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July 24th, Japanese Cemetery

Sayonara Nakamura

When the luggers all sailed away
From Roebuck Back on that fateful day
The diver on the B 19 was Nakamura
Not yet twenty-one
From the land of the Rising Sun
His homeland was the island Okinawa

In the deepest holes of the Lacepede Shoals
To fulfill the pearling master's goals
Went the diver from the B 19, Nakamura
His quest for the lustrous pearl
As strong as his love for the beautiful girl
He'd wed when he returned to Okinawa

    But it's goodbye now, farewell
    Say goodbye to Okinawa
    For today we'll bury you
    In West Australia
    You will never be as one
    With the Land of the Rising Sun
    Sayonara.  Sayonara. Nakamura

From the West came a tropical squall
And the mercury began to fall
Forty fathoms deep was Nakamura
"Set sail" - no time to stage
For the storm began to rage
And they dragged to the surface the boy from Okinawa

The agony's in his eyes
An old Malayman cries
He knows that the bends have got young Nakamura
Helplessly they cursed
As the diver's lungs near burst
And he died on the deck the boy from Okinawa


To the diver's cemetery in Broome
Bearing gifts all deep in gloom
They walked with the body of the diver, Nakamura
Headstones face the west
A thousand divers lie at rest
And they're joined today by the boy from Okinawa

    And it's Goodbye now, farewell

Copyright 1993, Ted Egan

Unless otherwise specified, this page Copyright 2001-2002, Mike Vermeulen