Song for David

Written for the Canadian human rights campaigner David Kilgour by Daniel Kelly, 2022.

Am                    C
When David sat down by the brook,
G                Am
considering the stones,
    C                     G
He watched the water flowing by,
Am         G         Am
And listen to its moan.

C                       G
Stand up stand up, you bravest son,
    C            G   Am
And take five stones from me,
    C                         G
And by the strength of your right hand,
         Am    G      Am
These people will be free.

So David took the stones so smooth,
The stones of truth were made,
He took his sling into his hand,
On shepherds staff his hand was laid.

And David strode into the field,
To face the violent foe,
Who taunted, jeered, and massacred,
The world’s good people so.

And on the field he made a stand,
And spoke his truth quite plain,
Your time has come, you wicked fiend,
You’ll slaughter not again.

The foe he wailed and shook his fist,
He cursed by gods so vile,
The world will never listen boy,
Not while the dollars pile.

But David’s stone, flew fast and true,
It struck a mortal blow,
And before the setting of the sun,
The world had come to know.

Now David’s gone, that hero strong,
Of silent souls defending,
We miss his voice and steady hand,
As lives and worlds are ending.



Written for Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Daniel Kelly – September 2020

          Em              C      G    D
Ruth was born in New your City, in 1933,
 C                   G                 Am          D
Daughter of Jewish immigrants, they nicknamed her Kiki,
Em                   C                    G               D
Inspired by her mother, to seek the skills she was denied,
C                    G                  Am             D        G
But before Ruth finished highschool, cancer took Cecila’s pride,

    C      G         Em  D 
So Ruth became, Notorious,
C                    G
Aware of the injustice,
       Em                   D
That defined a woman’s life,
     G                     Em
She fought against the system,
G                    D
For eighty-seven years,
C                    G             D
No-one is more worthy of our tears,

Ruth enrolled at Harvard, ’56 in the fall,
In a class of 500 hundred men, of 9 women she stood tall,
The Dean of Law demanded, why she took the place of a man?
When she graduated first in ’59, it proved that women can.

It was while Ruth was in Sweden, she saw another way,
That a land built on in-equality, didn’t have to stay,
She had fought on 300 cases, by nineteen seventy four,
Of six fought in the Supreme Court, she won five but wanted more.

In 93 Ruth rose, to the nation’s highest court,
Every woman gained, from the equality she brought,
To New Zealand she swore to move, if Trump ever took power,
But she fought cancer and misogyny until her final hour.


Song for George Floyd

By Daniel Kelly 2020

Em                      C
Since they shot young Medgar Evers,
     G       D
Way back in 63’
Em                      C
To be a black man in America,
G                     D
Is to never truly be free,

              C                  G
There are blessings we take for granted,
          G             D
To be respected by the law,
     Em                 C
To be taken at the strength of our word,
   G                    D
Instead of the clothes we wore,

     Em                    C
You can’t fight fire with fire,
          G            D
Then everything just burns,
     Em                           C
With the hate rising higher and higher,
     G              D
Madness is all we earn,  

George Floyd may not have been perfect,
He had even done some time,
But he was father of two daughters,
and not guilty of a crime,

For a bill of twenty-dollars,
The shop owner thought was fake,
George died on the ground,
with a knee in his neck,
His life wasn’t theirs to take
There is silence from the White House,
Except for the threat of a gun,
No sign of reconciliation,
Just more death when the fighting is done,

I remember there was a President,
It seems so long ago,
Whose voice it rang out in Amazing Grace,
Compassion he knew how to show,


Florence of the Airwaves

By Daniel Kelly – 2020

G                          C             G
Florence well she wanted to be an engineer,
C                          G                    D
The man down at the college, He said now listen here,
G                              C                G
We only take apprentices, and you clearly don’t work,
C                           G             D               G  
So she started her own business, take that you flamin’ jerk.

She then got into radios, and bought herself a store,
The famous Sydney Wireless Shop, you couldn’t ask for more,
Twas there she learn’t the code of Morse, and workings of the HAM,
She could soon tap out a dot or dash as quick as any man.

       C                    D             G             C     
Hear Florence on the Airwaves, in nineteen twenty two,
       D                                             G
A woman showed the world, there is nothing they can’t do.
       C                          G             Em
This mistress of the radio, the signal and the code,
       C                  D          G
We never repaid the debt that she is owed.

