Black Velvet Band

by David Gallows

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The Black Velvet Band (Roud number 2146)

An old favourite of mine, I used to change the location depending on where I was singing the song at the time, however, as we've had “many an hour’s sweet happiness” (and beer) over the years in Brixham and especially at Brixham Pirate festival, it seemed only fitting!

Popularized by the Dubliners in the late 60’s Black Velvet Band has become to be one of the most well known folk songs, it appears in broadsides printed by Swindells of Manchester in the late 1700s. Since then it has travelled far and wide across the globe with unique variations cropping up as far away as Australia and America, who have a version called the blue velvet band.


Black Velvet Band

In a neat little town they call Brixham, apprenticed to trade I was bound,
And many's an hour sweet happiness,
have I spent in this neat little town.
'Till a sad misfortune came over me,
and caused me to stray from the land.
Far away from my friends and relations,
that follow the black velvet band.

And her eyes they shone like diamonds,
You’d think she was queen of the land,
And her hair hung over her shoulders,
Tied up with a black velvet band.

So I took a stroll down The Quayside,
not Meaning so long for to stay,
But who should I meet but this pretty fair maid,
Come a traipsing along the highway.
for She was both fair and handsome,
Her neck it was just like a swan's.
And her hair hung over her shoulders,
Tied up with a black velvet band.

So I took a stroll with this pretty lass,
And a gentleman was passing us by.
Well, I knew that she meant the doing of him,
By the look in her roguish black eye.
An iPhone she took from his pocket,
And placed it right into my hand,
And the very next thing that I said to her was:
"Bad luck to yer black velvet band".

Before the judge and the jury,
next morning I was to appear.
well The judge he says to me,
"Well young fellow, The case against you is quite clear,
Seven long years be your sentence,
To be spent far away from this land,
Far away from your friends and relations,
that 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 me boys,
Beware of them pretty colleen,
For they'll fill you with whiskey and porter,
‘til You are unable to stand
And the very next thing that you notice is,
You've landed in Van dieman's Land


released February 5, 2017



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David Gallows Eindhoven, Netherlands

Multiuntalented instrumentalist & vocalist, maker of cider, drinker of wine, eater of cheese, captain of Pyrates!

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