Jim Jones

Jim Jones, a bitter little song of transportation to the penal colony in Botany Bay. Mick Slocum, of the Original Bushwackers Band, wrote this tune for it which became much more widespread when the band toured England in the early 1970s. Even Bob Dylan recorded it!

Come and listen for a moment, lads, and let me tell my tale
How across the sea from England, I was condemned to sail
Well, the jury found me guilty, and says the judge, says he
For life, Jim Jones, I'm sending you across the raging 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
It's high up on the gallows tree, the crows will pick your bones.

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

Now it's day and night our irons clang and like poor galley slaves
We toil and moil and when we die must fill dishonored graves;
But it's bye and bye I'll slip me chains and to the bush I'll go
And I'll join the brave bush rangers there, Jack Donahue and Co.
And some dark night when everything is silent in the town,
I'll shoot those tyrants one and all, I'll gun the floggers down.
I will give the Law no little shock, remember what I say
And they'll yet regret they sent Jim Jones in chains to Botany Bay.

© Golden Hind Music