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Wylde Nept: Music & Lyrics

South Australia/Wild Colonial Boy

(Wylde Nept)
2005
Traditional | Adapted by Jon Southwood & George Curtis

It’s alleged by some historians that Wylde Colonial Boy began as satire for a harsh sentence against a boy’s mild criminal activity. (He stole a horse and some sixpence.) But what’s most appealing to us – it’s supposed to be the last song the notorious Ned Kelly ever heard.

In South Australia I was born
Heave away, haul away
South Australia ‘round Cape Horn
Bound for South Australia
 
Haul away you rollin’ kings
Heave away, haul away
All the way you’ll hear me sing
Bound for South Australia
 
There was a wylde colonial boy
Jack Doolan was his name
Stowed away for Australia
Where he chose to make his fame
They put him in an iron gang
In the government employ
But ne’er an iron on this earth
held the wylde colonial boy
 
Forsaking means of honest toil
To earn his daily bread
There on Australia’s sunny shores
A bushranger’s life he led
To help the poor he robbed the rich
He robbed judge MacAvoy
Who trembling cold, gave up his gold
To the wylde colonial boy
 
He bade the judge good morning
And he told him to beware
He’d never rob a needy man
Or one who acted square
But a judge who’d rob a mother of
Her only pride and joy
Sure he must be a worse outlaw than
The wylde colonial boy
 
South Australia my native land
Heave away, haul away
Full of rocks and thieves and fleas and sand
Bound for South Australia
 
Haul away you rollin’ kings
Heave away, haul away
All the way you’ll hear me sing
Bound for South Australia
 
As I walked out one morning fair
Heave away, haul away
It’s there I met Miss Nancy Blair
Bound for South Australia
 
Haul away you rollin’ kings
Heave away, haul away
All the way you’ll hear me sing
Bound for South Australia
 
One day as Jack was riding
The mountain side along
a-listening to the little birds
their laughing, happy songs
three mounted troopers did appear
Kelly, Davis, and Fitzroy
With a warrant for the capture of
The wylde colonial boy
 
“Surrender now, Jack Doolan!
For you see it’s three to one.
Surrender in the Queen’s own name
For the plundering you’ve done!”
Jack drew a pistol from his side
And he waved it like a toy,
“I’ll fight! But not surrender!”
Cried the wylde colonial boy
 
He quickly turned to Davis
And he shot him through the thigh
Then he took aim for Kelly’s brain
But he missed that lucky guy!
The shot returned by Davis
Did not give Jack any joy!
All shattered through the jaw he lay
The wylde colonial boy.
 
He fired at trooper Kelly
And he brought him to the ground,
And in return from Davis
he received his mortal wound.
His proud young heart
Lie tore apart
Still firing at Fitzroy
And that’s the way they captured him
The wylde colonial boy.
 
It’s back again to Liverpool
Heave away, haul away
Spend me pay like a bloody fool
We’re bound for South Australia
 
Haul away you rollin’ kings
Heave away, haul away
All the way you’ll hear me sing
We’re bound for South Australia
 
And as you wallop around Cape Horn
Heave away, haul away
You’ll wish to Christ you’d ne’er been born
Bound for South Australia
 
Haul away you rollin’ kings
Heave away, haul away
All the way you’ll hear me sing
Bound for South Australia
 
There ain’t one thing that grieves me mind
Heave away, haul away
It’s leavin’ Nancy Blair behind
Bound for South Australia
 
Haul away you rollin’ kings
Heave away, haul away
All the way you’ll hear me sing
Bound for South Australia