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transportation escapee songs?

wyrdolafr 22 Jan 09 - 02:29 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Jan 09 - 02:34 PM
wyrdolafr 22 Jan 09 - 02:47 PM
SINSULL 22 Jan 09 - 02:49 PM
mark gregory 22 Jan 09 - 04:47 PM
MartinRyan 22 Jan 09 - 05:03 PM
MartinRyan 22 Jan 09 - 05:05 PM
oldhippie 22 Jan 09 - 05:22 PM
Barry Finn 22 Jan 09 - 05:45 PM
Richard Mellish 22 Jan 09 - 07:23 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Jan 09 - 02:45 AM
MartinRyan 23 Jan 09 - 03:24 AM
wyrdolafr 24 Jan 09 - 02:07 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 09 - 03:23 AM
wyrdolafr 24 Jan 09 - 03:52 AM
Charley Noble 24 Jan 09 - 09:05 PM
Herga Kitty 24 Jan 09 - 09:12 PM
MartinRyan 25 Jan 09 - 01:39 PM
wyrdolafr 25 Jan 09 - 02:48 PM
CeltArctic 25 Jan 09 - 02:58 PM
Weasel 25 Jan 09 - 03:52 PM
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Subject: transportation escapee songs?
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 02:29 PM

Recently, I read a book review regarding a work called 'Tour to Hell' (by David Levell) about the 18th C. New South Wales penal colony. The focuses on the myths and beliefs of the convicts themselves rather than a history of transportation per se.

It was believed, for example, that escapees were only a week on foot away from China and such an escape plan was known as the 'China Walk'. Irish convicts believed the sheer size, inhospitality and remoteness of the place was a conspiratorial lie perpetrated by 'The Evil British Overlords'? to put them off from trying to escape, even though some escapees seem to have returned of their own volition unable to cope with the desert wilderness, dying from dehydration and exposure.

Are there any songs that touch on the ideas mentioned above or just escaping from the penal colonies generally? I know of songs about people being transported (i.e. going there) but, off the top of my head, nothing else.

Whilst writing this, I think I'd also be interested in 'prison break' type song in general too.


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 02:34 PM

There is an Irish song about a transportee escaping called 'Paddy's Trip To China', but I'm sure you are aware of it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 02:47 PM

Sorry, Jim - I don't know it! Can you point me to any lyrics or a melody? I've looked here and at TheSession.org and couldn't see any reference to it.


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 02:49 PM

Anderson's Coast - in the DT
escaped but...


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: mark gregory
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 04:47 PM

in Mudcat's song collection (from Australian Folk Songs website)

CYPRUS BRIG

Poor Tom Brown from Nottingham Jack Williams and poor Joe
They were three gallant poacher boys their country well does know
And by the laws of the Game Act that you may understand
Were fourteen years transported boys unto Van Diemen's 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 nor nor west and on we steered straight way
Till we brought her to an anchorage in a place called Research 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 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 Swallows 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


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 05:03 PM

The song Jim Carroll mentions is a modern one, written, IIRC, by Brendan Phelan. I remember the Goilin Singers publishing it on a broadsheet many years ago. Should have a copy of it somewhere....

Regards


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 05:05 PM

p.s. I particularly liked the opening, which went roughly:

"I'll sing a song, a verse or two,
A song of Asia Minor.
At least - that's where he thought he was,
When Paddy walked to China!"

Regards


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: oldhippie
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 05:22 PM

For the prison break song, try "Ol' Red" by Blake Shelton, not exactly the traditional way.


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 05:45 PM

Here's Moreton Bay in the DT

Barry


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 07:23 PM

How about The Catalpa?
@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1117

(I've just tried the Make a link ("blue clicky") facility, but Preview shows the raw HTML rather than how a link ought to appear. So, apologies if this doesn't work, but you can paste the URL anyway.)


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 02:45 AM

Sorry, can't oblige with 'Paddy's Trip to China' only heard it once; was hoping Martin (Ryan) would come galloping over the horizon.
Here are two from the excellent Irish Emigrant Ballads and Songs by Robert L Wright.
Jim Carroll

THE FENIAN'S ESCAPE
Now, boys, if you will listen to the story I'll relate,
I'll tell you of the noble men who from the foe escaped;
Though bound with Saxon fetters in the dark Australian jail.
They struck a blow for freedom, and for Yankee land set sail,
On the 17th of April last the Stars and Stripes did fly
On board the bark "Catalpa," waving proudly to the sky;
She showed the green above the red, as she did calmly lay
Prepared to take the Fenian boys in safety o'er the sea.

When Breslin and brave Desmond brought the prisoners to the shore
They gave one shout for freedom?soon to bless them evermore?
And manned by gallant hearts, they pulled toward the Yankee flag,
For well they knew, from its proud folds no tyrant could them drag.
They have nearly reached in safety the "Catalpa," taut and trim,
When fast approaching them they saw a vision dark and dim;
It was the steamer "Georgette," and on her deck there stood
One hundred hired assassins, to shed each patriot's blood.

