Joe Jencks

The Lady Juliana

from Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers


Sit down beside me Elizabeth Rose

I’ve a story to tell

It’s worth the saying, Elizabeth Rose

Worth the hearing as well

This was not my first home, as well you may know

I was born far away

First set my foot here long ages ago

Seventy years to the day

What I recall of the London Streets

In the year Seventeen Eighty Nine

There was no shelter, little to eat

There was nothing that I could call mine

Apprehended for stealing another girl’s clothes

I was sentenced to sail away

Not twelve years old then, Elizabeth Rose

No older than you are today

Chorus:

I remember the day we sailed away

On the Lady Juliana

It was the whole world to the young Mary Wade

Before we made land in Australia

So we set sail for the end of the world

First ship of the second fleet

A cargo of convicts, all women and girls

Dredged from the city streets

Most had been prostitutes, pickpockets, thieves

Who lived by their wits alone

Though every one had reason to grieve

None of us wept for our home

Though my small crime had brought little more

Than the price of one loaf of bread

If not for the whim of the mad King George

I’d have gone to the gallows instead

And had we stayed, we all would have paid

That same terrible cost

But we landed alive, most did survive,

Only five souls had been lost

Well they may judge us in England today

As the rabble they swept from their land

But I’ll leave it to God on my reckoning day

To say where the fault truly stands

No matter how we try to pretend

We are savage just under our skin

As we see very well in the fine-mannered men

In the court of the English King

The rule of the sea and the law of the land

Are different, as everyone knows

And the oldest profession is much in demand

And so we fared far better than most

Though it is rare for fortune to smile

On those who reach Botany Bay

For Elizabeth Rose, my granddaughter's child

Life is better today

I remember the day we sailed away on the Lady Juliana

It was a new world for the young Mary Wade the day we made land in Australia

© 2014 - Kat Eggleston, Paperboat Music, BMI

updated: 6 months ago