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Stonehouse Bay

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Performer: Booth, Jackie
Place Collected: Stroud
Date collected: 1979 (19 Nov)
Collector: Davies, Gwilym

This is parody of a song variously known as “The Good Ship Ragamuffin” or “Botany Bay” about an Irishman (Pat) going out on an emigrant ship to Australia, the local joke being, of course that Stonehouse is many miles from any sea. A set of words, which may or not be the original, are as follows:

I’m on my way down to the quay, where the ship at anchor lays
To command a gang of navvys, that they told me to engage
I thought I’d drop in for a drink before I went away
For to take a trip on an emigrant ship to the shores of Botany Bay


Farewell to your bricks and mortar, farewell to your dirty lies
Farewell to your gangers and gang planks
And to hell with your overtime
For the good ship Ragamuffin, she’s lying at the quay
For to take oul Pat with a shovel on his back
To the shores of Botany Bay

The boss came up this morning, he says “Well, Pat you know
If you don’t get your navvys out, I’m afraid you’ll have to go”
So I asked him for my wages and demanded all my pay
For I told him straight, I’m going to emigrate to the shores of Botany Bay


And when I reach Australia I’ll go and look for gold
There’s plenty there for the digging of, or so I have been told
Or else I’ll go back to my trade and a hundred bricks I’ll lay
Because I live for an eight hour shift on the shores of Botany Bay


Notes by Gwilym Davies 25 June 2015