Anonymous Oceania

Jim Jones - Poem by Anonymous Oceania

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"

The winds blew high upon the sea, and the pirates come along,
but the soldiers on our convict ship were full five hundred strong,
they opened fire and somehow drove that pirate ship away.
I'd have rather joined that pirate ship than come to Botany Bay.

For night and day, the irons clang, and like poor galley slaves
we toil, and toil and when we die must fill dishonoured graves.
But by and by I'll break my chains; into the bush I'll go
and join the brave bushrangers there - Jack Donohoo and Co.
and some dark night when everything is silent in the town
I'll kill the tyrants one and all and shoot the floggers down;
I'll give the law a little shock; remember what I say,
They'll yet regret they sent Jim Jones in chains to Botany Bay.

Comments about Jim Jones by Anonymous Oceania

  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/1/2016 11:30:00 AM)

    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.
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: remember, sea, tree, fire, dark, night, soldier, wind

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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