Henrik Norbeck's Song Lyrics

Van Diemen's Land

Sheet Music (and more information about this song)

Come all you gallant poachers who wander void of care,
Who wander out on a moonlit night with your dog, your gun and snare,
The hare and lofty pheasant you have at your command,
Never thinking of a long career upon Van Diemen's land.

Young Thomas Brown from Nenagh town, Jack Murphy and poor Joe,
Where three determined poachers, the county well does know,
By the keeper of the land, one night, the three 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 gathered around us, they might be twenty score,
They ranked us off like horses and sold us out of hand,
And they yoked us to the plough, me boys, to plough Van Diemen's Land.

The cottages we live in, they are built with sods and mud,
We have rotten straw for bedding but we dare not say a word,
Out hearts are filled with fire and we slumber when we can,
But awaken broken hearted, all in Van Diemen's Land

Oft times when I lay sleeping, I have a pleasant dream
I think I'm home in Ireland, down by a pleasant stream
Strolling in the evening with my true love by the hand
But awaken broken hearted, all in Van Diemen's Land

Oh, if I had a thousand pounds today, all laid out in my hand
I'd give it all for liberty if it I could command
Once more to Ireland I'd return and I'd be a happy man
And I'd bid farewell to poaching likewise to Van Diemen's Land

History: slow, free rhythm

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