This was a song written by Bobby Sands for his comrades from Derry in the H-Blocks. Bobby, along with his other comrades, would have sang and told stories nightly through the gaps in his cell door. Activities like this helped to keep the men’s spirits alive amidst savage beatings by screws(Prison wardens).

Am Em
In 1803 we sailed out to sea

G D Am
Out from the sweet town of Derry

Am Em
For Australia bound if we didn’t all drown

G D Am
And the marks of our fetters we carried

Am Em
In our rusty iron chains we sighed for our weans

Am Em
Our good women we left in sorrow

Am Em
As the mainsails unfurled, our curses we hurled

G D Am
On the English, and thoughts of tomorrow

CHORUS

C G Am G Am
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry

C G Am G Am
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry

Verse:
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 reciever

CHORUS

I cursed them to hell as her bow fought the swell
Our ship danced like a moth in the firelight
White horse 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

CHORUS

Van Diemen’s land is a hell for a man
To live out his whole 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, I’ve ended my bond
My comrades ghosts walk behind me
A rebel I came – I’m still the same
On the cold winters night you will find me

CHORUS

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