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Farewell to Greta

Farewell my home in Greta now my sisters fare thee well
It breaks my heart that we must part but here I dare not dwell
The brand of Cain is on my brow my hands are stained with gore
So I must roam in future years throughout the Australian shore

Even now the price is on my head and bloodhounds on my trail
All for the sake of gaining gold my freedom they assail
But if they cross or check my path by all I hold on earth
I'll give them cause to rue the day their mothers gave them birth

I'll shoot them down like kangaroos that roam our country wide
And leave their bodies bleaching upon some woodland side
A prey to every prowling bird the hawk and carrion crow
It's thus I'd serve each the cowardly curs who'd cause my overthrow

Oh Edward dearest brother you know you should not go
All for to be encountered by such a mighty foe
You know the country well dear Ned go take your comrades there
And profit by your knowledge of the wombat and the bear

To eastward lies great Morgan's tower and reaching to the sky
North-east by east the mighty range of Gippsland's mountains lie
Three troopers came a riding one kiss before we part
Now haste and join your three comrades Dan, Joe and Stevie Hart


In Stewart & Keesing's Old Bush Songs a note says this song was collected by Max Brown from Mrs Barry, of Beechworth, Victoria, and said to have been sung about 1879. This tune was collected from Mrs C. Peatey of Brunswick by Norm O'Connor and R. Michell of The Folk Lore Society of Victoria in 1959, and printed in Gumsuckers' Gazette , Sept. 1963. Another tune was collected by Alex Hood from Tim McMahon of Michelago in 1970. (Down & Outback Brad Tate) Brad Tate writes: "The supposed conversation between Ned Kelly and his sister Kate dates from the incident at Stringybark Creek, when three police died in a gun battle with the bushrangers. In fact Maggie, not Kate, was the ally of the Kelly gang".


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory