Convict Era Broadsides and Ballads and the Working Poor: Part 1

Mark Gregory


Banjo Patterson, the poet and collector of Australian Bush Songs, famously refrained from publishing much in the way of convicts ballads. Later folklorists and collectors were more than pleased to collect this kind of material, and added the bushranger ballads as well. So today we have access to some quite remarkable examples to illuminate our understanding of their place in the history of vernacular lyrical poetry and song in Australia, a ballad tradition that stretches from invasion to the present. Today we have many such documents that tell the story of Australia from the point of view of those whose labour built the nation, and strikingly expressed their own views in the process. They stand as working songs or better still docu-songs.


Broadside Ballad; Convict Song; Vernacular Lyrical Poetry; Bushranger Balladry;

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