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Catalpa A noble whale ship and commander Called the Catalpa, they say Came out to Western Australia And took six poor Fenians away cho: So come all you screw warders and jailers Remember Perth regatta day Take care of the rest of your Fenians Or the Yankees will steal them away Seven long years had they served here And seven long more had to stay For defending their country Old Ireland For that they were banished away You kept them in Western Australia Till their hair began to turn grey When a Yank from the States of America Came out here and stole them away Now all the Perth boats were a-racing And making short tacks for the spot But the Yankee she tacked into Fremantle And took the best prize of the lot The Georgette armed with bold warriors Went out the poor Yanks to arrest But she hoisted her star-spangled banner Saying you'll not board me I guess So remember those six Fenians colonial And sing o'er these few verses with skill And remember the Yankee that stole them And the home that they left on the hill Now they've landed safe in America And there will be able to cry Hoist up the green flag and shamrock Hurrah for old Ireland we'll die --------------------------------------------------------------------------- First published in Three Street Ballads in 1957 This version was collected by Russel Ward from Victor Courtney a journalist on the Sunday Times, Perth, Western Australia, who commented, "I remember in my early days as a cadet hearing a band of old boys in a pub in Fremantle singing this song. It is said that the song became so popular that it was banned by the authority of the day and jail was threatened to anyone caught singing it. It was suggested, too, that the escape was made easy because there was plenty of American gold and some of it was placed in the hands of unscrupulous warders. The incident took place in April 1876." The escape of the six Fenians from Freemantle Jail was funded by collections in Australia and the United States. Over three thousand pounds was collected in Australia. Several tunes are associated with this song, including tunes used for 'Botany Bay' and 'The Dying Stockman' MG apr97
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!