GEORGE PAPAVGERIS
lyrics
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Batavia
Copyright George Papavgeris, October 2001

December 1628 Batavia left her home port
Bound for Java by the route of Terra Incognita
Three hundred fourty one aboard, crew, passengers and soldiers, but the
Skipper's eye was on the dozen cases with the gold.
He planned to take over the ship by killing the Commander
But fate had other plans for him and worse ones for the rest.
Batavia struck the coral reef and broke up in the storm
It was early Monday fourth of June, two hours before the dawn.

Three hundred made it to the shore of a little rocky island
The fourty souls who drowned were the luckier by far.
No water anywhere to drink, and nothing for a shelter
For days they licked salt from the rocks, then Heavens sent a shower.
Batavia's skiff was still afloat, they thought that it would save them
But then the first betrayal came, to chill them to the bone
Commander, skipper, officers and fourty of the best soldiers
Abandoned all the rest and made for Java on their own.

Jeronimus Cornelisz was Batavia's Undermerchant
And now the beast had found a chance to rise above the rest
He sent the soldiers on a raft for water on the islands
Then called himself a General and build his viper's nest.
His henchmen hunted down and killed all women, men and children
But kept for their own purposes some of the younger girls.
One hundred twenty five were butchered right there on the seashore
Batavia, you never knew the sea could be so red.

Three months had gone and the lookout saw sails on the horizon
't was the Commander coming back aboard a rescue ship
They tried to storm her by surprise but soon they were defeated
Trials and tortures followed then, to make a grown man weep.
Jeronimus, his hands cut off, was kept alive on purpose
The last to hang so others learn the lesson without fail.
Three hundred fourty one had left Amsterdam in December,
One hundred and sixteen came back to tell Batavia's tale.

Almost four hundred years before Australians found her carcass
And set about restoring her, but then, the best of all
We built anew in Lelystad Batavia's own twin sister
In ninety five she proudly sailed the Amsterdam Canal.
She left for Java to complete her sister's fateful journey
Batavia's good name and pride and honour to restore
And as the one millenium died and the other one was dawning
The maiden sisters met at last just off Australia's shore.

(chorus)
Sleep, maiden of the deep, sleep alone
Betrayed and abandoned so many miles from home
Your journey left unfinished, but your memory lives on
Batavia, your day is yet to come.
(last chorus)
Your journey now is finished, and your memory lives on
Batavia, at last your day has come
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