On the south coast of England in 1834
There was a trial that pitted the rich against the poor
On one side were the landlords, with their private army
On the other were farmhands, and their hungry families
To combine was not illegal, but secret oaths were punishable
By torturing so cruel it’s unimaginable
Transportation – seven years a slave
A sentence that ended in so many early graves

From the south coast of England in 1834
To imagine the privations of the trip that lay in store
111 days locked up in the hold
Fed on bread and water as the southern ocean rolled
Then splitting rocks in Sydney, beneath the blazing sun
Finding out the hard way just how the west was won
All because they dared to try to stand up for their lives
To form a union, feed their children and survive

From the south coast of England in 1834
Word spread up to Sheffield and every other shore
Thousands marched in London, people organized all over
From Manchester to Merthyr, Dundee down to Dover
Help came in from everywhere, the families were supported
The movement won a pardon, to bring back the deported
And in 1836 most of them returned
One more battle in the class war about which we never learned

Chord Charts for Selected Songs