1. Orphan Girl

From the recording The Australian Sessions

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Written by Brendan Graham (IMRO Ireland)
Vocals: Kylie Horner, Sammy Horner
Guitar: Kj McEvoy
Fiddle: Tim Cotterell
Piano: Brian Baker

Notes.. . We listen to a lot of music on tour. I had bought Kylie a birthday gift of an Irish Choir singing traditional songs. When this one burst out of our car stereo we both fell quiet. An important true story of orphan girls who were sent to Australia to supply women in the new country.


I am an orphan girl,
In Westport I was found,
The workhouse is my world,
Since the praties took us down,
What time in life is left to me,
If I don’t leave Westport town,
But the crown is sending girls to sea, for far Australia bound.

Sail, sail, sail me away,
Sail to Australia;
Sail, sail, sail me I pray,
Sail me away ,to Australia.

They say Australia’s fine,
They say Australia’s fair,
Australia’s on my mind
And the fields of praties there
I pray when this inspection’s done, that they’ll say me fit to sail,
For they don’t just send out anyone, oh Lord, don’t see me fail.

I am scarcely turned sixteen,
But I’m ready now to go
I’m decent and I’m clean,
Fit for any man to know.
And I will be some good man’s wife,
If there I’ll settle down -
And find myself a better life,
If I get to Sydney town.

Sail me away, sail me I pray
Sail me away to Australia.
I am an orphan girl, oh I am an orphan girl