Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Frank Gardiner


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Oh, Frank Gardiner he is caught at last he lies in Sydney jail
For wounding Sergeant Middleton and robbing Mudgee mail
For plundering of the gold escort, the Carcoar Mail also
And it was for gold he made so bold, and not so long ago

His daring deeds surprised them all throughout the Sydney land
And on his friends he gave a call, and quickly raised a band
And fortune always favoured him, until the time of late
Until Ben Hall and Gilbert met with their dreadful fate

Young Vane, he has surrendered, Ben Hall's got his death wound
And as for Johnny Gilbert, near Binalong was found
He was all alone and lost his horse, three troopers came in sight
And he fought the three most manfully, got slaughtered in the fight

Farewell, adieu, to outlawed Frank, he was the poor man's friend
The government has secured him, the laws he did offend
He boldly stood his trial and him and answered in a breath
'And do what you will, you can but kill; I have no fear of death

Day after day they remanded him, escorted from the bar
Fresh charges brought against him from neighbours near and far
And now it is all over; the sentence they have passed
All sought to find a verdict, and 'Guilty' 'twas at last

When lives you take, a warning, boys, a woman never trust
She will turn round, I will be bound, Queen's evidence, the first
He's doing two-and-thirty years; he's doomed to serve the Crown
And well may he say, he cursed the day he met with Mrs Brown

Lyrics from Mark Gregory's, Australian Folk Songs site:

This song collected by Meredith and Keesing from Mrs Popplewell. The tune is noted be Mark Gregory as being a variation of 'The Shan Van Vocht'. Given the unusual resolution of the fourth line, it may be a misremembered tune.

It seems likely that this song predates Gardiner's release from prison on condition of exile in 1874.

The illustration to this post is a wood engraving from 1864 by Samuel Calvert:

Trial of Frank Gardiner, the bushranger, at the Supreme Court, Sydney

The original is held by the State Library, Victoria.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece of singing John.

    PEDANT ALERT: Binalong is pronounced Bye-na-long