A traditional song made popular largely by the singing of the Irish Rovers, and has since become a clarion call for plastic paddies everywhere. It is a crowd pleaser and while associated with St-Patrick’s day, can still be heard the year ’round even from us. Like most of our songs, it is public domain and several attempts by copyright nazis to force royalty payments simply because someone recorded it should be noted as actually illegal. The version below is from the singing of our own Paul Elliott.
In a neat little town they called Belfast
Apprenticed to trade I was bound
And many an hour’s sweet happiness
I’ve spent in that neat little town
But a sad misfortune came over me
Which caused me to stray from the land
Far away from me friends and relations
Betrayed by the black velvet band
Her eyes they shone like the diamonds
You’d think she was queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band
As I went out strolling one evening
Not meaning to go very far
I met with this pretty, young damsel
She was selling her ass at the bar.
Well a watch she took from a customer
And then placed it right into my hand.
Then the law came and put me in prison
Bad luck to the black velvet band
Next morning before judge and jury
For trial I had to appear.
And the judge, he says “Young fellow, me lad,
The case against you is quite clear.
And seven long years is your sentence.
You’re going to Van Diemen’s Land
Far away from your friends and relations
Betrayed by the black velvet band”
So come all you jolly young sailors
I’d have you take warning by me
When you are out for the liquor, me boys
Beware of the pretty Colleens
They’ll feed you with whiskey and porter
Until you aren’t able to stand
And the very next thing that you’ll know, me lads,
You’ve wound up in Van Diemens Land