Streets of Forbes, The
DESCRIPTION: Ben Hall is "hunted from his station" and "like a dog shot down." A bushranger for three years, he is planning to "cross the briny sea" when found and "riddled like a sieve." The authorities parade his body through the streets of Forbes
EARLIEST DATE: 1964 (Manifold)
KEYWORDS: outlaw police Australia death
May 5, 1865 - Ben Hall is ambushed and killed by police near Forbes, Australia
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Manifold-PenguinAustralianSongbook, pp. 60-61, "The Streets of Forbes" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal-OldBushSongs-CentenaryEdition, pp. 79-81, "The Streets of Forbes" (1 text)
cf. "Ben Hall" (plot, subject) and references there
NOTES [125 words]: For the background of Ben Hall, see the other songs listed in the cross-references, especially "Ben Hall."
To tell this from the other Ben Hall songs, consider this first verse:
Come all of you Lachlan men, and a sorrowful tale I'll tell
Concerning of a hero bold who through misfortune fell.
His name it was Ben Hall, a man of good renown
Who was hunted from his station, and like a dog shot down.
According to Patterson/Fahey/Seal, this is based on a poem by Ben Hall's brother-in-law John McGuire. John S. Manifold, Who Wrote the Ballads? Notes on Australian Folksong, Australasian Book Society, 1964, p. 58, says that McGuire wrote it after seeing Hall's body carried past him, and calls this "the most moving of all the bushranger ballads." - RBW
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