Back On The Shore

The Arran Convict (Alan Reid)

I wish I was back on the Lochranza ferry
With long legged Mary
Breathing the spray and the sweet island air in the morning
But I'm fading away in this sweltering prison
The mercury's rising
And freedom's a dream that arrives and escapes with the dawning

It seems just like yesterday sailing from Brodick
Across the Atlantic in search of a wife and some land
But the New Brunswick winters are lonely and hard
So I followed the wagons out west with no money or plan

I worked on the railroad with Chinese and Irish
I slept in the pinewoods and heard the wolf creep to the door
But a Scotsman in Portland took all of my money
He sold me a cartload of candles he'd robbed from a store

I fell in with gangsters and dealers of moonshine
And soon they involved me in driving their wagons of booze
One night we were ambushed and I killed a black man
Now I'm in the jailhouse and one of the hard labour crews

Sometimes when it's dark I remember Lochranza
And days when the rain from Kintyre was a sheet without end
And long legged Mary who smiled at me slyly
And if they release me I think I'll go back there again.