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The Black Velvet Band Lyrics

In a neat little town they called Belfast
Apprentice to trade I was bound
And many an hour's sweet happiness
Have I spent in that neat little town

As 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 shown like diamonds
I thought her the queen of the land
And her hair, it hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band

I took a stroll down broadway
Meaning not long for to stay
When who should I meet but this pretty fair maid
Come a-traipsing along the highway

She was both fair and handsome
Her neck, it was just like a swan
And her hair, it hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band

Her eyes they shown like diamonds
I thought her the queen of the land
And her hair, it hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band

I took a stroll with this pretty fair maid
And a gentleman passing us by
Well, I knew she meant the doing of him
By the look in her roguish black eye

A gold watch she took from his pocket
And placed it right into my hand
And the very first thing that I said, was
Bad 'cess to the black velvet band

Her eyes they shown like diamonds
I thought her the queen of the land
And her hair, it hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band

Before the judge and the jury
Next morning, I had to appear
The judge, he says to me
"Young man, you're case it is proven clear

We'll give you seven years penal servitude
To be spent far away from the land
Far away from your friends and relations
Betrayed by the black velvet band"

Her eyes they shown like diamonds
I thought her the queen of the land
And her hair, it hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band

So come all you jolly young fellows
A warning take by me
When you are out on the town, me lads
Beware of the pretty Colleens

They'll feed you with strong drink, me lads
'Til you are unable to stand
And the very first thing that you'll know is
You've landed in Van Diemens Land

Her eyes they shown like diamonds
Her neck, it was just like a swan
And her hair, it hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band
Song Info
Copyright
Lyrics © CARLIN AMERICA INC
Submitted by
Submitted on
Feb 06, 2012
4 Meanings
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Happy St Patrick's Day, 2013! For such a poor lad to be sent away for seven years, I wonder if the tricky colleen would even get enough to pay her weekly rent. Lives can too often be bought on the cheap.

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Oh yeah! \m/(",)\m/

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From a glance, it appears to be one of many stories about supposed "criminals" being forced to immigrate to Australia.

Van Diemen was a Dutch colonist, best known for his exploration of Australia, which reinforces the idea.

@Sinroth - Exactly.\r\n\r[irishmusicdaily.com/black-velvet-band](http://nhttps://www.irishmusicdaily.com/black-velvet-band)

@Sinroth - Exactly.\r\n\r[irishmusicdaily.com/black-velvet-band](http://nhttps://www.irishmusicdaily.com/black-velvet-band)

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I've often wondered about this song, if it is intended as a straight up account on the part of the singer, or the singer being the thief and trying to pass the blame. After all, in pretty much every version of the song the singer has just met this girl. She either immediately commits theft or gets him drunk first, then hands him the stolen item. What exactly would her motivation be?

In the versions where she gets him drunk first, he also seems to be blaming her for getting him drunk....

Seems much more likely that he stole the watch and is trying to say 'No, I'm innocent. She's the real culprit!'

@kim1166996 - That interpretation is fully inconsistent with the lyrics. The judge himself SAYS the lad was betrayed. This song is about how the British Empire used the penal system to procure labor. Incentive existed for people to be framed as criminals.\r\n\r\nHere is one example of an analysis explaining the song. irishmusicdaily.com/black-velvet-band

@kim1166996 - That interpretation is fully inconsistent with the lyrics. The judge himself SAYS the lad was betrayed. This song is about how the British Empire used the penal system to procure labor. Incentive existed for people to be framed as criminals.\r\n\r\nHere is one example of an analysis explaining the song. irishmusicdaily.com/black-velvet-band

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