The Winter King

by Daniel Kelly - 2024

In the deep frozen heart of the winter,
A man rises up from the ground
To take a last look at his lady,
Before losing his green ivy crown.

For back in the heat of the summer,
His beard it was golden and long,
But now it is white as the snow fall,
Forgotten the mirth and the song,

Carry him into the future,
Carry his soul with the flames,
Carry our hopes for the Spring time,
That summer may return again,

The leaves they have yellowed and fallen,
The light has gone out of the sky,
The chill of the wind bites our fingers,
It’s the way of the living to die.

But spring it awaits on the branches
And blossoms will follow the cold,
As we wait and we warm by the fire,
On the circle of seasons so old

The Community Hall

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

     Em                      D         Em
The Community Hall, is the heart of the town,
          C             G         Am        D
It’s for birthdays and dancing in tails and gown,
     Em                        D         Em
They never make money, and are often run down,
     C               G
But the good folk that keep them,
     D             Em
And give of their time,
     G                  D        Em
Know they’re holding the people together.

The Yass Valley Council, has sent out a bill,
To the people of Bowning, for rates owing still,
Almost four thousand dollars, and it’s sure to kill,
The community spirit,
The volunteers work,
Is treated like fodder for stealing,

The Community Hall, for a hundred odd years,
Has been hosting the dances, and witnessing tears,
Of memorial diners, and victory cheers,
Those greedy pen pushers,
And technocrat schemers,
Are killing the heart of Australia.

So Yass gets 50 million, for fancy new digs,
For the council to sit at, in make-up and wigs,
But the people of Bowning, left out with the pigs,
To pay Prince John’s taxes,
While council relaxes,
It’s time for a change at the table.

Good Ale

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

Written for Twilight Waters

Chorus:
For we all need good Ale, Sir.
We all need good Ale, 
In cup or flagon or pail Sir, 
We all need good Ale.

The fishmongers work is messy and hard, 
He doesn’t smell great when he comes from the yard, 
Finding a wife is a challenge he’ll fail, 
So he sure needs good Ale. 

The merchant he takes all your coin it is true,
And seldom measures with weights that are true,
He’ll put up the price while he tells you a tale,
And sell you a fine cup of Ale,

A baker arises well before the sun, 
And kneading his dough doesn’t look like much fun,
The bread that he sells is moldy and stale,
So he needs a good cup of Ale,

The blacksmith strikes hard with a powerful arm, 
Sparks fly on cutlass or plough for the farm, 
He can even make you a good set of mail,
And he needs a flagon of Ale,

The sailor works hardest of all that’s no lie,
And when he’s ashore there’s something he’ll buy,
Best serve it to him in a bloody big pail,
A generous portion of ale,

The harlot she learns ins and outs of her trade,
And flat on her back is where her money’s made,
She’ll give you a smile from up on the rail,
If you buy her a good cup of ale,

White Jesus

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

     G
Hey white Jesus,
          Am
Can you answer a question for me,
           G             Em
Cause I’m really struggling to see,
          C               G
How my saviour could be convicted,
       D
Of a felony.

Hey white Jesus,
Did you feed the poor too much again,
Did you turn the other check again,
Were you speaking out against corruption,
In the government.

     C                  G
Cause I’m trying to understand,
C           G 
Are you really just a man,
     C               Em
Was your vision for America,
          C           D
Just a con and not a plan,

Hey white Jesus,
The Stormy sure wasn’t your wife,
Yet you claim to live a righteous life,
Were you lying to the masses,
All along.

     C             G
You are not the messiah,
     D               G
You’re just a naughty boy,
     C           G
You are not the messiah,
     D      C       G
America is not your toy,

Hey white Jesus,
When they find out that you are a fraud,
And you’re truly not the risen lord,
There’ll be no one to protect you,
From the angry mob.

Work of the Beavers

Parody of 'Wark o' the Weavers' - 2024

       G            D         C           G
Beavers they are wonderful, beavers they are smart,
      C               G             C             D
To keep the rivers healthy, they always do their part,
        G     D            C              G
Civil engineering, that’s also a work of art,
        C               G             D  G
So be thankful for the wark o' the beavers

                     D        C                 G
If it wisnae for the beavers, whar would ye stand?
    C           G          C           D
Ye wadnae hae a river, that is good and dammed'
G                   D                 C            G
A lovely spot for fishing, and for swimming also grand
             C           G            D  G
Sae be thankful for the wark o' the beavers

The humans often hunted us and turned us into hats,
With guns and spears and arrows, snares and nets and traps,
They extracted our secretions, called us fish, imagine that,
A very sorry fate for the beavers

Geronimo the beaver, he came from Idaho,
They took up into a plane and threw him down below,
Lucky he had a parachute, landed ready to go,
Continuing the wark o' the beavers

So if you see a beaver, down at your local stream,
Be thankful for the work he does, building a wetland dream,
And don’t begrudge the trees he takes, and never treat him mean,
And be thankful for the wark o' the beavers

Never Came Home

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

Dm                    C             G       Am
Dougie Therkelsen was 19, when he went to Tarakan,
C          G             Em           Am
To help General McArthur, take back  oil from Japan,
        G        Am               C      G    Am
In the 2nd / 4th Commandos, he would learn to be a man,
        C                 G            G        Am
But he fell upon the beaches, never to come home again.

