As I went walking down broadway not intending to stay very long,
I met with a frolicsome damsel as she came tripping along.
A gold watch she pulled from her pocket, and slipped it right into my
On the very first day that I met her, bad luck to the black velvet band.
Her eyes, they shone like diamonds,
You'd think she was queen of the land
With her hair thrown over her shoulders,
Tied up with a black velvet band.
'Twas in the town of Tralee, an apprentice to trade I was bound,
With a-plenty of bright amusement to see the days go round,
'Til misfortune and trouble came over me, which caused me to stray from
Far away from my friends and relations, to follow the black velvet band.
Before the judge and jury next morning we both did appear,
And a gentleman swore to the jury, and the case against us was clear,
Seven long years' transportation, right down to Van Dieman's Land,
Far away from my friends and relations, to follow her black velvet band.
Now all ye brave young Irish lads, a warning please take by me,
Beware of pretty young damsels you meet all around Tralee.
They'll treat you to whiskey and porter until you are unable to stand,
And before you have time to leave them, you'll be sailing for Van
Footnote : A popular Irish song which warns young men, in this case a
rather gullible youth, against the persuasive power of a 'frolicsome
damsel' to break the law with disastrous consequences. It also seems to
have made him rather paranoid about all 'pretty Tralee damsels'. The
song was a massive hit for the top Irish folk-group The Dubliners in the
1960s. The Dubliners celebrated 40 years on the road last year (2002).