From the album Poison Cove

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Lyrics

Just across the harbor- from the center of Queenstown
There stands a dreadful prison- and that’s where they’ve locked me down
In a musty little cell- that’s all I get to claim
On this hundred acre tract- Spike Island is her name

‘Twas the year of the great hunger- 1848
The famine was a raging- and that’s when I sealed my fate
Across all of Ireland- folks were dying in the streets
And I stole from a rich man- so my family could eat

Now I’m beaten down and broken- got nothing left to lose
I dream about getting out- knowing it’s no use
Not much of a choice- but if I had to choose
I’d rather starve to death than live with the Spike Island Blues

Some work here on the island- in the quarry and on the docks
Even draw a convict’s wage- loading ships or busting rocks
But I’ve never had the option- of being part of that routine
Cause I won’t swear allegiance- to England and the queen

I spend my days in solitude- and rarely see the sun
But I’ve got no regrets for the things that I’ve done
I just think about my family- and pray they made it o’er
Cross the miles of the ocean- to America’s bright shore

Yes I’m beaten down and broken- got nothing left to lose
I dream about getting out- knowing it’s no use
Not much of a choice- but if I had to choose
I’d rather starve to death than live with the Spike Island Blues

(Milan Miller)