Happy Tassy: A Long Way after Little Jack Sheppard [song, 5 September 1896]

[Editor: A sarcastic Tasmanian song (adapted from the popular song “Botany Bay”, from the stage show “Little Jack Sheppard”, 1885). Published in The Clipper, 5 September 1896.]

Happy Tassy.

A Long Way after Little Jack Sheppard.

We’re abiding in prosperous Tasmania,
The land of the happy and free;
Where the poor man can revel in plenty
And have heaps of good things don’t you see.
Let us chirrip its praises right merrily,
As they used to of old so they say;
When they sailed o’er the ocean so cheerily,
On their voyage to Botany Bay.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
We’re ten times well off in Tasmania
Than they were out in Botany Bay.

Sassiety here is the purest,
And the worker has plenty to get;
Here each one is good to his neighbor
And morals are saintly you bet.
No one gets drunk or disorderly,
Here the sun never ceases to shine;
And roast pigs stand up at the corners
Begging for some one to dine.

Singing tooral li ooral li addily,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
We’re Paradise chicks in Tasmania
Much better than Botany Bay.

We’ve a Parliament grandly loquacious,
Composed of the brains of the land;
If at times they’re a bit ostentatious
They’re ‘gentlemen’ please understand.
They never show pride or resentment,
Nor quarrel or naughty things say;
But in brotherly love and contentment
Make life a Celestial day.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
Like two houses of amateur Angels
They’d be lost out at Botany Bay.

Our daily newspapers are purity,
Open and fearless and free;
Their brilliancy is of a surety,
A thing most delicious to see.
Their columns are honest and truthful,
Delightful to read every day;
Never lying or misrepresenting —
Oh, nothing like that anyway.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
Tasmanian newspapers are dove-like,
Not the sort out at Botany Bay.

There is no such thing as a pauper,
We never had soup-kitchen hash,
For “toffs,” as they call them, are gentle,
And not the least mean with the cash.
Oh, they’re kind and benevolent always,
And give every day with both hands;
They don’t know the meaning of mortgage,
And don’t hanker after the lands.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooml li ay;
Oh, the swell push is gentle and lovin’,
Not like them at Botany Bay.

We’ve a council of several aldermen,
Incorruptible every one;
Who sacrifice all for the citizens,
And never stop once they’re begun.
They flush all our gutters out daily,
And keep them most spotlessly clean,
Especially the mouth of our rivulet,
The sweetest place ever was seen.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
There isn’t a stink in all Hobart
Like they’ve got round at Botany Bay.

We don’t give a Government subsidy
To people with plenty of stuff,
Nor keep a torpedo commander
And a corps that is hardly enough
To be even the least ornamental
If an enemy came by the way —
Not a bit. Lord bless us, we’re dreaming
Of the capers at Botany Bay.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
And they don’t run a ferry to down us
As they do out at Botany Bay.

Oh, there isn’t a lawyer in Tassy
Who would grab for a sixpenny fee;
Or would turn on his client and jew him
For “interest” or something maybe.
And there ne’er was a jury empannelled,
Or a J.P. who went into court
But honest and straight as a lamppost,
They just did the things as they ought.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
Oh, they never pack benches in Tassy
Like they do out at Botany Bay.

There’s a liberal paper, The Clipper,
Which speaks to the people alone,
And the upper crust fondly adores it,
Whilst admiring its style and its tone.
They are going to give it a subsidy,
With knighthood they’ll honor the staff;
Turn the editor into a bishop,
For they love every piece of its chaff.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
They always look after the worker
Not the style out in Botany Bay.

The woes of the people are ever
First considered by persons in power.
They’d give up their last penny copper,
And rain down the gold in a shower.
There are no plural votes at elections,
But instead it’s a vote to a man;
No bribing was over attempted,
That’s a practice they never began.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
For Tasmanian elections are honest,
And a cut above Botany Bay.

So let us abide in Tasmania,
The land of the happy and gay;
Where gutters flow whiskey and honey,
And cash falls in everyone’s way.
Where truth there prevailing for ever
Woo’s justice triumphantly pure;
Where each calls his neighbor a brother,
And the rich hob-a-nob with the poor.

Singing tooral li ooral li addity,
Ri tooral ri ooral li ay;
Let us thank God we live in Tasmania,
And not out at Botany Bay.



Source:
The Clipper (Hobart, Tas.), 5 September 1896, p. 6

Editor’s notes:
jew = overcharge; a reference to the stereotype of past years regarding Jews and their alleged propensity for money-grabbing

loquacious = given to excessive talking; chattering; babbling; wordy

push = street gang; can also be used to refer to a group

rivulet = a very small brook, creek, or stream

swell = “a swell” is someone who is fashionably dressed or socially prominent

Tassy = (also spelt “Tassie”) Tasmania

toff = someone who is rich or upper-class, a term usually used in a somewhat derogatory manner

Old spelling in the original text:
ne’er (never)
o’er (over)

Vernacular spelling in the original text:
sassiety (society)

[Editor: Corrected “cherrily” to “cheerily”.]

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