The Ballad of Jack Lefroy

Words Anon. Music J.J. Armstrong


Come all you lads and listen, a story I would tell,

Before they take me out and hang me high,

My name it is Lefroy, and my life I did enjoy,

But the old judge has sentenced me to die.

My mother she was Irish and she taught me at her knee,

But to honest work I never did incline,

As a youngster I could ride any horse was wrapped in hide,

And when I saw a good 'un he was mine.  


So all young lads take warning and don't be led astray,  

For the past you never, never can recall;  

While young your gifts employ, take a lesson from Lefroy,

Let his fate be a warning to you all.


"Go straight, young man," they told me when my first long stretch was done,

"If you're jugged again you'll have yourself to thank,"

But I swore I'd not be found digging nuggets in the ground

When the best ones were lying in the bank.

Well, I've stuck up the mail-coaches, and I've ridden with Ben Hall,

And they never got me cornered once until

A pimp was in their pay gave my dingo-hole away,

And they ran me down to earth at Riley's Hill.


"Come out, Lefroy!" they called me, "come out, we're five to one!"

But I took my pistols out and stood my ground.

For an hour I pumped out lead but they got me in the head,

And when I awoke they'd got me bound.

It's a pleasant day to live, boys, a gloomy one to die,

Dangling with your neck inside a string-

How I'd like to ride again down the hills to Lachlan Plain!

But when the sun rises I must swing.