I’d been a wild gambler in guinees and pounds,
and I’ve spent all my money on horses and hounds.
But when I returned with gold in great score,
Said never would I be the wild gambler no more.

[[Chorus:]]
And it’s no, nay, never,
no, nay, never, no more
will I play the wild gambler
no, never, no more

I went to an card-room I used to frequent
and I told the dealer my money was spent.
I asked him for credit, he answered me nay,
For fools such as you walk in here every day

[[Chorus]]

I took from my pocket ten sovereigns bright
and the croupier’s eyes opened wide with delight.
He changed all my money to chips in great store,
But I left that casino with nothing once more.

[[Chorus]]

I’d go home to my parents, confess what I’ve done,
and I’d ask them to pardon their prodigal son.
And when they had bailed me as oft’ times before
I’d go back to playing the wild gambler once more.

But I ran out of money and i ran out of trust
and I ran straight to gamblers an-on-y-mous
and i started the stepping from one to twelve
a power greater than i then restored me from hell


In a neat little town they called Belfast

Apprentice to trade I was bound

And many an hour sweet happiness

Have I spent in that neat little town

A 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 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

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

‘Till 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