J.C. Byrne, London, 1848, p.187
These words take us back 160 years or more helping us imagine we are hearing a convict singing in Sydney, 'his fate bewailing'. Are we part of an audience listing to Frank the Poet? The singer has worked outside for long periods perhaps on a road gang, or as a shepherd, or on assignment to a local land owner. Just as MacNamara did. The recitatives are of the adventures, crimes, and punishments of the relators, when undergoing punishment in the coal mines, in a road-gang, or penal settlements; Just like the subjects of MacNamara's poems and songs. There is defiance in MacNamara too descriptions of being 'beastly treated' and 'mangled at the triangle', descriptions which certainly at times freeze the blood with horror, and shock the listener. Like the singer above MacNamara showed little deference to his masters and , and his brutal treatment as convict did not make him ashamed to enumerate them in his compositions.