Moreton Bay : TBB choir with piano
by Sandra Milliken (2019)
Also known as: The Convict's Lament
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Library shelf no. 782.8542/MIL 2 [Not for loan]
The ballad Moreton Bay/The Convict's Lament first appeared in Australia around the time of the murder of Captain Patrick Logan in October 1830. At that time, Captain Logan was the commandant of the penal settlement that he had established at Morton Bay, in the colony of New South Wales, in 1824.
The lyrics for Moreton Bay are attributed to Francis MacNamara, more commonly known as Frankie the Poet. Frankie had been convicted by a court in Kilkenny (Ireland) of smashing a shop window and stealing some cloth. He was sentenced to transportation to Australia for seven years. The song is based on Frankie's own experiences as a convict and describes the cruelty of the penal stations in Australia in the middle of the 19thCentury.
Captain Logan was hated by the convicts for his harsh treatment. He was a relentless flogger and was widely regarded as a tyrant. When Logan's body was brought back to Moreton Bay, the convicts "manifested insane joy at the news of his murder, and sang and hoorayed all night, in defiance of the warders".
Instrumentation: TBB choir, piano.
Duration: 3 min.
Dedication note: For the men of the Blackstone-Ipswich Cambrian Choir
- In the form/style of: Australian folk music
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