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Jim Jones


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Jim Jones is a traditional English / Australian ballad about a man who is transported to the notorious British 'Botany Bay' penal colony for the petty crime of poaching. We sing it in solidarity with all those around the world who face colonial abuse and miscarriages of justice.


Jim Jones ~ Jim Jones ~ Jim Jones

Come listen for a moment lads
and hear me tell my tale,
How over the sea from England
I was compelled to sail.
The jury says, He’s guilty!
And says the judge says he,
For life Jim Jones I’m sending you
across the stormy sea.

Jim Jones ~ Jim Jones ~ Jim Jones

And take my tip before you ship
to join the iron gang,
Don’t get too gay on Botany Bay
or else you’ll surely hang.
Or else you’ll hang he says, say he
and after that Jim Jones
High up upon the gallows tree
the crows will pick your bones.
You’ll have no time for mischief then
– remember what I say –
They’ll flog the poaching out of you
out there on Botany Bay.
Well the waves grew high upon the sea
the wind blew up in gales.
I’d rather drown in misery
than go to New South Wales.

Jim Jones ~ Jim Jones ~ Jim Jones

The wind blew up, the waves grew high
The pirates came along,
But the soldiers in our company
were full five hundred strong.
They opened fire & somehow they blew
that pirate ship away.
Well I’d rather’ve joined that pirate ship
than go to Botany Bay.
For day and night the irons clang
and like poor galley slaves,
We toil and toil and then when we die
must fill dishonoured graves.

But by and by I’ll break my chains
into the Bush I’ll go
And join the brave bushrangers there
Jack Donahue and Co.
And one dark night, when everything
is quiet in the town,
We’ll kill the tyrants one and all,
we’ll shoot the floggers down.
We’ll give the law a little shock
– remember what I say –
They’ll yet regret they sent Jim Jones
in chains to Botany Bay.
They’ll yet regret they sent Jim Jones
in chains to Botany Bay.
They’ll yet regret they sent Jim Jones
in chains to Botany Bay.

Jim Jones ~ Jim Jones ~ Jim Jones


released May 1, 2019
Lyrics / Arrangement: Jefferson & Le Couteur
Production: Lunatraktors and Raphael Mann at Arco Barco Studios, Ramsgate.


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Broken folk experiments by Clair Le Couteur (vocals, drones) and Carli Jefferson (vocals, percussion). MOJO Magazine Top Ten Folk Albums of 2019: This Is Broken Folk. Number 2 2021: The Missing Star

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