Henry's Songbook

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The Whitby Lad

  • (Trad)

    Son oh son what have you done
    You're bound for Botany Bay

    Now come all you wild and you reckless youths wherever that you be
    I would have you quit night-walking and shun bad company
    And it's

    I was born and bred in Whitby town and raised up honestly
    Until I became a sporting lad which proved my destiny
    And it's

    I broke into some lady's house about the hour of three
    Two peelers stood behind the door and they got quick hold of me

    It bein' at the March assizes the judge to me did say
    Now the jury has found you guilty, lad, you must go to Botany Bay
    And it's

    Oh to see me aged father a-trembling at the bar
    Likewise my own dear mother, she 's a-tearing her grey hair

    It bein' on the twenty-third of March from England bore away
    And as we sailed down the Humber we heard the sailors there

    Second chorus:
    Boys oh boys there are no joys
    Down there in Botany Bay

    Now there is a girl in Whitby town, a girl I love so well
    And if ever I get me liberty it's with her I will dwell
    And it's

    (as sung by The Watersons)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1966:] A big family of highwaymen and poacher songs interbred with a family of transportation songs to produce a large number of offspring all resembling each other closely. A central feature of them all is the lamentation of the aged parents. The Whitby Lad was colleted from Mr. W. F. Verril of Staithes some sixty years ago by R. A. Gatty. In other versions the young transportee comes from other parts and sails down other rivers than the Humber. On the face of it the song is modest enough but it has exercised a powerful interest on singers and hearers alike and versions of it quickly became common in Scotland, Ireland and America (where it still flourishes under such titles as The Boston Burglar or The Jail at Morgantown). (A. L. Lloyd, notes The Watersons, 'A Yorkshire Garland')

  • [1972:] Similar lyrics, the chorus being a verse, given as Botany Bay, version 2 in Edwards, Overlander 10ff

  • See also

Quelle: England

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aktualisiert am 5.06.2002