Revival Mutiny

Refused our orders on the barque Revival, got three months in Dunedin Jail;
And statements sworn on the Holy Bible ruined any chance of bail.
You’d maybe think that we got off lightly, we might have hanged in days of yore;
For all our Captain might be a bastard, still mutiny’s against the law.
Ch.And it’s labour, hard labour,
Policemen waiting on the dock;
It’s labour, hard labour, shifting Bell Hill rock by rock.

Nathaniel France he was our spokesman, got a sentence more severe
He cursed our Captain and loudly damned him, and said it where the judge could hear.
They’d met before on a Yankee whaler, served together years ago;
Across the world and all around Australia, they’d fought each other blow for blow.
Ch.

Now Captain Ferguson was mean as poison, and half the crew jumped ship at Bluff,
The rest of us vowed no more to serve him, be it calm or be it rough.
Out in the Strait there he nearly lost her, when we refused to work the sails.
“That’s mutiny”, sez he, “and that’ll cost yer in the cells of Dunedin Jail!”
Ch.

The Captain’s blood it was nearly boiling as we approached the Scotsman’s lair,
He wouldn’t stop to take on a pilot, but blundered in and wrecked her there.
Nathaniel France and us poor sailors were blamed and sentenced that is true;
We served our time, then we sued the Captain, won back the wages for the crew!
Ch.It’s no more labour, hard labour,
Policemen waiting on the dock.
We’re done with labour, hard labour, shifting Bell Hill rock by rock.

© Mike McPhee & Bob Watson 2010

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