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  • Jim Jones at Botany Bay

    Mark Rogers posted on March 14, 2017 09:11

    Capo 2 to play along with video.

    V.1 is the lyrics that Jennifer Jason Leigh sings in the movie, The Hateful Eight.

    ~~~ChordPro Version UPDATED March 17, 2017 CEL~~~

    V.2 is one of the traditional versions of the lyics.

    Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) sings "Jim Jones at Botany Bay" in Tarantino's eighth masterpiece, The Hateful Eight. "Being a Tarantino fanatic, I was so excited to cover this song in the style it was sung in the movie. I'm glad Kurt Russell doesn't break my guitar at the end, though. ;)" (Kurt Russell accidenalty smashed a $400,000 guitar on loan from the Martin museum.)

    "Jim Jones at Botany Bay" is a traditional Australian folk ballad dating from the early 19th-century. The narrator, Jim Jones, is found guilty of poaching and sentenced to transportation to the penal colony of New South Wales. En route, his ship is attacked by pirates, but the crew holds them off. When the narrator remarks that he would rather have joined the pirates or indeed drowned at sea than gone to Botany Bay (the place of arrival for convict ships in Sydney, and an alternative name for the settlement itself), he is reminded by his captors that any mischief will be met with the whip. In the final verse, Jones describes the daily drudgery and degradation of life as a convict in Australia, and dreams of joining the bushrangers (escaped convicts turned outlaws) and taking revenge on his floggers.

    Australian folklorists such as Bill Scott date the song's composition to the years immediately preceding 1830 when bushranger Jack Donahue, who is named in the song, was fatally shot by troopers. The oldest surviving written version of the ballad is found in Old Pioneering Days in the Sunny South (1907}, a book of reminiscences by Charles McAlister, a pioneer who drove bullock teams in southern-eastern New South Wales in the 1840s. According to folklorist A. L. Lloyd, "Jim Jones at Botany Bay" may have been lost to history had McAlister not included it in his book.

    McAlister said "Jim Jones at Botany Bay" was sung to the tune of "Irish Molly O". Others consider it likely that it was sung to the tune of the Irish rebel song "Skibbereen".

    Printed in Stewart and Keesing Old Bush Songs with the note:
    "From Old Pioneering Days in the Sunny South , by Charles MacAlister". (Published Goulburn, NSW, 1907)

    This is the most defiant of the transport ballads. Russel Ward writes of the song:
    "Instead of an implicit acceptance of the rules of society, there is an explicit assumption that society itself is out of joint, and even a hint that in the new land society may be remoulded nearer to the heart's desire". Frank Clune in hisWild Colonial Boys has the bushranger Ben Hall singing 'Jim Jones' to an appreciative audience. Although not collected in the field the song has had a remarkable new life since the 1950's, often sung where a song of defiance is called for. In Westminster Hall in London in the early 1970's I recorded Bert Lloyd singing it to a huge audience at a rally for the release of Angela Davis.

    Another version of the traditional lyrics is shown below.

    Come gather round and listen lads, and hear me tell m' tale,
    How across the sea from England I was condemned to sail.
    The jury found me guilty, and then says the judge, says he,
    Oh for life, Jim Jones, I'm sending you across the stormy sea.
    But take a tip before you ship to join the iron gang,
    Don't get too gay in Botany Bay, or else you'll surely hang.
    Or else you'll surely hang, he says, and after that, Jim Jones,
    Way up high upon yon gallows tree, the crows will pick your bones.

    Our ship was high upon the seas when pirates came along,
    But the soldiers on our convict ship were full five hundred strong;
    They opened fire and so they drove that pirate ship away
    But I'd rather joined that pirate ship than gone to Botany Bay.
    With the storms a-raging round us, and the winds a-blowing gales
    I'd rather drowned in misery than gone to New South Wales.
    There's no time for mischief there, remember that, they say
    Oh they'll flog the poaching out of you down there in Botany Bay.

    Day and night in irons clad we like poor galley slaves
    Will toil and toil our lives away to fill dishonored graves
    But by and by I'll slip m' chains and to the bush I'll go
    And I'll join the brave bushrangers there, Jack Donahue and Co.
    And some dark night all is right and quiet in the town,
    I'll get the bastards one and all, I'll gun the floggers down.
    I'll give them all a little treat, remember what I say
    And they'll yet regret they sent Jim Jones in chains to Botany Bay.

    A video for this song:

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