Australian Folk Songs
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Van Diemen's Land (1948)Bebbington, Printer, 22 Goulden St., Oldham Road, Manchester, and sold by H. Andrews, 27 St. Peter Street, Leeds. Come, all you gallant poachers, that ramble void of care,
That walk out on a moonlight night, with your dog, gun, and snare;
The hare and lofty pheasant you have at your command,
Not thinking of your last career upon Van Diemen's Land. Poor Thomas Brown of Nottingham, Jack Williams, and Poor Joe
Were three determin'd poachers, as the country well doth know.
At night they were trepann'd by the keepers hid in sand,
And fourteen years transported were upon Van Diemen's Land. The first day we landed upon the fatal shore,
The planters came around us--there might be 20 score.
They ranked us up like horses and sold us out of hand,
They yolk'd us in a plough brave boys to plough Van Diemen's Land. Our cottages we live in are built of clods and clay,
And rotten straw for bedding, yet we dare not say nay.
Around our cots a curling fire we slumber when we can,
And drive the wolves and Tigers off upon Van Diemen's Land. A poster printed a little over 100 years ago, when men were being transported to Van Diemen's Land for poaching. Notes From the Queenland Newspaper the Worker 16 Aug 1944 p. 11. Top
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory