Love-Song-Circus

Louise
My beloved was taken ill he did not make it through
My 3 young boys are all i have now

We travelled cross the channel for promise of a better life
No such life was ours to be had

Our hunger was so great a loaf of bread I take
And soon the hands of law struck me down

The judge believed my boys were fit to strive alone
And hung a term of 7 years  around my neck

In squalid filthy rank I travelled 4 months on the rough seas
Made only rougher by the hand of men

Sent to Hobart town to stare my sentence down
I worked all day as the settlers fortunes grew

My boys are young men now, my grief can not be told
Oh how I long to hold their face

This valley of death so cold and bitter
A lonely, sad, cold life for me here

But soon the sun shone and my unpaid work was done
I left these bitter walls a free woman

My heart once sorely closed opened once again
And so my story ends

A new path shines for me a future I can feel
Where happiness is somehow waiting for me

Esther
I stole two piece of lace it was a short fall from grace
15 years old, a child sent away
A child I was but a mother to be as well
Newgate Gaol walls my babies’s first home

New South Wales bound on the Lady Penryhn we were
Below the water line, 100 women, my daughter and I
16,000 miles, 8 months this dark , dank hole
Starvation and disease knocking at our door

This is a woman’s story in a man’s time
This is a gentle face in a brute world

Then I saw your eyes, kindsp and fair blue
A Lieutenant above the decks but by cape town our love was true
But the sadness in this land runs so deep
In the penal hell hole I strive to make my home

But as the corpses pile high, our blessings are many
7 children, a home and a farm
Though charged with mutiny, here I am free
And almost 30 years since we met, I finally marry thee

This is a woman’s story in a man’s time
This is a gentle face in a brute world

Leaden Hearts
What is this place how hard is my fate?
How galling this chain round my neck?
Now I am bound to slavery
‘Til I regain my liberty

Once i was a tender child on my mother’s knee
But now I am prison bound for slavery
No pen can write, no tongue can tell
The aching heart that bids farewell
Forget me not

When this you see, remember me
Though many miles we distant be
When this you see, remember me
When this you see, remember me
Please bear me in your mind
I’ll love til death shall stop my breath

Weep not for me with this heavy heart
I am confined here with grief
Though time may fly and hopes may die
And joyful dreams may set, you I’ll never forget

May time roll on, quick though it flew
My love’s constant true to you
‘Til I am free and me you see
No pen can write, no tongue can tell
The aching heart that bids farewell
Forget me not

When this you see, remember
Though many miles we distant be
When this you see, remember me
When this you see, remember me
Let not absence banish our love
Cause I’ll love til death shall stop my breath
I’ll love til death shall stop my breath

Ellen
Holy Willie you think you’re so great
While you postulate about our fate
With your bible in hand, think you’re lord of the land
You’ve no scripture for me mate

The hell of this wash hole is mighty
So at night we might get a bit flighty
But what good is boredom and silence all day
I think we’ve a right to play!

Oh I know we live on the edge of a knife
And the risk of solitary is nigh
But stuff it the gaurds can be bought with rum
Even us devils need some fun

So we dance at the base of the mountain
Maybe nude sure we’ve all seen it before
Sisters of sorrow, we say ‘stuff tomorrow’
Let’s dance, drink and then dance some more

So just what makes you think you’re so holy
Does your wife know you’re horny as hell
Compared with you, I’m a saint, so while in this pew
I bare my ass and say ‘stuff you’

Oh I know we live on the edge of a knife
And the risk of solitary is nigh
But stuff it the gaurds can be bought with rum
Even us devils need some fun

For that mooning I got 30 days
In a cell only 6 feet by 4
But I’d do it again in the blink of an eye
For what else if this hell-hole life for?

Sure I’m a rebel from way back
I’m a limerick girl didn’t you know?
But when singing is sin I’ve no choice to give in
These bastard laws just stoop too low

Oh I know we live on the edge of a knife
And the risk of solitary is nigh
But stuff it the gaurds can be bought with rum
Even us devils need some fun

Jane
(* suicided just past the cape of good hope – according to records kept by john gedes missionary to the south seas.)

Please don’t push me one more time into this hole
No light and no air
I can’t bear to go back there he uses me
I’m the bone he’s the dog
Wooden collar round my neck
All day
Push me one more time
I swear I’ll jump
Please I beg you, let me be, I am not safe
Try imagine me as yours
This floating prison beats me down round by round
I’ve lost all hope
As we round the cape of ‘good hope’
I jump off to my watery grave
God please take me into your loving arms
I’ve come home

Janet
My little one, I’ve had to send you away
To the nursery while I work 14 hours a day
In the crime class, washing in the freezing cold
Day after day

My crime in the eyes of the law
Was to lie in the bed of the man I adored
Well atleast you were made from love
Not like so many poor girls here
Please stay strong without your mother’s touch
If I could i’d break every wall between you and I
But I can’t let them drive me mad
Cause now I have you to live for
Everything’s changed, thank god it’s not like before
When all hope was gone
My little one, atleast for now you’re near me
I’m 2 yards away, can you feel my heart it beats for you
In 5 years I’ll come and get you
And we’ll start a new life
To the orphanage you will go when you turn 3
Where you’ll still have to wait for me
But with each breath we breathe
We survive a little more
Please stay strong without your mother’s touch
If I could I’d break every wall between you and I
But I can’t let them drive me mad
Cause now I have you two to live for
Everything’s changed, thank God it’s not like before
When I couldn’t see a future for me
My little one if all goes well
On sundays for a short while I can hold you
But between these times I’ll just count the steps
Til I see your face
Please stay strong without your mother’s touch
If I could I’d break every wall between you and I
But I can’t let them drive me mad
Cause now I have you to live for
Everything’s changed, thank God it’s not like before
When all hope was lost

Little one, your mother love’s you, little one
Little one, your mother love’s you, little one

Mary
When James the young boy died, I stole his clothes to hide
So I could escape this workhouse orphanage

1791, nothing to do but run
So I cut off my hair and stole a horse to flee
Salford town, the law they tracked me down
And in this prison cell I sit as a boy

My gender soon found, i’m bought to the dock as mary
And sentenced to hang by the neck ‘til i’m dead
But luck soon intervened so my fate was to sail
On the Royal Admiral to Sydney Cove

I disguised myself again , to protect me from the men
Now 15 I arrive in this brave new world
With my learning history, I’m not sent to the factories
‘Tis my first of many blessings in this land

Soon more good fortune, thomas reibey fell for me
And on the first day of spring of 94 we wed
We’ve comes from shared paths – he’s a bastard son, I’m an orphan
Now emancipated we start our family

This colony’s our home and a blessed on at that
Our wealth grows as we go from strength to strength
Virtue, hard work and liberty tis all you need
This is a city of women, we make it and define it

A widow with 7 children, I run the business and the home
And though grief has scarred my life I stand strong
I’m proud of my life, i’ve achieved more than i dreamed
In this new land of prosperity

I leave this life free with my wealth and my family
Though the road was rough and long, I stand strong