Van Diemans Land

Interesting Facts about the Van Diemans Land

“Van Diemans Land” is a song often sung in Liverpool and as a forebitter, and very popular on Liverpool ships. The song was originally a shore ballad, and under the title “The banks of Newf’n’land” a parody of an older forebitter, and was sung as the capstan song. It tells of the suffering of poachers transported to Van Diemen’s Land.
The song will be reconstructed by myself as the forebitter.

The source of this sea shanty

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 411).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 411).

The Record of the Van Diemans Land

You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.

Van Diemans Land - Forebitter

The musical notation

Van Diemans Land - music notation

The full lyrics

Van Diemans Land – Forebitter

Ye ramblin’ boys of Liverpool, I’ll have ye to be ware,
‘Tis when ye go a huntin’ wid yer dog, yer gun, yer snore,
Watch out boys for the game keepers, keep yer dog at your command,
Just think on all them hard–ships, goin’ to Van Dieman’s Land.

* 2 *

We had two Irish lads on board, Mickey Murphy an’ Paddy Malone,
And they were both the stoutest friends that ever a man could own,
But the gamekeeper he’d caught them, and from ol’ England’s strand,
They were seven years transported for plough Van Dieman’s Land.

* 3 *

We had on board a lady fair, Bridget Reilly wuz her name,
An’ she wuz sent from Liverpool for a-playin’ of the game.
Out captain fell in love wid her and he married her out of hand,
And she gave us all good usage, boys, goin’ to Van Dieman’s Land.

* 4 *

The moment that we landed there, upon that fatal shore,
The planters they inspected us, some fifty score or more,
They marched us off like hosses, an’ they sold us out of hand,
Then yoked us to the plough, me boys, for to plough Van Dieman’s Land.

* 5 *

As I lay in me bunk one night, a-dreamin’ all alone,
I dreamt I wuz in Liverpool, ‘way back in Marybone,
Wid me own true love beside me, an’ a jug o’ ale in me hand,
Then awoke so broken-hearted, lyin’ on Van Dieman’s Land.

Related to this Forebitter

Paddy West

Jack All Alone

Paddy Lay Back – Forebitter

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