Botany Bay (song)

Botany Bay (Song)

Botany Bay (song)

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"Botany Bay" is a song from the musical burlesque, Little Jack Sheppard, a comedy staged in London, England, in 1885 and Melbourne, Australia, in 1886. The show was written by Henry Pottinger Stephens and William Yardley, though the music for "Botany Bay" was written by Florian Pascal, The song shares two verses with Fairwell to Judges and Juries which had been performed in 1820.

Botany Bay was the designated settlement for the first fleet when it arrived in Australia in the eighteenth century. It was a settlement intended for the transport of convicts to Australia. The song describes the period in the late 18th and 19th centuries, when British convicts were deported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government for seven-year terms as an alternative to incarceration in Britain. The second verse is about life on the convict ships, and the last verse is directed to English girls and boys as warning not to steal.

After the production of Little Jack Sheppard, the song became a popular folk song and has been sung and recorded by Burl Ives,

The song is referenced in various...
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