Barbara Dickson

Van Diemen's Land

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Come all you gallant poachers that ramble void of care
That walk out on a moonlight night with your dog, your gun, your snare
The hare and lofty pheasant, you have at your command
Not thinking on your last career upon Van Diemen's Land

Poor Thomas Brown from Nenagh Town, Jack Murphy & poor Joe
Were three determined poachers as the country well does know
By the keepers of the land, my boys, one night they were trepanned
And for fourteen years transported unto Van Diemen's Land

The first day that we landed upon that fatal shore
The planters came around us there might be twenty score
They ranked us off like horses and they sold us out of hand
And they yoked us to the plough, brave boys, to plough Van Diemen's Land

The cottages we live in are built with sods of clay
We have rotten straw for bedding but we dare not say them nay
Our cots we fence with wire and we slumber when we can
To keep the wolves and tigers from us in Van Diemen's Land

Oft times when I do slumber, I have a pleasant dream
With my sweetheart sitting near me, close by a purling stream
I am roaming through old Ireland with my true love by the hand
But awaken, broken hearted, upon Van Diemen'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
Again to Ireland I'd return and be a happy man
And bid farewell to poaching and to Van Diemen's Land

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Barbara Dickson en Octubre