The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #418   Message #791002
Posted By: allanwill
25-Sep-02 - 11:04 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Tune Req: Poor Ned (you're better off dead)
Subject: Lyr Add: BALLAD OF NED KELLY (from Trevor Lucas)
From Click here

[Trevor Lucas]

Trevor sings vocals on this song about Australia's most famous outlaw. It appeared first on the Fotheringay album, but there is another version from the Fairport Nine Tour in 1974 with lead guitarist Jerry Donahue on Together Again - The Attic Tracks Vol. 4 and on The Attic Tracks CD.

The song was later picked up by Adelaide's Redgum and included on an album and in their live set, somehow attracting a myth that it was a traditional bush ballad. Trevor put the band right when he became their producer but since those days every Bush Band in Australia has had a crack at the Redgum arrangement (and it's all wrong!).


Eighteen hundred and eighty five
Is a year I remember so well
When they drove Old Brad into an early grave
And sent my mother to jail
Now I don't know what's right or wrong
But they hung Christ on nails
But with six kids at home and two still on her breast
They wouldn't even give her bail

Oh Ned, you're better off dead
You get no peace of mind
A track's a trail
And they're hot on your tail
Before they're gonna hang you high

I did write a letter
And I sealed it with my hand
Tried to tell about Stringy Bog Creek
And tried to make them understand
Oh, that I didn't wanna kill Kennedy
Or cause his blood to run
Well he alone could have saved his life
By throwing down his gun


Well I'd rather die like Donahue
That bush-ranger so brave
Than be taken by the government
And forced to walk in chains
Well I'd rather fight with all my might
While I have eyes to see
Well I'd rather die ten thousand times
Than hang from a gallows tree.


(Copyright © 1970 Island Music (BMI))


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