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Botany Bay
Traditional Irish Songs


Collected from Duke Tritton by John Meredith. Tritton learned the song while
busking in Sydney early 1900's. He also wrote the last verse. Second verse
is from Therese Radic's Songs of Australian Working Life

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:
Farewell to your bricks and mortar
Farewell to your dirty lime
Farewell to your gangway and gang planks
And to hell with your overtime
For the good ship Ragamuffin
She 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


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