        C            G        Em  Am
No he never came home, like so many more,
        C        G        C       G       Am
That lie there forever, on a far lonely shore,
        G          Am              G        Am
With family and friends left to carry the pain,
        C        G      Em                 Am
Of a son or a father, that won’t be home again.

Dougie came from Nanango, he joined in 1943,
With his parents George and Eva, a happy family,
He left it all behind him, because his country was at war,
But nothing can prepare a man, for what fate has in store,

It was in operation Oboe, that Dougie was cut down,
The Japanese were set to fight for every inch of ground,
Storming pill boxes with rifles, was a foolish way to die,
But orders they are orders, and a soldier don’t ask way,

Man or Beast

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

    C                     F            C       G
Would you rather be trapped with a man or a bear,
         F            C            Dm       G
It’s a fun thought experiment, that we can share,
And if you are a man, and you’re wondering why,
The bear in the woods is rated so high.
    F                G        C       
To reply in some verse  I will try.

See bears won’t attack you, most of the time,
And if you leave them alone, you’ll likely be fine,
The same can’t be said, I’m afraid for mankind,
The statistics alone, you’d have to be blind,
Not to realise the danger they’re posing,

In a hundred odd years, though brutes they can be,
Bears killed 43 women, which is a tragedy,
But In Texas alone, in twenty twenty,
Men killed two hundred and fifty, it’s horrific you see,
And there’s nothing we’re doing about it.

Here in Australia, in April just past,
At men’s hands, Eleven women, each breathed their last,
It’s a national outrage, and it’s a global shame,
That men keep on killing, and will be killing again,
Unless we find a way we can end it.

So here’s to the bears, with their mighty claws,
Who mostly don’t hurt, and live by natures laws,
And cursed be the men, who kill and let kill,
And curse those who said nothing, and remain silent still.
When they had the power to change it.

From the River to the Sea

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

G               C      G
From the River to the Sea,
    C       G        D   G
Why can’t we live in harmony?
    G               D     G
Christian, Muslim, Jew and Me,
    C     G      D          (Em)G
How much blood will see us free? x 2

The land is taken, land is won,
We’ll fight until the dying sun,
Once death is dealt, can’t be undone,
When you are living by the gun,

Minds and hearts are fixed and closed,
Both sides protest, both oppose,
No moral ground, while hate still grows,
Students dress in terror’s clothes,

Of a wasteland he’ll be king,
Netanyahu does his thing,
Violence will more violence bring,
Dove of peace she cannot sing,

From the River to the Sea,
Means death to you and death to me,
Peace will not come easily,
Both Palestine and Israel free,

Happy Star Wars Day Mark Hamill

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

      A          
Happy Star Wars Day Mark Hamill,
A
Did you ever ride a camel,
G                       D
I’m sure that a wee dram’ll,
      A                 G          D
Help you get into the spirit of the day,

And did you know that Wookies,
Are very fond of Porg meat cookies,
Most Star Pilots now are rookies,
But the empire is all gone so it’s okay,
Yes it’s okay.

      G           D           A
And may the Force with you always,
      G           D                 A
By your side through all of your days,
      Em          G        D
You’ve inspired us in all ways,
      G           D       A
May the Force be with us all, x 2

So raise a green glass from a siren,
May the fourth have you aspir’n,
To forty eight years of re-hiring,
By Disney and the franchise of all time,

And we all miss Princess Leia,
That bold empire slayer,
It’s a shame they didn’t pay her,
Quite as much as she deserved, they had some nerve,

Today the filkers will be filking,
And cosplayers will be silking,
And Darth Vader will be still king,
As the Storm Troopers miss every single shot,

We all remember gladly,
How a Princes was saved quite badly,
And Obi-wan died sadly,
And we learned about lightsabers and the Force,

We’ll See

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

Based on the 2nd century Taoist story, that appears in the ‘Sign’ episode of Bluey.

              G           C            G
There was a good man who lived by the border,
     C                       G
One night his best horse ran away,
     C             D             G         C
The neighbours sad sorry, that’s very bad luck,
          C             D         G
But we’ll see said his father we’ll see.

        C                         G
We’ll see said the father, we’ll see.
       D                          G
We’ll see said the father we’ll see,
     C                  G
Should you be happy, or should you be sad,
     C             D             G
We’ll see said his father, we’ll see.

