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Jim Jones

Rating: 2.6

O, listen for a moment lads, and hear me tell my tale-
how o'er the sea from England's shore I was compelled to sail.
The jury said, "He's guilty Sir," and says the judge, says he-
"For life Jim Jones, I'm sending you across the stormy sea;
and take my tip before you ship to join the iron-gang.
don't be too gay at Botany Bay, or else you'll surely hang-
Or else you'll hang" he says, says he- "and after that Jim Jones,
high up upon the gallows-tree the crows will pick your bones-
You'll have no chance for mischeif then; remember what I say,
They'll flog the poaching out of you, out there at Botany Bay"

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Fabrizio Frosini 01 January 2016

This is the most defiant of the transport ballads. Russel Ward writes of the song: ''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''. Frank Clune in hisWild Colonial Boys has the bushranger Ben Hall singing 'Jim Jones' to an appreciative audience. Although not collected in the field the song has had a remarkable new life since the 1950's, often sung where a song of defiance is called for.

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