Isle Of France
Isle of France is a transportation song, Mauritius was once called by this name. I think it has a connection with Norfolk though the first verse tells of the convict’s country being of "the Shamrock Green" so could have originated in Ireland?
Isle Of France, X:2
X:2 is tune for the song "Isle of France". X:1 is called "Isle of France" but I think it is a tune rather than a song so the two are different. X:2 is in 3/2 time so NOT a polka. I think X:1 is a lovely dance tune anyway.
Here are words for the song:-
Isle of France as sung by Nic Jones
Oh the sky was dark and the night advanced
When a convict came to the Isle of France;
And round his leg was a ring and chain
And his country was of the Shamrock Green.
“I’m from the Shamrock,“ this convict cried,
“That has been tossed on the ocean wide.
For being unruly, I do declare,
I was doomed to transport these seven long years.
“When six of them they were up and past
I was coming home to make up the last.
When the winds did blow and the seas did roar
They cast me here on this foreign shore.”
So then the coastguard he played a part
And with some brandy he cheered the convict’s heart:
“Although the night is far advanced
You shall find a friend on the Isle of France.”
So he sent a letter all to the Queen
Concerning the wreck of the Shamrock Green;
And his freedom came by a speedy post
For the absent convict they thought was lost.
“God bless the coastguard,” this convict cried,
“For he’s saved my life from the ocean wide.
And I’ll drink his health in a flowing glass,
And here’s success to the Isle of France.”
Unusual transportation song in that the convict had served most of his sentence and his ship was wrecked on the way back home to serve the last year.
Re: Isle Of France
Polka version is cheerful though I don’t think I am able to play it fast enough on fiddle. I wonder if this is definitely Irish? Song (X : 2) certainly is with words here ("wreck of the Shamrock Green") etc.