Tag Archives: sea song

A ballad of the transports

An angry ballad from the era of the transports – when criminals were sent by ship to Australia to provide free labour rather than imprisoning them at home. It was a particularly hard punishment, for not only was the work damned hard, but it often meant the individual would never see their families, partners and friends again. But I suppose it made money for someone…

The singer and musician here is Geoffrey Lakeman, friend of our golden-voiced chum Jim Causley.

If you’d like to know more about the transports, the Wikipedia has a good page here. It includes this rather fine contemporary of engraving of 1792 showing women mourning the loss of their husbands through being shipped to Australia as a punishment.

Black-eyed_Sue_and_Sweet_Poll_of_Plymouth_taking_leave_of_their_lovers_who_are_going_to_Botany_Bay

Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold

A little song about a couple of sailors I learned from a recording of Sarah Makem – the mother of Irish singing star Tommy Makem.