Friday, 16 November 2012

Australian Folksong - Moreton Bay

Also known as 'The Convicts' Lament on the Death of Captain Logan,' this ballad is about the Moreton Bay Penal Colony - which was set up in Queensland in the early 1800's in what is now the Brisbane area - and in particular the notorious Captain Logan.
Apparently Ned Kelly quoted some lines of this ballad  in his Jerilderie Letter in 1879.



The Logan City Library in Queensland has this information on Captain Logan:

Captain Patrick Logan 1791-1830


The Journal of Captain Patrick Logan

Moreton Bay

One Sunday morning as I went walking
By Brisbane waters I chanced to stray
I heard a convict his fate bewailing
As on the sunny river bank I lay
I am a native from Erin's island
But banished now from my native shore
They stole me from my aged parents
And from the maiden I do adore

I've been a prisoner at Port Macquarie
At Norfolk Island and Emu Plains
At Castle Hill and at cursed Toongabbie
At all these settlements I've been in chains
But of all places of condemnation
And penal stations in New South Wales
To Moreton Bay I have found no equal
Excessive tyranny each day prevails

For three long years I was beastly treated
And heavy irons on my legs I wore
My back from flogging was lacerated
And oft times painted with my crimson gore
And many a man from downright starvation
Lies mouldering now underneath the clay
And Captain Logan he had us mangled
All at the triangles of Moreton Bay

Like the Egyptians and ancient Hebrews
We were oppressed under Logan's yoke
Till a native black lying there in ambush
Did deal this tyrant his mortal stroke
My fellow prisoners be exhilarated
That all such monsters such a death may find
And when from bondage we are liberated
Our former sufferings will fade from mind



Sheet music and some  more information here. 

Another version of Moreton Bay


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