FAREWELL TO GRETA
This seems to have been one of the more widely sung of the songs about the Kelly Gang.
Shearston learnt this version of it from the singing of Mrs. Katherine
Peatey (from a recording made by the members of the Folk Lore Society
of Victoria). Mrs. Peatey learnt it as a girl before the end of the
is in the form of a dialogue between Ned Kelly and his sister Kate.
Mrs. Peatey seemed to have the order of a few lines confused and these
have been re-arranged.
wombat and the bear
- the wombat and koala (bear) are native animals sometimes used for
food in Colonial Australia. This may be the point of the reference to
October, 1878, the Kelly Gang shot down three policemen out of one
party of four that was searching for them. Kelly claimed that they had
not wished to shoot them, and he was widely believed. The ballad
singers pictured Kelly looking regretfully at the dead men and saying:
"Oh what a bloody pity that the bastards tried to run."
version of the song is taken from The Penguin Australian Song Book. The
editor, John Manifold, says that the text was collected in the
Strathbogie Ranges (in the Kelly country) by W.J. Wye, in the 1890s,
and that the tune is taken from another version of the song printed in
Six Authentic Songs from the Kelly Country, published by the Bush Music
Club of Sydney.
OTHER BUSHRANGERS MENTIONED IN THE SONGS
Born 14th December 1846; both parents had been convicts; worked as
groom-stableboy and jockey in the Yass-Binalong area; joined Hall's
gang approximately October, 1864; was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol,
Sydney, on 19th March 1866, aged nineteen.
Born at Hamilton,Canada in 1842; arrived Melbourne with family 15th
October 1852; first joined Frank Gardiner during Kiandra gold rush
1860; later member of Ben Hall's gang; shot by police at Binalong on
13th May, 1865.
Johnny Gilbert's grave in a paddock at Binalong, N.S.W.
Brought up at Jerry's Plains, Hunter Valley; joined Ben Hall's gang
approximately July 1863, in his early twenties; was champion horseman
and buckjump rider; left Hall's gang in October,1863; surrendered
himself to police in November, same year; sentenced to fifteen years
gaol at Bathurst on 12th April, 1864; was released before serving full
sentence; returned to West, living a respectable life until he died at
Cowra in February, 1906.
Born Daniel Owen at Campbelltown in 1830; in 1850s travelled to
Victorian gold diggings; arrested at Beechworth for horse-stealing and
served two years in Pentridge; began bushranging career in July, 1863,
in the country around Wagga Wagga and Gundagai; known as "Morgan the
murderer", he was only bushranger of the sixties who had no friends, no
sympathizers and no admirers, was callous and bloodthirsty; shot by
police at Peechelba Station, twenty miles from Wangaratta, Victoria, on
8th April, 1865.
photographs of Ben Hall, Ned Kelly, Frank Gardiner and drawing of Jack
Donahue are from originals in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and used
with the kind permission of the Trustees. All other photographs
included in these notes are by Gary Shearston, who wishes to thank
Edgar F. Penzig and Gordon Piper of the Wild Colonial Days Society who
conducted him on a tour of the Gardiner-Hall bushranging country of New
South Wales, in preparation for this recording.