Months later his horse home returned,
Brought eight strong new horses to the herd,
The neighbours said lucky, that’s good news for you,
But we’ll see said his father we’ll see.

The son took a new horse out to ride,
But fell off, broke a leg and his pride,
How bad said the neighbours, what terrible news,
But we’ll see said his father we’ll see.

Next year to war the men folk went away,
But the son’s broken leg made him stay,
So bad follows good, and won’t be understood,
And we’ll see said his father we’ll see.

 

Women’s Day (Illusions of Progress)

A song for International Women's Day 2024 by Daniel Kelly

            C
Well it’s 3pm on Thursday,
          G               C
and the boss stops by my desk,
      G                    G7
He’s forgotten Women’s Day again,
      C
and says, “Better do something I guess”.
            F                 G
Could you organise a speech, some tea
      Em                   C
and maybe print some signs?
      G
I’d do it all myself you know,
      G                 C
But I haven’t got the time.   

John says he has to leave at 4,
or he’ll miss the golf game,
And the men are going out for drinks,
So could I make a list of names,
Of women in the company,
Who’ve done something to admire,
But do not include Karen,
She’s being forced to retire.

      F                             C
So I’m making the cupcakes for Women’s Day,
      G
Cause men don’t know how to make them,
      C
And would burn them anyway.
        F                        C
Yes I’m making the cupcakes for Women’s Day,
      G
Maybe next year I will get respect,
                              C
A safe workplace and better Pay.

So I stay back late and decorate,
The office and the cakes,
I write the speech for John to make,
Though all evening it takes,
I clean up after everything,
And silently I yell,
Thank the goddess there’s no men’s day,
For me to do as well.

Alexei Navalny

by Daniel Kelly 2024

     G            D             G
To the party of thieves and crooks,
           C               G
He was a source of great frustration,
     C               D
In Putin’s blackest books,

           G                 Em
So they charged him and imprisoned him,
     C               G
And poisoned him for sure,
     C               G    D
But now that brave man is no more,

     C    D    G
(but) I am Alexei Nevalny,
     C      D        G
And you are Alexei Nevalny,
     C          D          Em D  C
We stand at the doorstep of Tyranny,
     C          D          G
Demanding the right to be free.

A man of politics and of the law,
Alexei was incensed,
By the corruption that he saw,

A Russia of the Future,
Was the vision he had seen,
And for that he was showered in green,

For human rights he was recognized,
Sakharaov Prize in ’21,
And many more besides,

But they poisoned him with Novichok,
To the gulag he was sent,
But not in vain were his last days spent,

The Poet’s Den

Written for Dr Malcolm Guite, for his fabulous creations – by Daniel Kelly 2024

    G                 Em     C
From out the haze of smokey rings,
    G                 Am7 D
A gentle voice with magic sings,
    Em                    D      C
Ensconced all round with wisdoms bound,
    G                 D          G
The heart revives to hear the sound,

Of crystal clink with amber dew,
Or lighter set to flame anew,
Betwixt each word the listener waits,
As piper puffs and tale relates,

Aboard the ship that walked the dawn,
Or troll with bone of Tom’s kin gnawn,
We sit in cozy Hobbit hole,
A haven from the rush and brawl.

Follow through the wardrobe door,
To lantern waste, and cavern floor,
The rain stick tips at Heaney’s pen,
A journey there and back again.

And all too soon the clock will chime,
The pipe weed glow is lost with time,
Until we knock at door again,
See where the poet takes us then,

Flerken Frustration

By Daniel Kelly - 2024

    F
We’ve got Flerkens on the Bridge,
                      C
We’ve got Flerkens in Med Bay,
               C
We’ve got Flerkens in the bathroom,
                    F
They just won’t go away.

    F
It’s best if you stop running,
                      B
That only makes them mad,
                  F
As for Flerken infestation,
               C                F
This is the worst that we have had

A crew-mate tried to catch one,
And they were swallowed whole,
    B              F
We need to find a way,
               C          F
To get these cats under control.

You may not have heard of Flerkens,
They look just like a cat,
But when the tentacles come out,
You’ll soon be forgetting that.

Chewbacca Sassy Danvers,
Is a Flerken you may know,
Rocket tried to kill her,
But Carol she said no.

Goose laid eggs on SABER,
Hidden all over the station,
Nick Fury was a bit confused,
But hope grew from frustration.

Brigid

by Daniel Kelly 2024

Brigid of the anvil,
Brigid of the flame,
Brigid of the healing hand,
She of exalted name.

