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Shanties
South Australia


The version of this shanty most commonly heard nowadays seems to have been unknown to Hugill when he published Shanties of the Seven Seas in 1961: he gives three tunes, all different from the "modern" one, and two sets of words: one lamenting leaving his wife and child behind, and the other a  version of the Codfish Shanty: Down-east gals ain't got no combs, They comb their hair wi' a whale-fish bone. He never mentions Nancy Blair nor walloping round Cape Horn. These seem to have been unknown until recordings by A.L. Lloyd and the Clancys popularised the shanty in the 1960s, but by 1981 Hugill himself was also singing the "new" verses and tune.

Usually sung at capstan (anchor) and pumps, Hugill explains that "heave" is usually found only in capstan songs and "haul" only in halyard shanties, but both may come together at the pumps with some of the crew heaving at the pump handles with the rest hauling on the "bellropes" attached to the pump wheel.

Roud 325
Click to play MIDI file
South Australia
South Australia


In South Australia I was born

Heave away. Haul away!

In South Australia round Cape Horn

I'm bound for South Australia

Haul away you rolling king
Heave away! Haul away!
Haul away you'll hear me sing
We're bound for South Australia


Now South Australia is my home
And South Australia's where I'll roam

And now I'm on a foreign strand
With a bottle of Penfold's in each hand

And when I'm on a foreign shore
I'll drink to the girl that I adore

I'll tell you now, it ain't no lie
I'll love that girl until I die

Now we're homeward bound once more
We'll soon be drinking on home shore

Oh fare ye well now, one and all,

Heave away. Haul away!

Oh fare ye well, we've one last haul

I'm bound for South Australia

Haul away you rolling king
Heave away! Haul away!
Haul away you'll hear me sing
We're bound for South Australia

As recorded by Derek Gifford
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South Australia, sung by Derek Gifford
South Australia


South Australia is unique in Australia, as the only state never to have had penal settlements, and whose constitution acknowledged from the start Aboriginal land rights. Founded in 1836 as a centre of civilisation for free immigrants, promising civil liberties and religious tolerance, it introduced a restricted franchise for women as early as 1861, and in 1895 became the first place in the world to allow all men and women to not only vote but also stand for election.


South Australia has remained politically innovative and culturally vibrant, and is noted today for its many festivals and sporting events, its food, wine and culture. The capital, Adelaide, is home to over 70% of the state's population, and is one of the ten best cities in the world according to The Economist's World's Most Livable Cities index: as desirable a place now as it appeared to the Victorian emigrants who sang its praises when Bound For South Australia.

Cecil Sharp lived in Adelaide from 1882 to 1892, but this was before he started collecting folk songs; but Clive Carey, another English folksong collector, collected shanties from Mr Malcolm Forbes in Adelaide and from Mr George Pattison on nearby Kangaroo Island during his stay in South Australia in 1924-27. Current residents include Eric Bogle.




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