Streets of Forbes

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"Streets of Forbes"
Single by Weddings Parties Anything
from the album The Big Don't Argue
A-side "Streets of Forbes"
B-side "Missing in Action"
Released 1989
Format 7" vinyl
Genre Folk rock
Label WEA
Songwriter(s) traditional
Producer(s) Jim Dickinson
Weddings Parties Anything singles chronology
"Darlin' Please"
"Streets of Forbes"
"The Wind and the Rain"
"Darlin' Please"
"Streets of Forbes"
"The Wind and the Rain"

"Streets of Forbes" is an Australian folksong about the death of bushranger Ben Hall. The song is one of the best-known elements of the Australian folk repertoire. It has been recorded by many folk and popular artists and groups including The Bushwhackers, Gary Shearston, Niamh Parsons, June Tabor and Weddings Parties Anything.[1] Paul Kelly made his public debut singing the Australian folk song 'Streets Of Forbes' to a Hobart audience in 1974.[2][3] The Streets of Forbes is usually listed as traditional or anonymous, but Gary Shearston writes that "there are reasons for thinking John McGuire, (Ben Hall's brother in law), may well have been the original author".[4][5][6]


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 high renown,
Who was hunted from his station, and like a dog shot down.
Three years he roamed the roads, and he showed the traps some fun,
One thousand pounds was on his head, with Gilbert and John Dunn.
Ben parted from his comrades, the outlaws did agree,
To give away bushranging and to cross the briny sea.
Ben went to Goobang Creek, and that was his downfall
For riddled like a sieve was the valiant Ben Hall,
'Twas early in the morning upon the fifth of May
That the seven police surrounded him as fast asleep they lay.
Bill Dargin he was chosen to shoot the outlaw dead,
The troopers then fired madly and they filled him full of lead,
They rolled him in his blanket and strapped him to his prad,[7]
And they led him through the streets of Forbes, to show the prize they had.


  1. ^ "Weddings Parties Anything discography". Musicmoz. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  2. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "Paul Kelly". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Horsburgh, Susan (2007-06-04). "Song lines". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  4. ^ "Only Love Survives". Gary Shearston. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  5. ^ "Streets of Forbes". Sheet music plus. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  6. ^ "Ben Hall and the outlawed bushrangers". Department of Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  7. ^ ""Prad" - Grose 1811 Dictionary". From Old Books. Retrieved 2008-10-02.