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Kel
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More folk than Country, think Mumford & Sons style

Sweet Annie
Kel Abbott

Born in Newgate Prison,
Never tasted Freedom's air,
Shipped off with your mother,
To who but God knows where.
You were your mother's blessing,
A joy to have around,
For fifteen months of sailing
To Port Jackson, Sydney Town.

Landed on a foreign shore
You lived on mama's hip
She gave you love and comforting
you knew aboard the ship.
The men stayed clear of Mama
And she didn't mind at all,
She had her precious Annie
And needed nothing more.

No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai Sweet Baby Annie
You never had a chance,
Not to run wild and free in a meadow at play,
Nor to kick up your heels in a dance.
No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai Sweet Baby Annie
No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai-ay.

But twenty days in Sydney Town
Three ships came sailing in,
Eight months out of Plymouth
Sick and dying to the brim.
Mama helped the surgeon
In the makeshift hospital
It wasn't long till Annie
Took to fever, deathly ill...

No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai Sweet Baby Annie
You never had a chance,
Not to run wild and free in a meadow at play,
Nor to kick up your heels in a dance.
No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai Sweet Baby Annie
No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai-ay.

Typhus doesn't give a damn,
It kills without a care,
Ten days of fever later
Common grave and mumbled prayers.

No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai Sweet Baby Annie
You never had a chance,
Not to run wild and free in a meadow at play,
Nor to kick up your heels in a dance.
No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai sweet Sweet Baby Annie
No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai-ay.

No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai Sweet Baby Annie
No too-ra-lai, too-ra-lai-ay.

RainyDayMan
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I think this is wonderful Kel. Sad but not maudlin.

I love the chorus and especially:
You never had a chance,
Not to run wild and free in a meadow at play,
Nor to kick up your heels in a dance


and another line that caught my eye was:
To who but God knows where
that's really nicely done to fit the meter.

I can certainly imagine this as a modern folk song a la Mumford & Songs.

Kel
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Thanks so much Owen.

Annie was the daughter of one of my ancestors, Mary Higgins, who was transported in the Second Fleet. Annie died 10 days after Surprize, Scarborough and Neptune reached Sydney Cove after a nightmare voyage with most of the convicts arriving with dysentery, typhus, or already dead.

As mentioned, Annie was born in Newgate Prison, and at 2 hours old was taken on board Lady Juliana with her mother. Her father came aboard before they sailed, but didn't take the baby ashore.

Mary was taken from the graveside as her babe was laid to rest and joined the others bound for Norfolk Island, for the next chapter of her ordeal.

samiamiamsam
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It’s awesome Kel. Your lyrics always have a wonderful flow to them.
Any ideas for music?

Kel
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Yes actually, I recorded it some time ago, but the melody wasn't really what I wanted, and I mistakenly wrote in a Major key. I revamp is coming.

Thanks for checking it out.

Kel

Andrea
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A strong write Kel!

Good story, nice imagery, hits the emotion buttons.

Kel
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Andrea wrote:
A strong write Kel!

Good story, nice imagery, hits the emotion buttons.


Thanks for your thoughts, appreciated.
K

Seamus
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This is so very good, I'm impressed. nice work friend.

Kel
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Seamus wrote:
This is so very good, I'm impressed. nice work friend.

Thanks Seamus.

BRD
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Man, good write. Hits you in the feels. I'm left wondering about Annie's mom. Would another stanza be too much or make the song run too long?

Kel
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BRD wrote:
Man, good write. Hits you in the feels. I'm left wondering about Annie's mom. Would another stanza be too much or make the song run too long?

Good thought... I'm thinking a coda rather than a verse... thanks for the idea...

bunnythesinger
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Really touched me. Recently saw a film about the original immigrants/prisoners and was touched by a representaion of history we didnt get much of here. Had very vivid pictures during the read. Wonderful job.

Kel
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Thank you.


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