Better Than Decent Girls

A song I wrote about the young girls who arrived in Yass in March 1850 from Ireland.
Many were orphans, fleeing the famine that had been caused by the English.

     G          D               C          D
The English had caused, the death of my people,
C          G               D
1 million had starved by 1849,
G               D     C              D
Cast from our farms, with no means of production,
G            C        G
Refugees in our own land.

G                   C           G            D 
Some needles and thread and a few yards of cotton,
C             G                 G              D
Packed in a trunk, with all the clothes that I own,
G          C          G          D
My family and Ireland will soon be forgotten,
      C         G          D    G
As I face a new life in Australia

In the crowded work houses of Galway and Kerry,
The offer was made of a hope for new life,
On the Thomas Arbuthnot, near two hundred brave women,
set out from England, bound for Botany Bay.

They journeyed inland, by steamer and wagon,
Nearly 200 miles, from Sydney to Yass,
Farmed out as cheap labour, to squatters and settlers,
Mothers to children, mothers to the land.

Being Irish and Catholic, sure was a struggle,
The protestant Scotts and the English were harsh,
Facing the same trials far away from their homeland,
Along with the harsh and dangerous land

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