Bound for South Australia

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South Australia (a.k.a. Bound for South Australia)

South Australia is a capstan shanty used by the sailors who worked the wool and wheat clipper ships between London and the Australian ports.

It is well known as a farewell song, sung at the docks as the ships were leaving. The men grew a sentimental attachment to the song and were even known to request a rousing chorus on their death beds, so that they could die happy.

The first variant of the shanty was collected from sailors in Tyneside, northern England, and included in Laura Smith's The Music of the Waters collection in 1888.

 

Rendition by The Fisherman's Friends live at Albert Hall as guests of Show of Hands

Note: see story about The Fisherman's Friends at the bottom of this article.

 

 


Other Renditions

Other renditions of South Australia can be found here.

 


Song Lyrics

These are the lyrics as sung by The Fisherman's Friends. Thanks go to Alison King who volunteered to transcribe these lyrics directly from the video.

Bound for South Australia

In South Australia I was born
Heave away, haul away
South Australia round Cape Horn
We're bound for South Australia

Chorus:
Haul away, you rolling king
Heave away, haul away
Haul away, oh hear me sing
We're bound for South Australia

As I went out one morning fair
Heave away, haul away
‘twas there I met Miss Nancy Blair
We're bound for South Australia

Chorus:

I shook her up, I shook her down
Heave away, haul away
I shook her round about the town
We're bound for South Australia

Chorus:

There was but one thing grieves me mind
Heave away, haul away
‘twas leave Miss Nancy Blair behind
We're bound for South Australia

Chorus:

As we went down around Cape Horn
Heave away, haul away
You’ll wish to God you’d never been born
We're bound for South Australia

Chorus:

In South Australia I was born
Heave away, haul away
South Australia round Cape Horn
We're bound for South Australia

Chorus:


The Fisherman's Friends

The Fisherman's Friends are a crew of crab and lobster fishermen and their friends who live within half a nautical mile of each other in the quaint old fishing village of Port Isaac in Cornwall. All are, or have been, connected to the sea either as fishermen, RNLI members, boatyard workers, Coastguard or Cliff Rescue staff. The Fishermen's Friends have performed all over the UK including the Royal Albert Hall and Eden Project Grand Concert, and TV appearances on the popular TV quiz show 'Eggheads' and sung live on the Gloria Hunniford TV Show 'Open House'.

Their favourite events are the Friday evenings from June to September, in the lovely rugged harbour at Port Isaac where they perform every Friday evening in summer from "8-ish" on The Platt in the old harbour. The Master of Ceremonies is usually either Jon Cleave or Jeremy Brown. Source: Wikipedia and Clovelly Recordings.

Here are some of their other shanties found on YouTube.

Drunken Sailor

South Australia (sung at Port Isaac)

If you enjoyed the entertainment on this page, you may also be interested in the theme music to 'The Onedin Line'.

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