To give every women freedom, from shackles of house chores,
was the role of electricity, in the patriarchy wars,
Florence taught a thousand women, the secrets of the air,
an army of lady signalers, as for war we did prepare.

Florence went to Billy Hughes, let my girls join the fight,
But a girl in Navy uniform, he just thought it wasn’t right,
Progress and sense prevailed, in nineteen forty one,
Fourteen girls arrived in Canberra, revolution had begun

Now Florence in her later life she never did slow down,
Pen pals with Albert Einstein, and honours from the crown,
Her school it trained the country for another thirteen years,
Freely helping servicemen, embark on new careers.

So I say thankyou Florence, for the courage that you shared,
A pioneer for women, one who taught and led and cared,
And if anyone should tell you, that a job’s just for a man,
You can tell them about Florence, because every woman can.

Travelling Light

By Daniel Kelly – 2019

Em            G             D             Em
The soul of wanderer, you spoke in mysteries
C                           G
More at home among the animals,
The rivers and the trees,
         Em                G
But your wisdom was shared freely,
With your friendship and your song,
       C             G                    D
So it’s hard to believe that you are gone.

Em                   D
Travelling Light, Travelling light,
             C                           G
Driving your home across the country,
Singing songs into the night,
           Em        D             Em
Travelling light, my friend, travelling light,
D                    Em
until the end, travelling light

On the path of the warrior, School of the hidden door,
The sword, the fist, the mind,
your journey to explore,
But a more peaceful soul,
Never graced the earth,
Now your spirit flies free in its rebirth,

Your pride was in your children, the things that they had done,
A loving father watching,
To see them each become,
May your soul find it’s peace,
As you travel through the void,
Carried on the life that enjoyed


Song for Colin


    G     D          C     D    G
A broken Man, with a heart of gold
         C          G                 D
And a voice of an angel, when he’d sing
G        D        Em     C
Wandering in a foreign land,
G              D      G
No home for restless wings,

C            G        Em  C
You left your home just 22,
C        D        G
Sailed across the sea,
C        G            D       Em
Australia bound, no looking back,
    C                D        G
What could it be that made you leave

You found a voice, with your guitar,
Tales of your home,
The working life, in vibrant song,
Three generations story told

You wandered far across the land,
Drifting from place to place,
The festival stage, was your domain,
When drink hadn’t stole your grace

Returning home in 86,
A broken soul, barely alive,
We world it lost your child mind,
In this land you could never thrive.


by Daniel Kelly, 2018

    G           Em         C               D
One eye on the world, the one that we all see,
  G            Em           C            D
Another on the universe, of myth and majesty,
      G             Em       C             D
You bought to us a window, with brush and paint and pen,
       G            E            C    D        G
The essence of the landscape, of women and of men.
   G          C     D          G
Soul of the town, soul of the town,
     C               G           Am D         G C G
They say that the artist, is the soul of the town

Though your light shone so brightly, far across the world it flowed,
You always lent a guiding hand, to fellow artists on the road,
In shoes that sparkled with defiance, of all things dull and slow,
You walked the town from north to south, inspiring all to laugh and grow

You were keeper of the history, The stories of time and place,
Memories in Comur and Old Linton, You gave Oddfellows a new face,
And though you have moved along, the red shawl on its flight,
We treasure the seeds and marks you left us, we’re still smiling in your light.

Time is Running Out

Words by Alistair Hulett, music by Daniel Kelly

G         C      D      G
Time is running out for us
C                 D           G
Shadows getting longer every day,
     C     D         G     C
I need to find some self control,
              Em        C           D
To let those last few moments slip away
             G        C       D      G
It’s gonna break my heart to leave you,
       C                 D             G    C  D
But I think you’d only break it if I stay,

          G            C           D       G
There’s a torn flag nailed to a telegraph pole,
        C          D        G
On the edge of a rat-arsed town
    C      D             G       C
It used to fly over a castle of dreams
          Em              C     D
Before the walls came tumbling down

Nobody knows what’s gonna happen next,
Could be floods or it might be drought,
Only thing everyone knows for sure
Is time is running out.

I guess I always knew it would come to this,
The Wheels were set in spin,
Ever since we shared that first uncertain kiss
On the edge of the abyss

Down the street where I once was king
I feel invisible now
I once believed truth and honesty
were the only way to be free

But truth is just a place where contradictions
Cancel each other out.
That’s the only conclusion you can draw,
When time is running out.

(Word's slightly modified from the written notes 
published on the Alistair Hulett Memorial Trust Facebook page)