Van Dieman's Land

Melody -

Come all you gallant poachers,
That ramble void of care,
That walk out on a moonlight night
With your dog, your gun and snare.
The harmless hare and pheasant
You have at your command,
Not thinkin' of your last career
Upon Van Dieman's land.

Twas poor Jock Brown frae Glesca,
Will Guthrie and Munro,
We were four daring poachers,
The country well did know;
By the keepers of the land, my boys,
One night we were trepanned,
And for fourteen years transported
Unto Van Dieman's land.

There came a lass frae sweet Dundee,
Bess Logan was her name,
And she was given sentence
For playing of the game;
The captain bought her freedom
And married her out of hand,
And she gave us all good usage
Going to Van Dieman's land.
  The very day we landed
Upon that fateful shore,
The planters came round us,
Some forty score or more;
They ranked us off like horses
And sold us out of hand,
And yoked us to the plough, brave boys,
To plough Van Dieman's Land.

God bless our wives and families,
Likewise that happy shore,
That isle of sweet contentment
Which we shall see no more;
As for the wretched females,
See them we seldom can,
There are fourteen men to every woman
In Van Dieman's Land.

Oh, if I had a thousand pounds
All laid out in my hand,
I'd give it all for liberty
If that I could command;
Once more to Ireland I'd return,
And be a happy man,
And bid adieu to poaching
And to Van Dieman's Land.

Although the poor of Scotland
Do labour and do toil,
They're robbed of every blessing
And produce of the soil;
Your proud, imperious landlords,
If you break their commands,
They'll send you on the British hulks
To plough Van Dieman's land.

A surprisingly large number of the transportation ballads have survived into the 20th-century; none of them has a wider currency than Van Dieman's Land, It exists in a score of variants, not only in Ireland and the British Isles but in Australia and North America as well.
| Deutsche Volkslieder | Ahnenforschung | Ferienaufenthalt | Folksongs | Hymns | Genealogy | Pacific Holiday | HOME PAGE | SEARCH | Email |