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Van Diemen's Land was the original name used by most Europeans for the island of Tasmania, now part of Australia. Like many old traditional songs, especially those that have travelled the globe, the Black Velvet Band has undergone several changes and so has many versions. The Roud Index, number 2146, has 98 entries for this song, comprising broadside ballads, versions collected from traditional singers, and field recordings. The Dubliners 1967 version, possibly the best known, is slightly adapted from a version recorded by Ewan MacColl from the Norfolk singer Harry Cox in 1955, and recorded by MacColl and Peggy Seeger.