“Ballad of the Kelly Gang”


The singer tells of the large rewards offered for the Kelly Gang, but claims "if the sum were doubled, sure, the Kelly boys would live." The song goes on to describe in great detail the 1878 robbery at Euroa


Lloyd states that the song must have been made up between 1878 (when the robbery took place) and 1880 (when Kelly was hanged). Lloyd's tune for this song is not "The Wearing of the Green," but the Irish tune "Mary from Murroo", sometimes known in Australia as "The Cherry Tree." - PJS

The association with "The Wearing of the Green" is very early, though, as several texts of the song begin with a verse such as

Sure Paddy dear and did you hear the news that's going round?

On the head of bold Ned Kelly they've placed five thousand pound'

For Dan, Steve Hart, and Joey Byrne a thousand each they'll give,

But if the sum was double sure the Kelly boys would live. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1855 - Birth of Ned Kelly
  • 1880 - Execution of Kelly. His last words are reported to have been "Such is life."

Cross references


  1. Fahey-Eureka, pp. 108-111, "The Ballad of the Kelly Gang" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Manifold-PASB, pp. 73-75, "The Ballad of Kelly's Gang" (1 text, in two parts; 1 tune)
  3. Paterson/Fahey/Seal, pp. 87-91, The Ballad of the Kelly Gag"" (1 text)
  5. BI, FaE108


Alternate titles: “Kellys, Byrne, and Hart”; “The Kelly Gang”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1966
Found in: Australia