To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9340
11 messages

Lyr Req: Shores of Botany Bay (Makem & Clancy)

25 Feb 99 - 09:34 AM (#60187)
Subject: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: Treas (inactive)

Have been trying to figure out the lyrics to Botany Bay as done by Maken & Clancy. I have the Album "The Makem & Clancy Concert" but have been unable to decipher the lyrics to this particular song. Could anyone help please?


25 Feb 99 - 02:16 PM (#60228)
Subject: RE: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Treas - there are at least three versions of this song in the Digital Tradition Database. Put [Botany Bay] in square brackets in the search box on this page, and take a look. If none of those are what you're looking for, post what you know here in this thread, and we'll try to help you with the rest.
-Joe Offer-


25 Feb 99 - 04:25 PM (#60247)
Subject: RE: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: Treas (inactive)

Hi Joe, Yes I did check the Digital Tradition Database and unfortunately, none of those are the correct lyrics. Here is part of what I do know...

Farewell to your drinks and ____? Farewell to your diry lying Farewell to your _____ and gangplanks And to hell with your overtime The good ship Ragamuffin is lying on the quay

*cant make out the next few lines at all To the shores of Botany Bay

It goes on from there but the accent is so thick that I can't even guess at most of the words. Thanks for your help.


25 Feb 99 - 04:32 PM (#60252)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SHORES OF BOTANY BAY
From: MMario

That would probably be THIS version then?

Farewell to your bricks and mortar. Farewell to your dirty lies.
Farewell to your gangways and your gangplanks, and to hell with your overtime,
For the good ship Ragamuffin is lying at the quay,
For to take poor Pat with a shovel on his back to the shores of Botany Bay.

Well, I'm on my way down to the quay, where the ship at anchor lays,
To command a gang of navvies that I was told to engage.
I stopped in for to drink awhile before I go away
For to take a trip on an emigrant ship to the shores of Botany Bay.

Well, the boss came up this morning, and he said, "Well, now, Pat, you know,
If you didn't get those navvies out, I'm afraid you'll have to go."
So I asked him for my wages and demanded all my pay,
And I told him straight, I'm gonna emigrate to the shores of Botany Bay.

And when I reach Australia, I'll go and search for gold.
There's plenty there for a-digging, or so I have been told.
Or else, I'll go back to my trade and a hundred bricks I'll lay,
Because I live for an eight-hour shift on the shores of Botany Bay.

MMario


25 Feb 99 - 04:52 PM (#60255)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SHORES OF BOTANY BAY
From: Bob Bolton

G'day Treas,

Aha ... what you want is not 'Botany Bay' but 'The Shores of Botany Bay'. I would have the words and music on a MusicTime file ... at home! The song was first published in the Bush Music Club's 1950s - 1960s magazine 'Singabout' and is in my anthology 'Singabout - Reprints', Bush Music Club, 1985.

The verse (actually the chorus) that you quote is actually (at least, as originally sung by HPC 'Duke' Tritton in ~ 1962):

CHORUS: Farewell to your bricks and mortar, farewell to your dirty lime,
Farewell to your gangway and gangplanks and farewell to your overtime.
The good ship Ragamuffin is a-lying at the quay
For to take old Pat, with a shovel on his back,
To the shores of Botany Bay.

VERSE 1: I'm on my way down to the quay, where a big ship now does lay,
To take a gang of navvies, I was ordered to engage.
I thought I might drop in for a drink, before I went away,
For to take a trip, on an immigrant ship,
To the shores of Botany Bay. CHORUS

VERSE 2: The boss came up this morning and he says, "Well, Pat, hello
If you do not mix that mortar fast, of course you'll have to go!"
Of course, he did insult me and I demanded all my pay
And I told him straight, I was goin' to emigrate,
To the shores of Botany Bay. CHORUS

VERSE 3 (added by 'Duke'):
And when I reach Australia, I'll go and search for gold,
There's plenty there for diggin' up, or so I have been told.
Or else I might go back to my trade, eight hundred bricks I'll lay,
In an 8-hour day, for an 8 bob pay,
On the shores of Botany Bay.

