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GUEST,AMC Lyr Req: Songs about deportation to Australia. (46) Lyr Add: MARY PARKER'S LAMENT 30 May 06

(Judy Small)

There's a little more grey in my hair nowadays
As I sit here watching my grandchildren play,
And I wonder if they have the faintest idea
Of the life that their grandmother knew.

CHORUS: It's oh and alas for you, Mary my girl,
To be torn from the life you knew half round the world
And never again to see home.

It was back in the eighties, a younger girl then,
With my auburn hair flashing, I'd walk with my man,
And he'd tell me the places he would take me to see,
If only that he had the means.

But then I was with child and I saw him no more.
At the pain of our parting, I thought I should die;
And I stole from my master some blankets and some cloth
Just to keep me and baby alive.

But 'twas all for a'nought, for the baby he died.
It felt like a part of me perished inside;
And for stealing I was sent as a transport to sea,
Never knowing for where I was bound.

Seven long years was the sentence I bore.
It felt like a lifetime as I came ashore;
And I wept when I saw the life waiting for me
As a chattel, a whore and a slave.

So I married a convict, the safer to be
From the soldiers and the freed men who chased after me;
And for seven long years we did work for our keep,
Ever dreaming of England and home.

And the children I bore were the joy of my days.
I longed for my mother to see them at play;
And our hands grew rough from the scrubbing and the dirt;
And the sun turned our fair skins to brown.

Then on ticket of leave we were granted some land.
We worked it and ploughed it by sweat of our hands,
And forgot about England except in our dreams.
We called New South Wales our true home.

And now here I sit watching my grandchildren play,
And looking back over the length of my days,
And it's clear in my mind is the Plymouth I knew,
And I weep for my mother again.

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