Van Diemen’s land, song

Dan McGonigle, singing in English
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Come all you gallant poachers and rambling boys take care
That go out on a moonlight night with your dog gun and snare
The hare and lovely pheasant are there at your command
Not thinking on your last career upon Van Diemen's land.

Brave Tom Brown from Newtown Bob Murphy and poor Joe
Were three determined poachers as the county well did know
By the keepers of the land my boys one night they were trepanned
And for fourteen years transported down to Van Diemen's land.

The first day that we landed upon that fatal shore
The planters gathered round us that might be twenty score
They ranked us off like horses and sold us out of hand
Then yoked us to the ploughs brave boys to plough Van Diemen's land.

The cottages we live in are built with sod of clay
With rotten straw for bedding but we dare not say nay
Our cots we ringed with firing and slumber when we can
To keep wolves and tigers from us upon Van Diemen's land.

Oft times when I do slumber I have a pleasant dream
I am roaming through old Ireland close by a pouring stream
I am roaming through old Ireland with my true love by the hand
But awake quite broken hearted upon Van Diemen’s land.

God bless our wives and families likewise that happy shore
That isle of sweet contentment that we shall never see more
As for the wretched families see them we seldom can
For there’s fourteen men to one woman upon Van Dieman’s land.

There is a girl from Newtown Peg is her name
For seven years transported for the playing of the game
Our captain bought her freedom and married her out of hand
And she gave to us good usage upon Van Diemen's land.

I wish I had a thousand pounds all laid out in my hand
I’d give it all for freedom if this I could command
Again to Ireland I’d return and be a happy man
I would bid adieu to poaching likewise Van Diemen’s land.