Van Dieman's Land
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Van Dieman's Land

Van Diemans Land (Young Men Beware)

Me and five more went out one night to Squire Dunhill's park.
Hoping we might get some game but the night did prove too dark.
And to our sad misfortune, they've hemmed us in with speed
They sent us off to Warwick Gaol, which caused our hearts to bleed.

cho: Come all young men, beware, lest you be drawn into a snare,
Come all young men, beware, lest you be drawn into a snare.

'Twas at the March Assizes, to the bar we did repair
And like Job we stood with patience to hear our sentence there.
But we being old offenders, it made our case go hard
They sentenced us for fourteen years, straightway being sent on board.


The ship that bore us from the land, the Speedwell was her name.
And for full five months and upward we ploughed the watery main.
We saw no land nor harbor, believe me it's no lie
All about us one black ocean, above us one blue sky.


On the 15th of September, 'twas then we made the land
And at four o'clock that morning, they've chained us hand to hand.
And to see my fellow sufferers, it filled my heart with woe
For there's some chained to the harrow, and others to the plough.


No shoes nor stockings had they on, no hats had they to wear,
But they'd leather smocks andf linsey drawers, and their hands and feet
were bare.
And they tied us up all two by two, like horses in a team
And the driver he stood over us with his Malacca cane.

They marched us off to Sydney town without no more delay,
And a merchant, he had bought me, his book-keeper to be.
Well, I liked my occupation, my master served me well
And my joys were without number, the truth to you I'll tell.


We had a female prisoner there, Rosanna was her name
For fourteen years transported, from Worcestershire she came.
We oft-times told our tales of love, when we were safe at home
But it's now we're rattling of our chains, in foreign lands to roam.


So come all you wild and reckless youths, that listen unto me.
Mark well the tale that I do tell, and guard your destiny.
It's about us poor transported lads, as you may understand
And the trials that we undergo, going to Van Dieman's land

Note: This is the other Van Dieman's Land. Also see Van Dieman's Land

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About 'Van Dieman's Land'

Trad. (biography)
The Artist:
Traditional Music of unknown author.

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