Daughter of the Dagda,
Mother of Ruadan,
Goddess of the poet’s word,
And springing of the lamb,

Imbolc sees her rising,
Bringer of the dawn,
Sheep and Boar and Oxen,
Taught us how to mourn,

Patroness of Ireland
You live on in that name,
Turning water into beer,
Kildare’s eternal flame

Bleak Creek

by Daniel Kelly – 2024

(written about the Rhett and Link book The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek)

    Em               C            Em
Something’s in the water of Bleak Creek
    Am              Em
Strange things are going down,
    G                D    C
In what was such a sleepy town,
         Em  D        G      D
Be careful or you’re gonna drown,
Em        C       Em
Look out Rex and Leaf.

Rex and Leaf were shooting their new film,
Dog Nights of the Living dead,
At least I think that’s what they said,
Tragedy struck them both instead,
When they lost a friend.

If you meet the watcher in the woods,
Hiding by the river side,
He’ll take you for a wild ride,
The only one to get outside,
Buy that man a drink.

Desperate people doing desperate things,
Building power and respect,
Hidden secrets and regrets,
Watch out kids you might be next,
Hope that you can swim.

Twisting of the Rope (Casadh an Tsúgáin)

My translation of the Gaelic song, original here.

If you're with me, Be with me in front of the whole house
If you're with me, Be with me all day and all night
If you're with me, Be with me truly in your heart
Such sorrow for me, That wedded we can never be.
    
Oh what misfortune has led me to this place?
There is many a lass in the village that I left behind
I called at the house of my true love last night
But her mother had me twisting rope till I was out the door
      
I would plow and plant, The seed deep in the soil
And I would drive the cows to best grass in the fields,
I would shoe the fastest horse that ever was,
But none of these are fit to win your hand

My hair is grey, but not from length of years,
Fair words will never sate the hunger in me
And I’ve wasted over a year, in courting you
I am hunted like a deer chased on the moor.

Second Coming of Trump

by Daniel Kelly - 2024

       Em            G
Yay verily I saw a beast,
D                    Em
Rise up from the deep,
          Em            C
And the masses shouted out his name,
       G             D
Although he was a creep,
       C               G
He played upon their fears and dreams,
       Em            D
And spun them pretty lies,
       Em            G
But all along his plan was for,
D             Em
Democracy’s demise.

       G                    D
So get your house in order,
       C             G
And lock away your hope,
       Em                   C
For the hangman’s at the scaffold,
       G                    D
And he’s tightening the rope,
       Em            C
Get ready for the dangle,
       G            D
Get ready for the jump,
                    C      D         G
Get ready for the second coming of Trump

This beast he is not new to us,
We’ve lived his lies before,
He defiled the seat of power,
He flouted every law,
How can they be so gullible,
To trust him once again,
When all he wants is vengeance,
And for democracy to end.

Now look you to the ballot box,
And look you to the law,
And fight with every righteous heart,
The wolf that’s at the door,
Your freedom doesn’t come for free,
But with a price that must be paid,
To hold the wall of bricks and stones,
That with others blood were laid.

Cool Rock

by Daniel Kelly – 2023

    G            C          D       G
Let me show you this cool rock I found,
    C            D        D7
It was sitting here just on the ground,
    Em         C    D        G
I snuck up on it without a sound,
    C        D         D7     G
I hope you like this rock I found.

Yesterday I heard a tune,
It reminded me of a crescent moon,
I hope I can sing it for you soon,
And you will like my little tune,

    C            G      C        G
For beauty is there for you to see,
    C   D      D7
In the air and under tree,
    Em         C    D        G
If you look for it, it’s sure to be,
    C        D         D7     G
Something that you can share with me. 

I heard a bird as I walked by,
He whistled sweetly in the sky,
Turned his head and caught my eye,
Such a colourful happy guy.

One morning I was feeling sad,
The world is sometimes awful bad,
But a little light can still be had,
If you look for magic, you can be glad

Cricket

by Daniel Kelly - 2023

G
Now let me tell a story,
           C          G
Of the bat and of the ball,
     C               G
Of twenty thousand hours,
     C                 D
Hitting up against the wall.

     C                    G
Of faith and truth and courage,
     C                    G
Played against the hardest odds,
           Em              G
in the local park on a Saturday,
     C    D      G
by some animated dogs.

Now Rusty is a Kelpie,
Named for his hair of red,
And he was mad for cricket,
At least that’s what was said.

He was up against some adults,
Who didn’t understand,
Rusty would grow up to be,
The best batsman in the land.

     C               G
Cause Rusty hits the bouncers,
     C               G
And Rusty copes with spin,
           Em              G
There’s not a paceman in your team,
     C               D
Can best the likes of him.
     C               G
Cause courage and persistence,
     Em                   D
Is what fuels the sportsman’s dream,
     C               G
What started in the backyard,
     C          D    G
Will end up on your screen.

With young Rusty at the crease,
The brothers Heeler did attack,
One with swing and one with spin,
But Rusty knocked ‘em flat,

They even tried a paceman,
But not could slow him down,
Rusty had learned the lessons,
From every bowler in town.