BACK HOME IN DERRY

 

In 1803 we sailed out to sea
Out from the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound if we didn't all drown
And the marks of our fetters we carried.
In the rusty iron chains we sighed for our wains
As our good women we left in sorrow.
As the mainsails unfurled our curses we hurled
On the English and thoughts of tomorrow.

At the mouth of the foil, bid farwell to the soil
As down below decks we were lying.
O'Docherty's scream woke him out of a dream
By a vision of bold Robert dying.
The sun burned cruel and they dished out the gruel
Dan O'Connor was down with the fever
Sixty rebels that day bound for botany bay
How many would reach there this evening?

I cursed them to hell as our bow fought the swell.
Our ship danced like a moth in the firelights.
White horses rode high as the devil passed by
Taking souls to Hades by twilight.
Five weeks out to sea we were now forty-three
Our comrades we buried each morning.
In our own slime we were lost in a time.
Endless night without dawning.

Van Dieman's land is a hell for a man
To live out his life in slavery.
When the climate is raw and the gun makes the law.
Neither wind nor rain cares for bravery.
Twenty years have gone by and I've ended me bond
And comrades' ghosts are behind me.
A rebel I came and I'll die the same.
On the cold winds of night you will find me

Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry.
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry.