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Percustard Songs of Australian Working Life (35) RE: Songs of Australian Working Life 19 Jun 02

Another link!

Shores of Botany Bay


Oh I'm on my way down to the quay Where a big ship now does lie For to take a gang of navvies I was told to engage But I thought I would call in for a while Before I went away For to take a trip in an emigrant ship To the shores of Botany Bay

Chorus Fairwell to your bricks and mortar Fairwell to your dirty lime Fairwell to your gangway and gang planks And to hell with your overtime For the good ship Ragamuffin Is lying at the quay For to take old Pat with a shovel on his back To the shores of Botany Bay

The best years of our life we spend At working on the docks Building mighty wharves and quays Of earth and ballast rocks Our pensions keep our lives secure But I'll not rue the day When I take a trip on an emigrant ship To the shores of Botany Bay

For the boss came up this morning And he said "Well Pat hello If you do not mix that mortar fast Be sure you'll have to go" Of course he did insult me I demanded of my pay And I told him straight I was going to emigrate To the shores of Botany Bay

And when I reach Australia I'll go and look for gold Sure there's plenty there for the digging Or so I have been told Or I might go back into my trade Eight hundred bricks I'll lay In an eight hour day for eight bob pay On the shores of Botany Bay


Collected from Duke Tritton by John Meredith. Tritton learned the song while busking in Sydney early this century. He also wrote the last verse. Second verse is from Therese Radic's Songs of Australian Working Life .

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