The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4070192
Posted By: Stewie
30-Aug-20 - 07:14 PM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Western Australian Herald - 23 October 1869:

Preparation for the New Pearling Season ...take the first of the ebb and glide away out of the creek ... then comes the most important part, the picking up of niggers ... for pearling after all would never pay white labour.

LEWIS ISLAND LUGGER
(M.Murray & L.Silvester)

The lugger is painted already
She is painted in red and in green
She is painted so gaily we smile at her
She is painted in red and in green

The lugger is rigged out already
She's rigged out with tackles and ropes
She's rigged out to take us a-pearling
She's rigged out with tackles and ropes

And the lugger is charted already
She's charted out from Nichol Bay
She's charted to go for the pearling
She's charted out from Nichol Bay

O father why are we waiting
Away from our home far away
Why do we wait on Lewis Island
For the lugger to take us away


And the lugger is loaded already
She's loaded with beer and with wine
Loaded with blackbirds from the Gascoyne
Loaded with beer and with wine

The lugger is waiting already
She's sailing away from the land
She's taken away my family
She's sailing away from the land

O father why are we waiting
Away from our home far away
Why do we wait on Lewis Island
For the lugger to take us away


And the lugger is stranded already
She's stranded between surf and reef
Now gone are my sister and brother
Stranded between surf and reef

And their headstone is written already
Written in pearl shells and blood
A headstone to stand among many
Written in pearl shells and blood

O father why are we waiting
Away from our home far away
Why do we wait on Lewis Island
For the lugger to take us away


And the lugger is saiing already

The song may be found on Mike Murray and Lesley Silvester 'Strangers on the Shore' TimeTrackers TT0101 2001. It is an album of true stories of ships, the sea and first contact with Western Australia.

Mike and Lesley noted:

Blackbirding flourished in the pearling industry in NW Australia. Kidnapped Aborigines from the Gascoyne region were held captive on islands such as Lewis Island, and the luggers would call in from time to time to replace those who had perished either from the bends, ill-treatment or shipwreck.

--Stewie.