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Ben Hall Come all you young Australians and everyone besides I'll sing to you a ditty that will fill you with surprise Concerning of a ranger bold whose name it was Ben Hall But cruelly murdered was this day which proved his downfall An outcast from society he was forced to take the road All through his false and treacherous wife who sold off his abode He was hunted like a native dog from bush to hill and dale Till he turned upon his enemies and they could not find his trail All out with his companions men's blood he scorned to shed He oft-times stayed their lifted hands with vengeance on their heads No petty mean or pilfering act he ever stooped to do But robbed the rich and hearty man and scorned to rob the poor One night as he in ambush lay all on the Lachlan Plain When thinking everthing secure to ease himself had lain When to his consternation and to his great surprise And without one moment's warning a bullet past him flies And it was soon succeeded by a volley sharp and loud With twelve revolving rifles all pointed at his head Where are you Gilbert? where is Dunn? he loudly did call It was all in vain they were not there to witness his downfall They riddled all his body as if they were afraid But in his dying moment he breathed curses on their heads That cowardly hearted Condel the sergeant of police He crept and fired with fiendish glee till death did him release Although he had a lions heart more braver than the brave Those cowards shot him like a dog no word of challenge gave Though many friends had poor Ben Hall his enemies were few Like the emblems of his native land his days were numbered too It's through Australia's sunny climb Ben Hall will roam no more His name is spread both near and far to every distant shore For generations after this parents will to their children call And rehearse for them the daring deeds comitted by Ben Hall Ben Hall, Australia's most highly regarded bushranger, was shot by a police party in 1865. This song was collected by John Meredith from Sally Sloane who told him that Ben Hall's sister-in-law was the midwife at her birth. In his Folk Songs of Australia Meredith quotes Sally Sloane talking about the bushranger: "I saw the place where Ben Hall was killed. He lay down to have a rest this day and was ambushed. Yes it was near Forbes on the Lachlan Plain. He lay there this day waiting for Coobung Mick to bring food to him. Instead of bringing food he brought the cops. and when the policemen came they surrounded him and riddled his body with bullets". MG MG apr96
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