Brave Ben Hall
This song tells the story of bushranger Ben Hall and his outlaw gang. They killed 2 policemen, stole over 20 racehorses, and robbed 21 towns.
In 1865 the authorities decided to pass legislation to stop the worst of the bushrangers: Ben Hall, Johnny Gilbert, and John Dunn. NSW Parliament passed The Felons Apprehension Act.
It essentially declared that those men were outlaws and could be killed by anyone anytime without warning.
At dawn on 5 May 1865, eight policemen, heavily armed with Colt rifles and double-barrelled shotguns, lie in wait for Ben Hall. The police had been tipped off by Ben's friend Michael Conoley and had set a trap for Ben. Coneley received a substantial reward for betraying his friend Ben Hall.
He was alone and fled without firing a shot. Ben Hall was shot in the back 30 times. He was buried 2 days later in Forbes Cemetery. A memorial called "Ben Hall's Wall" is located in Breeza, south of Gunnedah, New South Wales.
Note: A variety of sources list Ben Hall's birth date as 9 May 1837 and as 29 April 1837. We are not sure which one is correct.
Come all Australian sons with me
Pray do not stay your seemly grief
No brand of Cain e'er stamped his brow,
The records of this hero bold
Ever since the good old days
He never robbed a needy man,
Until he left his trusty mates,
They found his place of ambush,
Yes, savagely they murdered him,
No more he'll mount his gallant steed,