The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #418   Message #793351
Posted By: Bob Bolton
29-Sep-02 - 06:09 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Tune Req: Poor Ned (you're better off dead)
Subject: RE: tune/lyric req: Poor Ned (you're better off dead)
G'day alinact,

It is (morbidly) interesting to see the Trevor Lucas lyrics (downloaded from the 'tribute' site?). I can now see why Redgum thought they were "traditional" - they are an incredibly muddled load of rubbish! In the first line we have Ned "remembering" the year five years after his death ... and I can't seem to place "Old Brad" anywhere in the Kelly canon. I can only hope that what is on the site is a mis-hearing by a cloth-eared fan!

Anyway, we launch of into verse two and mire down in "String Bog Creek" ... I'm not too interested in the lad's intestinal problems ... it was Stringybark Creek where the shootings happened. The Redgum re-write manages to beat some sense back into a limp stanza.

Of course, Lucas can only be blamed for the errors in the third verse, since it was totally (if badly) lifted from the traditional song My Name is Edward Kelly ... where it still rhymed! (and was better poetry ... to some degree.)

This is where Redgum completely diverge ... they decide to steal their third verse from John Manifold's <1931 The Death of Ned Kelly ... with a few inaccuracies ... but they did have the sense to leave his tune (locrian mode ... ?) alone.

The end result is a much better song than the version offered on the Lucas site. The compiler bemoans the fact taht Australian bush bands all took up the Redgum version "... and it's all wrong ..." - Yes; but it makes some degree of sense.


Bob Bolton (For whom these are somewhat family matters ... via Mum's side, the Quinns)