The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32328   Message #424638
Posted By: Susanne (skw)
23-Mar-01 - 08:03 PM
Thread Name: Jim Jones / Botany Bay: Background?
Subject: RE: Jim Jones: Background?
I have this quotation, which unfortunately is unfinished, and I'm not sure whether I found it in Lloyd, Folk Song in England, or elsewhere:
[1967:] Most of the transportation ballads are passive enough in outlook; self-pity if not repentance is the mood. None of the surviving songs of the penal settlements shows the smouldering sense of vengefulness that characterizes the excellent Jim Jones at Botany Bay, reported, alas, only once in Charles Macalister's 'Old Pioneering Days in the Sunny South' (Goulburn, N.S.W., 1907), a book of reminiscences, mainly of the Sydney area in the 1840s. Jim Jones follows the conventional pattern of arrest, sea-voyage and hard times on landing. His crime, as usual, is poaching, and his sentence, transportation for life. The judge adds a lowering postscript. [...]
Jim Jones stands out from the ruck of transportation songs by reason of its strong bloodshot defiance. The good Australian social historian Russel Ward observes that in the ballad 'instead of an implicit acceptance of the rules of society, there is an explicit assumption that society itself is out of joint and even a hint that in the new land society may be remoulded nearer to the heart's desire.' If the song is to be taken literally, it must have been made up between 1 September 1828, when 'bold Jack' Donahoe first emerged as a bushranger, and the time two years later when the troopers shot him dead in the Bringelly scrub. But the date and manner of the ballad's origin is not the only mystery surrounding it [...]