The steamer reached the bounding bark and fired across her bow,
Then in loud voice commanded that the vessel should heave to;
But noble Captain Anthony, in thunder tones did cry:
You dare not fire a shot at that bright flag that floats on high;
My ship is sailing peacefully beneath that flag of stars,
It's manned by Irish hearts of oak, and manly Yankee tars;
And that dear emblem at the fore, so plain now to be seen,
'Tis the banner I'll protect, old Ireland's flag of green.

The Britisher he sailed away?from the stars and stripes he ran?
He knew his chance was slim to fight the boys of Uncle Sam;
So Hogan, Wilson, Harrington, with Darragh off did go,
With Hassett and bold Cranston, soon to whip the Saxon foe.
Here's luck to that noble Captain, who well these men did free,
He dared the English man-of-war to fight him on the sea.
And here's to that dear emblem which in triumph shall be seen,
The flag for which those patriots fought, dear Ireland's flag of green.


THE BALLAD OF THE CATALPA
She was a Yankee whale ship and commander
Called the Catalpa by name,
Came out to Western Australia
And stole six of our convicts away.

Chorus:
So come all you screw warders and jailers
Remember Perth regatta day;
Take care of the rest of your Fenians
Or the Yankees will take them away!

For seven long years have they served you,
And seven or more would have stayed
For defending their country, Ould Ireland,
'Twas for that they were banished away.

You kept them in Western Australia
Till their hair began to turn grey,
When a Yank from the States of America
Came out here and stole them away.

Now all the Perth boats were a-racing,
And making short tacks for the spot;
But the Yankee she tacked into Fremantle
And took the best prize of the lot.

The Georgette, well manned with bold warriors,
Went after this Yank to arrest,
But then she hoisted the star-spangled banner, Saying,
"You'd better not board me, I guess!"

Now remember these six Fenians colonial,
And sing o'er these few verses with skill,
And remember the Yankee that stole them
And the home that they left on the hill.

For they're now in the States of America,
Where all will be able to cry,
"We will hoist the green flag with the shamrock!
Hurrah for Ould Ireland we'll die!"


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 03:24 AM

Jim

I'll have a hunt for that broadsheet later today.

Regards


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 02:07 AM

Sorry for being so tardy in replying, I've been a bit short on time the last couple of days.

Thanks to everyone for their input and suggestions on this; there's some interesting songs in this thread.

One of the things that made me curious as to these songs was on what basis they might (or not) survive. They are in a strange place culturally as where do they fit in with Australia's own identity. Would songs about escaping from Australia be at odds with the way Australians see themselves now? After all, it's no longer a penal colony and a 'bad' place to be.

Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 03:23 AM

Many of these songs survived as part of British and Irish history and folk memory. After all, transportation was as much about the enforced enclosure of common land and the effect it had the rural poor of Britain; of the depopulation of the Scottish Highlands in order to graze Cheviot sheep and of the Irish Famine which uprooted millions and shipped them off to the other side of the world.
They may be Australian songs to you, but not to us on this side of the ball.
East Anglian traditional singer Harry Cox spoke of and sang the song Van Dieman's Land with as much bitterness as if it had happened to him - yesterday!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 03:52 AM

Jim Carroll wrote: "They may be Australian songs to you, but not to us on this side of the ball."

I think you're misunderstanding me and there's some wires crossed somewhere. I'm speaking of how these songs might fit in with Australia's identity, which is very different than my saying that these are specifically 'Australian songs'.

Yes, of course there's some tradition of transportation songs in the countries where people were transported from, but surely that takes a different meaning from an Australian perspective. Australians I'd assume are (rightly) proud and fond of their country, rather than seeing it as the God-forsaken destination in prison-related songs.


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 09:05 PM

Here's a link to the song that Sinsull mentioned above, Anderson's Coast by John Warner: click here for thread!

It's a fine song, with a haunting chorus and refrain.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 09:12 PM

Anderson's Coast is a brilliant song.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 01:39 PM

Can't find the "When Paddy Walked to China" song at the moment. It'll turn up again at some stage.

Regards


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 02:48 PM

Thanks again to everyone that's contributed. I like that 'Anderson's Coast' even if it's not 'of the period'; some nice words there.


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: CeltArctic
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 02:58 PM

I don't think anyone has mentioned Jim Jones. Strickly speaking, it isn't a ballad about someone escaping - rather about a convict fantasizing about escaping. Still, it's a damned good song. I learned it from Ian Robb. It's in Digitrad: JIM JONES (BOTANY BAY)


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Subject: RE: transportation escapee songs?
From: Weasel
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 03:52 PM

Isle of France?

Cheers


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