A semi-humorous, jolly song; one presumes the sweetheart was sent to the Australian penal colonies for breaking some law of England.
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Sing ho! for a brave and gallant ship, And a fair and favoring breeze, With a bully crew and a captain too, To carry me over the seas, To carry me over the seas my boys, To my true love far away I'm taking a trip on a Government ship, Ten thousand miles away!
Ch: Then blow ye winds heigh-oh! A roving I will go I'll stay no more on England's shore to hear the music play. I'm off on the morning train to cross the raging main I'm taking a trip on a Government ship Ten thousand miles away!
My true love she was beautiful, My true love she was young; Her eyes were like the diamonds bright, And silvery was her tongue, And silvery was her tongue, my boys, Though now she's far away; She's taken a trip on a Government ship Ten thousand miles away.
Oh, dark and dismal was the day When last I seen my Meg; She'd a Government band around each hand, And another one round her leg; And another one round her leg, my boys, As the big ship left the bay- "Adieu," she said, "remember me, Ten thousand miles away!"
I wish I were a bosun bold, Or even a bombardier, I'd build a boat and away I'd float, And straight for my true love steer; And straight for my true love steer, my boys, Where the dancing dolphins play, And the whales and sharks are having their larks, Ten thousand miles away!
The sun may shine through a London fog, Or the river run quite clear; The ocean's brine be turned to wine, Or I forget my beer; Or I forget my beer, my boys, Or the landlord's quarter-day, Before I forget my own sweetheart, Ten thousand miles away!