Back Home in Derry

Words by Bobby Sands, MP / Music by Gordon Lightfoot


In [E]1803 as we [G]sailed out to sea,
[D]Out from the [A]sweet town of [E]Derry.
For Australia bound if we [G]didnít all drown,
The [D]marks of our [A]fetters we [E]carried.
In our rusty iron chains we [G]cried for our wains
And the [D]good women we left in [E]sorrow.
As the mainsails unfurled, our [G]curses we hurled
At the [D]English and [A]thoughts of to-[E]morrow.


At the [E]mouth of the Foyle, bid fare-[G]well to the soil,
As [D]down below [A]decks we were [E]lyiní.
OíDoherty screamed, wakened [G]out of a dream
By a [D]vision of [A]Bold Robert [E]dyiní.
The sun burned us cruel as we [G]dished out the gruel.
Dan Oí[D]Connor was down with a [E]fever.
Sixty rebels today, bound [G]for Botany Bay,
How [D]many will [A]reach their re-[E]ceiver?

            [G]Oh-[D]oh, I [E]wish I was [D]back home in [E]Derry.
            [G]Oh-[D]oh, I [E]wish I was [D]back home in [E]Derry.

I [E]cursed them to hell as our [G]bow fought the swell
Our [D]ship danced like a [A]moth in the [E]firelight.
White horses rode high as the [G]Devil passed by,
Takiní [D]souls down to [A]Hades by [E]twilight.
Five weeks out to sea we were [G]now forty-three.
We [D]buried our comrades each [E]morning.
In our own slime we were [G]lost for a time
Of [D]endless [A]night without [E]dawning.


[E]Van Diemenís Land is a [G]Hell for a man,
To [D]live out his [A]whole life in [E]slavery.
Where the climate is raw and the [G]gun makes the law,
Neither [D]wind nor [A]rain care for [E]bravery.
Twenty years have gone by and Iíve [G]ended my bond,
My [D]comradesí ghosts walk be-[E]side me.
A Rebel I came and [G]Iím still the same,
On the [D]cold winds of [A]night you will [E]find me.

            [G]Oh-[D]oh, I [E]wish I was [D]back home in [E]Derry.
            [G]Oh-[D]oh, I [E]wish I was [D]back home in [E]Derry.


Back to songs index