Henrik Norbeck's Song Lyrics

Back Home in Derry

Sheet Music (and more information about this song)

In 1803 we sailed out to sea
Out from the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound if we didn't all drown
And the marks of our fetters we carried.
In rusty iron chains we sighed for our wains
As our good wives we left in sorrow.
As the mainsails unfurled our curses we hurled
On the English and thoughts of tomorrow.

Oh, oh... I wish I was back home in Derry.
Oh, oh... I wish I was back home in Derry.

At the mouth of the Foyle, bid farewell to the soil
As down below decks we were lying
O'Doherty screamed, woken out of a dream
By a vision of bold Robert dying
The sun burned cruel as we dished out the gruel
Dan O'Connor was down with a fever
Sixty rebels today bound for Botany Bay
How many will meet their receiver


I cursed them to hell as our bow fought the swell.
Our ship danced like a moth in the firelight.
White horses rode high as the devil passed by
Taking souls to Hades by twilight.
Five weeks out to sea we were now forty-three
Our comrades we buried each morning.
In our own slime we were lost in a time.
Of endless night without dawning.


Van Diemen's land is a hell for a man
To live out his life in slavery.
Where the climate is raw and the gun makes the law.
Neither wind nor rain care for bravery.
Twenty years have gone by and I've ended me bond
My comrades' ghosts walk behind me.
A rebel I came and I'm still the same.
On the cold winds of night you will find me.


Comp: Lyrics by Bobby Sands (1954-1981), tune by Gordon Lightfoot (Canada)

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