From the recording Frontier

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One Satin Dress tells the story of a typical transportee on the First Fleet. Quite often children were sent to 'workhouses' in Britain, either because they were orphaned or because their parents could not afford to feed them. With the dawn of the industrial revolution, children were required in the factories to access areas that had restricted space. They were typically apprenticed from between the ages of 5 and 7 through until they were 21. Over 200 crimes that would be considered trivial today carried the death penalty. With the introduction of transportation to Australia, these sentences were frequently converted to transportation for periods of 7 years, 14 years of life. In all, about 164,000 convicts were transported to the Australian colonies between 1788 and 1868 on board 806 ships.


One Satin Dress
Copyright 2016 Craig Stewart

Fare thee well my love,
Fare thee well my home,
For tomorrow on the dawn,
My ship will sail and I'll be gone.

Gone to a distant shore,
With no hope of return,
Cast off from all I know,
To the edge of the world

But I'll take with me the memories,
Of the moments that we shared,
The story of the orphan boy,
And the girl with golden hair.
And though I could offer nothing,
When I asked her she said yes,
And my darling you looked beautiful,
On that Summer day,
In your satin dress.

The day I was born my mother died,
So I was raised a factory child,
Worked fifteen hours a day on the floor,

But a workhouse could provide a bed,
A place where you could still be fed,
And the girl that caught my eye just down the hall,


My darling you should find someone,
Who'll take care of you and our son,
You know you'll always be the one,
But it can't be changed what's done is done.