Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Adieu To All Judges And Juries


Here's adieu to all judges and juries!
Here's adieu to you bailiffs also!
Seven years you've parted me from my true-love,
Seven years I'm transported, you know.

Oh Polly, I'm going for to leave you,
For seven long years, love, or more;
But the time it won't seem but one moment,
When I think on the girl I adore.

Going to a strange country don't grieve me,
Nor leaving old England behind;
But it's all for the sake of my Polly love,
And a-leaving my comrades behind.

And if ever I return from the ocean,
Stores of riches I will bring you, my dear;
It's all for the sake of my Polly love,
I'll cross the salt seas without fear.

How hard is my place of confinement,
Which keeps me from my heart's delight;
Cold chains and cold irons all around me,
And a plank for my pillow at night.

Oftentimes I have wished that some eagle
Would lend me her wings for to fly;
I would fly to the arms of my Polly love,
Once more in her bosom to lie.

Obviously related to the well-known Botany Bay (which Bob Bolton has referred to as this song's "illegitimate offspring").

Published by Frank Purslow in The Constant Lovers (EFDSS 1972).  Purslow has this to say:

Gardiner Hp.308. George Blake, St. Denys, Southampton, Hants. May, 1906.  "Once extremely popular, but now almost forgotten, it probably had its origins in the early music halls.  Some collected versions do seem to be of an earlier date, but a stage origin still seems likely.  The tune is sometimes sung in the Mixolydian mode.  The composer of Wrap Me Up In My Tarpaulin Jacket  -Whyte Melville-  appears to have been unconsciously aware of the tune when he composed his.  I have slightly rearranged the order of Blake's verses to agree with the usual order."

Sung to a number of tunes, I've adapted this one from Shirley and Dolly Collins version.

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