LAST MODIFIED Thursday 6 June 2019 9:34

The emigrant, a song on the eve of lady's embarking for Van Diemen's Land, 1823

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "The emigrant, a song on the eve of lady's embarking for Van Diemen's Land, 1823", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 30 March 2020


The emigrant, a song written on the eve of a lady's embarking from Leith with her relations for Van Dieman's Land, music original, arranged for the pianoforte and German flute, Edinburgh, Jany. 15, 1823

([Edinburgh]: Walker & Anderson, Engravers, 1823)

Copy at National Library of Australia  (DIGITISED)

My heart it is sair at the thoughts of Van Dieman,
Tho' beautious the place and tho' gentle the clime,
'Tis painful to part with the friends whom we doat on;
Ah, how can I bear it! I fear for the time.
Roar on ye loud billows, ye waves fiercely curling;
Ye're drear as the sorrows that brood o'er my mind!
But drearer and sadder, I fear, the sad morning,
That tears my fond heart from the friends left behind.

Tho' well as I love all my friends that go hither,
Yet still my heart fails me to leave Scotia's shore;
For Scotia, blest name! shall be dear to me ever,
Tho' something foretells me I'll ne'er see her more.
Blow, blow ye swift breezes, across the wide ocean,
O waft us in safety to that promis'd land!
And Oh! may my bosom ne'er cease in devotion
For the friends left behind and my dear native land.

Sound file:

The emigrant, a song . . . 1823 (realised in Finale with Garritan sounds)

Download .wav file here

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020