Farewell to Old England forever,
Farewell to my rum-culls as well,
Farewell to well-known Old Bailley
Where I used to cut such a swell.
We’re all bound for Botany Bay
There’s the captain as is our commander,
The bosun and all the ship’s crew,
The first and the second class passengers
Know what we poor convicts goes through.
It aint leaving Old England we cares about,
T’aint cause we misspells what we knows,
It’s just that us light-fingered gentry
Hops around with a log on our toes.
It’s seven long years I’ve been serving,
And seven long more have to stay,
For bashing a cop in our alley,
And stealing his truncheon away.
Oh, if I had the wings of a turtle-dove
I’d soar on my pinions so high,
Slap-bang to the arms of my Polly-love,
And on her sweet bosom I’d die.
Now all you young dookies and duchesses,
Take warning at what I do say,
Mind all is your own as you toucheses,
Or you’ll join us in Botany Bay.
The Australian Literature Review