Van Dieman's land


Come all you gallant poachers, that ramble void of care
That walk out on a moonlight night with dog and gun and snare
The harmless hare and pheasant, you have at your command
Not thinking of your next career upon Van Dieman’s land

I’m Thomas Browne from Nenagh Town, with Murphy and poor Joe
We were determined poachers as Tipperary well did know
The keepers of the land, one night, they did us apprehend
And for fourteen years transported us unto 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 Ireland 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


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