Monday, September 24, 2007

Song of the Week: Black Velvet Band

Black Velvet Band
words and music traditional

In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprenticed in trade I was bound
And many's the hour of sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town
Till bad misfortune befell me
That caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band

Her eyes they shone like the diamond
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 was out strolling down broadway
Not intending to go very far
I met with a frolicksome damsel
Applying her trade in a bar
Well a watch she took from a customer
And she slipped it right into my hand
Then the Watch came and put me in prison
Bad luck to the black velvet band

Before judge and jury next morning
For our trial I had to appear
The judge, he said, "My young fellow,
The case against you is quite clear.
Well seven years is your sentence.
You're going to Van Diemen's Land.
Far away from your friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band."

So come all you jolly young fellows
I'd have you take warning by me
Whenever you're out on the liquor
Beware of the pretty colleen
For she'll fill you with whiskey and porter
Until you're not able to stand
And the very next thing that you notice
You've landed in Van Diemen's Land


The Dropkick Murphys version has a few changed lyrics that pull the song more into their Boston punk/rock lineage of traditional Irish cover versions:

DKM: Black Velvet Band

In a neat little town they call Brockton
Apprenticed in trade I was bound
And many an hour's sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town
Then bad misfortune befell me
That caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and companions
To follow the black velvet band

Well, I was out strolling one evening
Not intending to stay very long
When I met a frolicsome damsel
As she came t-ripping along
A watch she pulled out a'pocket
And slipped it right into my hand
On the very first night that I met her
Bad luck to 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 in a black velvet band

Before judge and jury next morning
Both of us did appear
A gentleman claimed his jewelry
And the case against us was clear
Now seven long years transportation
Right down to Van Diemen's land
Far away from my friends and companions
To follow 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

So come all you jolly young fellows
I'd have you take warning by me
Whenever you're out on the liquor
Beware of the pretty colleen
She'll fill you with whiskey and porter
Until you're not able to stand
And the very next thing you'd know
You've landed in Van Diemen's Land

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

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1 comment:

Cary said...

Good post.