In eigtheen-o-three we sailed out to sea,
out from the sweet town of Derry.
For Australia we bound if we didn't all drown,
the marks of our vetters we carried.
In our rusty iron chains, we cried for our veins,
our good women we left in sorrow.
As the mansails unfurled our curses we hurled
on the English and thoughts of tomorrow.
Chorus: Oh-oh-oh-oh, I wish I was back home in Derry!
At the mouth of the foyle bid farewell to the soil,
as down below deck's we were lyin'.
O'Doherty screamed woken out of a dream
by a vision of bold Robert dyin'.
The sun burned as cruel as we dished out the gruel,
Dan O'Conner was down with his fever.
Sixty rebels today, bound for Botany Bay,
how many will reach their receiver?
I cursed them to hell as our bough fought the swell,
our ship danced like a moth in the firelight.
White horses rode high as the devil passed by,
taking souls to Hades by twilight.
Five weeks out to sea, we were now forty-three,
we burried our comrades each mornin'.
In our slime we were left in the time,
endless night without dawning.
Van Dieman's land is the hell for a man
to end up his whole life in slavery.
Where the climate is raw and the gun makes the law,
neither wind nor rain care for bravery.
Twenty years have gone by and I endend me bond,
my comrade ghosts walk all behind me.
As a rebel I came and I am still the same,
in the cold winds of night you will find me.