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Van Diemens Land


courtesy of - 1800s

Come all you gallant poachers That ramble free from care
That walk out of a moonlight night With your dog your gun and snare
Where the lusty hare and pheasant You have at your command
Not thinking that your last career Is on Van Diemen's Land

There was poor Tom Brown from Nottingham Jack Williams and poor Joe
Were three as daring poachers As the country well does know
At night they were trepanned By the keepers hid in sand
And for fourteen years transported were Unto Van Diemen's Land

Oh! when we sailed from England We landed at the bay
We had rotten straw for bedding We dared not to say nay
Our cots were fenced with fire we slumber when we can
To drive away the wolves and tigers Upon Van Diemen's Land

Oh! when that we were landed Upon that fatal shore
The planters they came flocking round Full twenty score or more
They ranked us up like horses And sold us out of hand
They yoked us to the plough my boys To plough Van Diemen's Land

There was one girl from England Susan Summers was her name
For fourteen years transported was We all well knew the same
Our planter bought her freedom And he married her out of hand
Good usage then she gave to us Upon Van Diemen's Land

Oh! oft when I am slumbering I have a pleasant dream
With my sweet girl I am sitting Down by some purling stream
Through England I am roaming With her at my command
Then waken brokenhearted Upon Van Diemen'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 our wretched females See them we seldom can
There are twenty to one woman Upon Van Diemen's Land

Come all you gallant poachers Give ear unto my song
It is a bit of good advice Although it is not long
Lay by your dog and snare To you I do speak plain
If you knew the hardships we endure You ne'er would poach again 

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.