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Stewie Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia (959* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 22 Oct 20


BLACK SHEEP
(W.Ogilvie/G.Jenkin)

They shepherd the black sheep down to the ships
Society's banned and cursed
And the boys look back as the old land dips
Some with a reckless laugh on their lips
And some with a prayer reversed

Chorus:
And it's goodbye England, farewell love
Maybe it's just as well
When a man falls short of his heaven above
That he drops to the uttermost hell

Now the anchor lifts and the sails are set
Now God to your help, black sheep
For the gay world laughs, 'They will soon forget'
But fired with the embers of old regret
The brand of the world bites deep

Chorus

They turn the black sheep over the side
To land on a stranger's shore
To drift with the cities' human tide
Or wander away where the rovers ride
And the flagless legions war

Chorus

They bury the black sheep out in the bush
And they bury them none too deep
By the cattle camp or the last gold rush
And the grass grows over them deep and lush
And the bush winds sing them to sleep

Final chorus:
And it's goodbye sorrow, farewell strife
Maybe it's just as well
When a man goes down in the battle of life
Then he shortens his road to hell

Graham Jenkin put a tune to this Ogilvie poem - pp56-57 'Great Australian Balladists'. Note by Jenkin:

Black sheep were young Britons who had disgraced themselves in one way or another, and who were sent as far away as possible in order that they may not bring further disgrace on the family. Australia, being at the opposite end of the world to Britain, was an ideal dumping ground, just as it had been for convicts before them. The black sheep, unlike most of the convicts, came from the wealthy classes and were referred to as 'remittance men' because many of them received a regular remittance from their families as payment for staying here. Although Ogilvie was a migrant, he was not a black sheep. Harry Morant was, and so was Adam Lindsay Gordon.

--Stewie.


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