This third verse refers to the slogan of the Bricklayers' and masons' unions in the fight for shorter working hours, late last century: "8 hours work, 8 hours sleep, 8 hours play and 8 shillings pay".

A couple of extra verses have been added in recent years, but these are 'Duke' Tritton's original three, as I learnt them around 1964. I will look up the music file and repost the words (not my memory of them) and ABC/MIDI, next week.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


25 Feb 99 - 05:01 PM (#60258)
Subject: RE: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: SeanM

I've also heard (and seen/sung) a version where the chorus reads: 'Farewell to your gangers and your gangplanks', with the rest the same... It was explained that this was also part of the fight for better working hours, as the 'gangs' were apparently low skilled, lower payed workers brought in to do work regardless of the length of shift or quality needed.

M


26 Feb 99 - 10:11 AM (#60402)
Subject: RE: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON

It was my understainding that "gangers" was a slang name for bosses or foremen.

Jack


26 Feb 99 - 10:48 PM (#60539)
Subject: RE: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: Treas (inactive)

WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO...Yes!! That is the song I was looking for! :) Thanks to everyone for all the help!

Treas


28 Feb 99 - 05:03 PM (#60757)
Subject: RE: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: Bob Bolton

G'day again Treas,

This is the song The Shores of Botany Bay, which was collected from H.P.C. 'Duke' Tritton in the mid 1950s. The original had 2 verses and a chorus and, sometime later, 'Duke' wrote his own third verse to round it out. The original was published in Singabout magazine vol. 2, #3, p3 - December 1957. The additional verse crept into use within the Bush Music Club and was published in Singabout magazine vol. 3, #2, p17, 1967. A composite version is in my book Singabout - Selected Reprints, Ed. Bob Bolton, Bush Music Club, Sydney, 1985.

I presume that the Australian song was taken back to UK in the 1960s, by performers such as Martyn Wyndham-Read, and passed on by something between folk process and osmosis until it took up residence with Irish groups who recognised its Irish ancestry. An intriguing example of the same process was seen in Mudcat last year in a thread enquiring after a song called Cock of the North. This was not the well-known Scots song but a folk-processed version of Australian Poet Dorothy Hewitt's The Sailor Home from the Sea (starting with the words "Oh, cock of the morning, with a dream in his hand ...") which Martyn always sang as "Oh, cock of the north ..." and we saw some incredible folk-processed changes as more versions were posted, full of substitutions for the Australian geographical and local references that were incomprehensible on the other side of the globe!

When The Shores of Botany Bay was published, 'Duke' was quoted as saying that he had heard a song of the same tune, called The Shores of Amerikay. Neither the tune nor the song structure have any resemblance to the various versions I know of The Shores of Amerikay so I must assume that 'Duke' had in mind some other song or a version I have not heard. It does strike me that there are some resemblances to Irish(?) music Hall songs of the American Gold Rush era such as Muirsheen Durkin and perhaps it was one these that led to this song.

I have posted the original words from Singabout (as against those that I remembered when I typed them to this thread on Friday ... perhaps another study in the folk process) to a new thread: LYR ADD: Shores of Botany Bay.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


19 Feb 00 - 08:28 PM (#181396)
Subject: RE: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: paddyc

Does anybody have the tabs for this song?


20 Feb 00 - 01:24 AM (#181525)
Subject: RE: Botany Bay as done by Makem & Clancy
From: GUEST,Bob B olton('s home computer)

Ah! ... G'day again Brennan on the Moor,

I see we were at least thinking of the same song. I guess I can't help you with tablature - the song as I know it from Duke' is a singer's song ... sung, not played. Duke was a traditional unaccompanied singer and believed that anything that interfered with the words, interfered with the song.

He always told us young revival folkies of the '60s; "If the bloke in the back row doesn't hear the fifth word in the fourth line - you've mucked the song up!". Of course we went ahead and played untraditional instruments, like guitars, anyway but it is worth remembering when you are singing ... and when you are playing instrumentals.

Regards,

Bob Bolton