The Black Velvet Band Lyrics
by The High Kings

In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprentice to trade I was bound
Oh many an hours sweet happiness
Have I spent in that neat little town

But a sad misfortune came over me
Which caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and relations
Betrayed by the black velvet band

Her eyes they shone 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
Oh 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 shone 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 I took a stroll with this pretty fair maid
And a gentleman passing us by
Oh I knew that she meant the undoing of him
By the look in her roguish black eye

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

Her eyes they shone 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

Seven long years penal servitude
I spent down in Van Diemen Land
Far away from my friends and relations
Betrayed by the black velvet band

Her eyes they shone 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

Her eyes they shone 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

Song Details

Composer / Lyricist: Traditional

Date: 1907

Brief: Depicts the story of a tradesman who is handed a piece of stolen property from a young lady he had just met. The next day the man appears in court and is wrongfully charged with the crime and is sent to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania, Australia) for seven years to serve out the term of his punishment.

References:
cess - an Irish slang word for luck
Colleens - Irish word for girls.
Van Dieman's Land - the former name of Tasmania (1642–1855) - an island state of the Commonwealth of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 miles) south of the Australian mainland, separated by Bass Strait.

Category: Irish Folk Song

Recording Artists with Celtic Origins: The Dubliners, The High Kings, The Irish Rovers, Ewan MacColl, Dropkick Murphys, Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Thunder, The Dublin City Ramblers, Harry O'Donoghue, Patsy Watchorn...

Logo The Black Velvet Band is featured on the album The High Kings (February 26, 2008)

Logo The Black Velvet Band by The Dubliners is featured on the album Seven Drunken Nights (November 11, 2011).

The Black Velvet Band
by The Dubliners

In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprentice to trade I was bound
And the many an hours sweet happiness
Have I spent in that neat little town

A sad misfortune come 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 diamonds
I thought her the queen of the land
And her hair, it hair 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 shone 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 shone 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
Your 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 shone 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 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 Dieman's Land

Her eyes they shone 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

Black Velvet band
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