Jessie Kirkness’ Birthday Book

In order to illuminate more of the fascinating stories within the Birthday book brought to New Zealand by jessie Kirkness, we have included some of the writing and poetry below. All of the spelling is original, so there are a few ‘mistakes’, but we will forgive her.
Do enjoy.

Dunfermline Abbey
Our good ship sailed from Princes Pier
In March eighteen – eighty – three
Manned by a brave & gallant Captain
As ever sailed the sea
Likewise his gallant officers
Who done their duty well
For skill and able seamanship
There few could them excel.
Besides we have on board with us
Our Doctor good and kind
Possessed of a most generous heart
And a pure and noble mind
He does his duty cheerfully
And gentle as a dove
I trust the Lord will him reward
With blessings from above

Likewise our worthy matron
With heart so kind and true
She adminsters to all our wants
And these are not a few
Her zeal & christain charity
Will gain for her a store
Of never ending happiness
With her Lord for ever more
Our voyage was delightful
As far as we have seen
The weather has been beautiful
The sea calm and serene

Kenneth Kirwan, Kelso.
We thank God for the favors
Which he on us did pour
In hopes he will continue them
And guide us safely o’er

M. Mc

The Bandon Side.
Farewell dear friends and comarades shalt I have left
behind. Your gratitude & kindness is ever in my mind.
I never shall forget you all no matter what betide
Nor that lovely place shall time efface they call the
Bandon Side
Many a pleasant day I spent along its waters clear
In Harmony we did agree with father & brothers dear,
But I was destined for to roam across the ocean wide
To leave behind my friends so kind likewise the Bandon side
The time passed quite pleasantly with all of us on board
We had every kind of comfort our good ship could afford
Tho objects never start in view as we sail oer the tide

Plain dealing is a jewel.
I never shall find a place so kind as the bonnie Bandon side
When I think on the happy days I spent in that
sweet spot. The burning tears steal down my cheeks & all
seems forgot. In fancy I am wandering by the brooks at
eventide. Along with my companions dear down by the Bandon side
Every Sunday evening as I walk along the deck
The memory of that dear old spot is fit my head to
break, I never shall forget a place in all the world so wide
As that little town of high renown down by the Bandon side

Nannie Cockley    Forfarshire

‘Dunfermline Abbey’ from the Birthday book

Weep not 
Weep not my Annie dear. Tho I am far away
You must dry up that burning tear. Once more be bright & gay.
Although it was my lot to roam, Across the deep blue sea
I’ll never forget that dear old home, Where I have lived with thee
It grieves me sore to leave the shore, Where all my friends do dwell
Likewise my loving Annie dear. That I do love so well
But if God spares us health & days. We yet shall meet again
For I will bring my Annie dear. Across the raging mass

Cheer up Chier up my Annie dear Theres brighter day in store
For we will meet together yet. And happy be once more.
It breaks my heart with thee to part, My Annie kind & true
But I never shall forget you dear, In the land Im going to
Farewell farewell my Annie dear. And my the Lord above
For ever gaurd  & guide thy steps. & fill thee with his love
Goodbye goodbye my Annie dear May peace with you remain
And may you never sorrow know, Until we meet again
Our Jack’s come home from Sea today and
Brown and bronzed is he, from many a year
He’s been away from his home his love
and me, but his heart is true as it was

Vermillion  £396 : 14 : 10½
of old his spirit’s gay and free, Oh you
little know what joy we felt when Jack
came home today  Oh you little know what
joy we felt when jack came home today
Our Jack’s come home today And Jack’s come
Home today, the good Ship Jane is in
Port again for Jack’s come home today
Our Jack’s come from Sea today and a
Jovial tar is he, for many a storm and many
A gale he accounts with careless glee of
Lands he’s been of Sights he’s seen so Strange
So far away, But all dangers past he’s
home at last for jack’s come home today but
all dangers past he’s home at last for Jacks
come home today  (Chorus).
Our Jack’s come home from sea today to
make poor Nell his bride with loving

heart she near despaired though all hope
in us had died her eyes grew dim her
cheeks grew pale she slowly pined away
but the roses bloom in her cheeks again for
Jacks come home today. But the roses bloom
in her cheeks again for Jack’s come home
today, Our Jack’s come home from today our
Jack’s come home today. The good Ship Jane is
in Port again for Jack’s come home today

Margaret Cuthbertson Rankin
Ship Forfarshire
June 23rd 1883

Remuneration   £55  :  6  :  9
Good people all where’ere you be
I hope you will not frown. I do
not  like this nasty way of
running people down. My Maxim
is to do whats right No matter where
I be. Let people do what they have
a mind. Its nothing to do with
me. So i’ll never interfere no matter
what I see Let people do what they
have a mind Its nothing to do
with me There is Mrs Jones your
next door neighbor she lodges
4 or 5 And to make a tidy job
of it I am sure she can confirm
The lodgers they complain that
they lose the sugar and tea
But I cant see whether she take
it or not
It has nothing to do with me

There is Jones the bobby liver o’er. The way
His house it is so fine. His wages
only 18 bobs while mine is 29.
He has a watch a beautiful charm
and gold rings 2 or 3 but how he
became at the whole of that it has
nothing to do with me. Chorous
I know a nice young lady at the
age of 24  she married a rich old
gentleman some 94 or more They have
lately got a baby and the old
mans filled with glee. I cant say
that is much like him. It has nothing
to do with me.

Never countenance vice
The other night as I strolled out. Twas
by a country road. I heard som
laidies talking close by the hedge
I strolled. They were a loving
couple as I could plainly see
but what they were saying or
talking about. It has nothing
to do with me.

J. A. K.

Nora Magee
Nora dear Nora O why did you leave
one. Why did you leave me to cross the
wide sea Nora dear Nora, I cant live
without you sweet Nora Magee. Then
come back to old Ireland the home
of they childhood The old village
bells and the old willow tree
Come back to the mountains the
valleys and wild woods I cant live
without you sweet Nora Magee.

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