Digital Tradition Mirror

Ben Hall

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

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

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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