2C2|E2F2G2EE|F3EC2C2|C19/4||


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Subject: Tune Add: THE SEIZURE OF THE CYPRUS BRIG
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Jul 98 - 07:32 PM

G'day MudCatters all,

I downloaded Alan of Oz's cute little MIDItext program and (all things being equable) should have ABC / MIDI for the tunes to the songs I posted last week.

This is the collected version of the Seizure of the Cyprus Brig, as sung by Jack Davies at St John's Park, New Town Tasmania, Australia in 1961. The tune is straight out of British Isles tradition of the mid 19th century and is slightly worked over as a singing version, by Ron Edwards - a folklorist of venerable status and astonishing breadth of interest - now resident in Kuranda, up above Cairns, Far North Queensland.

Regards,

Bob Bolton

MIDI file: cyprusrb.mid

Timebase: 240

TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Tempo: 120 (500000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0720 1 60 080 0096 0 60 064 0024 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 65 080 0288 0 65 064 0072 1 65 080 0096 0 65 064 0024 1 65 080 0192 0 65 064 0048 1 65 080 0192 0 65 064 0048 1 65 080 0384 0 65 064 0096 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 64 080 0192 0 64 064 0048 1 65 080 0288 0 65 064 0072 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0576 0 60 064 0144 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0288 0 60 064 0072 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 72 080 0384 0 72 064 0096 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 69 080 0192 0 69 064 0048 1 70 080 0288 0 70 064 0072 1 72 080 0096 0 72 064 0024 1 70 080 0192 0 70 064 0048 1 69 080 0192 0 69 064 0048 1 67 080 0576 0 67 064 0144 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 60 080 0288 0 60 064 0072 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 72 080 0384 0 72 064 0096 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 69 080 0192 0 69 064 0048 1 70 080 0288 0 70 064 0072 1 72 080 0096 0 72 064 0024 1 70 080 0192 0 70 064 0048 1 69 080 0192 0 69 064 0048 1 67 080 0576 0 67 064 0144 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 67 080 0288 0 67 064 0072 1 65 080 0096 0 65 064 0024 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 64 080 0192 0 64 064 0048 1 65 080 0192 0 65 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 65 080 0288 0 65 064 0072 1 64 080 0096 0 64 064 0024 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0192 0 60 064 0048 1 60 080 0576 0 60 064
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:
M:4/4
Q:1/4=120
K:C
C7E|F3FF2F2|F4G2E2|F3EC2C2|C6C2|C3EG2G2|c4G2A2|
^A3c^A2A2|G6G2|C3EG2G2|c4G2A2|^A3c^A2A2|G6G2|
G3FC2C2|E2F2G2EE|F3EC2C2|C19/4||


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Subject: RE: LYR Add: Seizure of the Cyprus Brig
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 10:33 AM

Australian convict pirates in Japan: evidence of 1830 voyage unearthed Fresh translations of samurai accounts of 'barbarian' ship arriving at the height of Japan's feudal isolation corroborate a story long dismissed as fantasy.

An amateur historian has unearthed compelling evidence that the first Australian maritime foray into Japanese waters was by convict pirates on an audacious escape from Tasmania almost two centuries ago.

Fresh translations of samurai accounts of a "barbarian" ship in 1830 give startling corroboration to a story modern scholars had long dismissed as convict fantasy: that a ragtag crew of criminals encountered a forbidden Japan at the height of its feudal isolation.

The brig Cyprus was hijacked by convicts bound from Hobart to Macquarie Harbour in 1829, in a mutiny that took them all the way to China. (read on & check out the drawings made at thr time)


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Subject: RE: LYR Add: Seizure of the Cyprus Brig
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 10:45 AM

more pictures here


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Subject: RE: LYR Add: Seizure of the Cyprus Brig
From: JennieG
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 06:00 PM

On the ABC too: ABC story


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Subject: RE: LYR Add: Seizure of the Cyprus Brig
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 07:59 PM

that's where I saw it, Jennie & went looking got more info. Tho I wondered why it took them so long to pick it up. The pics are great.


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