Week 6 – Australia

This is a song from the Suffolk singer, Bob Hart. I learned it from Roy Palmer’s book,  The Everyman’s Book of English Country Songs, although I subsequently heard it on the Topic LP Songs from Suffolk.

A different recording can be heard on Musical Traditions MTCD301 Bob Hart: A Broadside.

It is clearly a later rewrite of the song ‘Virginny’ which Martin Carthy recorded on his album Crown of Horn, but the change of destination lacks some historical accuracy. As Rod Stradling explains in his notes to the Musical Traditions CD, most transportation songs concern poaching rather than highway robbery; for the simple reason that in the eighteenth century highwaymen were transported to Virginia, while in the nineteenth century the punishment was hanging.


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