Justices and Old Bailey [song, circa 1780-1812]

[Editor: A broadsheet song about the transportation of convicts to Australia. Published by J. Evans of London, between 1780 and 1812.]

Justices and Old Bailey.

Evans, Printer, Long lane, London

Here’s adieu to your judges and juries,
Justices and Old Bailey also;
Seven years they’ve transported my true love,
Seven years he’s transported, you know.

To go to a strange country don’t grieve me,
Nor leaving old England behind,
It’s all for the sake of my Polly,
And the leaving my parents I mind.

There’s the Captain that is our commander,
The boatswain and all our ship’s crew;
There’s married men too and there’s single,
Who knows what we transports go thro’?

Dear Polly, I’m going to leave you,
For seven long years, love, and more,
But that time will seem but a moment,
When return’d to the girl I adore.

If ever I return from the ocean,
Stores of riches I’ll bring for my dear;
It’s all the sake of my Polly love,
I’ll cross the salt seas for my dear.

How hard is the place of confinement,
That keeps me from my heart’s delight;
Cold chains and irons surround me,
And a plank for my pillow at night!

How often I wish that the eagle
Would lend me her pinions to fly;
Then I’d fly to the arms of my Polly,
And on her soft bosom I’d lie.



Source:
Justices and Old Bailey” [broadsheet], London: J. Evans [“Evans, Printer, Long lane, London”], [undated, published between 1780 and 1812]
Note: Held in the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford [shelfmark: Harding B 25(1015)]

Editor’s notes:
Old Bailey = the Central Criminal Court of England, commonly known as the “Old Bailey” after the name of the street (“Old Bailey”) in which it is located

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