Evan Mathieson header



Lyrics: Harry Robertson
Arranged, compiled, and sequenced by Lyn Mathieson 2009
Music: Evan Mathieson 2009

See the mist hang on the water,
see the dawn-streaked sky reveal
Cockatoo, the island workshop,
with its docks and ships of steel.

In the morning’s daylight dawning
hear the rumble of machines,
In the dusk of daylight dying
from the past come ghostly screams.
How the spirits of our fathers
imprisoned on the Isle of pain,
Cockatoo’s dank flogging dungeons
echo nightly to Balmain.

Working with a chisel
and a hammer in the hand
to dig grain storage chambers
deep into the rocky sand.
They built cell blocks high on top
with chain gang convict crew,
then filled the cells with convict girls
on the Isle of Cockatoo.

The tyrants took their bloody toll
backed by the penal laws,
but time and courage beat them back
and freedom found their flaws,
’til lash, and chain, and rule by pain,
worked no longer for the few,
and the cells and dungeons rotted
on the Isle of Cockatoo.

© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA-AMCOS  www.apra-amcos.com.au

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Music: Evan Mathieson: Vocals with acoustic guitar and harmonica.