Lyrics for Tides of Passage


The children all stood ‘round the door
“Would you like us to get anything from the store?”
“Some candles or a loaf of bread?
Or ointment for the baby’s head?”

“Take a penny for the buttons to mend your Daddy’s shirt,
A penny for the soda to wash away the dirt,
A penny for a needle and a thread to sew
Take some pennies from your Mammy’s old pinny – O.”

The priest he called out from the gate
“Do you have any pennies for my plate?
A shilling now that would be grand!”
I placed some pennies in his hand

“Take a penny for the hungry, a penny for the poor,
A penny for a prayer to leave us at the door”
He blessed the children all in a row
“Take some pennies from your Mammy’s old pinny – O.”

The Landlord called around for his rent
“I’m sorry Me Dear it’s already spent!
But call again on Saturday
I hope to have it here to pay”

“Take a penny for the floor, a penny for the drain,
A penny for the roof that leaks in the rain
Take a penny for the rent – the rest we can owe
Take some pennies from my Mammy’s old pinny – O.”

I sat my baby on my knee
“Oh where, oh where can your Daddy be?”
He’s gone down to Barney’s Bar
He needs a penny for a jar

“Take a penny for a whiskey, a penny for a gin
A penny for his head when it gets in a spin
A penny for the pint and another for Joe
Have some pennies from your Mammy’s old pinny – O.”

The Captain rode across the glen
With his band of marching men
“We’re raising taxes for the King
There is a tax on everything”

“A penny for his mistress, a penny for the Queen
A penny for his bath and gold Latrine
A penny for his ribbon, a penny for his bow
A penny for his Mammy’s old pinny – O”

“Now children listen to your Mam
Save your pennies when you can;
And daughters harken what’s been said
You’ll need a fortune when you’ve wed;

You’ll need a penny for the butter, a penny for the jam
A penny for the baby, a penny for the pram
Pennies for your children as they grow
– And pennies for your mammies old pinny – O!”


As soon as our passage had been paid
And the clerk has booked our place
Farewell to the friends we have made
To our families and each happy face

Heave Ho let me go
We’re sailing where the salt winds blow
To where the southern oceans flow
We’re going to Australia
Grab your cotton and your thread
Pack some feathers for your bed
Porridge oats will keep us fed
We’re going to Australia

When the Landlord has taken his share
Of our sweat and toil on the land
There won’t be enough left to spare
To place into each hungry hand

News has come to our door
That there’s gold in the rivers and streams
Of that far and distant shore
We’ll discover the land of our dreams

From all of the Homesteads around
Thousands are ready to sail
Soon we shall be outward bound
With a good breeze chasing our tail