Hatton’s Corner

by Daniel Kelly – 2022

C                    G
Broken bottles strewn around,
Am                   F
Fast food wrappers on the ground,
Am                   G               Am
You would think nobody cares for this town,

If we told who left them there,
The Careless vandals wouldn’t dare,
To show their face in the street.

C               G               Am
Cleaning up the mess at Hatton’s Corner
Cleaning up the mess at Hatton’s Corner
C           G     Am           F
Tom and his son, before the day is done,
           Am              G               Am
Are still cleaning up the mess at Hatton’s Corner

With selfless pride in our little town,
Tom soon gained deserved renown,
But not everyone was happy with his action.

Leave the mess to someone else,
Who made you take this task yourself,
To think you’re so much better than us others

Keeping our town clean with pride,
Is virtue that can’t be denied,
But better still if others didn’t litter.

For those who toss rubbish and food,
So selfish, arrogant and rude,
May learn a lesson from their public unmasking


The Yass Heroes

By Daniel Kelly – 2021

     D                     G                 
There’s a bend down in the river,
          C                G
Where the water’s running fast,
          C               G
And the shallow sand is hollowed,
       Am                D
Each step could be your last,

Edward Kiley and John Davis,
Had been told they couldn’t swim,
But the voice of Sergeant Anderson,
     C         D         G
Was ignored in youthful whim,

          C             G  
I’m going down, I’m going down,
              D         G
The water’s flowing over me,
     C               G
Brother give me your hand,
          C       D    G
It’s so dark I cannot see

Help, help, the boys are drowning,
The call came up the hill,
Jeremiah and the other men,
The ran down with a will.

Jeremiah Mead the strong man,
Pride of the football team,
He dove into the water,
Amidst the children’s screams

Bill Sunderland a father,
At home a loving wife,
Despite not being a swimmer,
He strode in risking his life

Now four lay at the bottom,
The cruel water it flowed on,
The helpers and the helpless,
Their life and future gone,

Now in Yass stands a monument,
Right by the local pool,
A worn moss-covered obelisk,
Not far from the high-school,

A monument to courage,
And men who gave their lives,
Soldiers of strength and bravery,
On which our nation thrives.


Sisters of Yass

             G                 C         G
We left Rochfortbridge in the county of Meath,
              C        G             D
Bound for a land far away from our home,
      G                         C        G
The green field behind us, the future unclear
      C      G          D
Travelling into the unknown

     C      D         G
Far away    we       lie,
Under a sun burnt sky,
          C           G           C
In our dreams we fly back to our home
        C     D      G                
Ireland cool and green,
Family and Friends un-seen,
         C         D         Em                 
We are sharing a message of love
        C          D         G      
We are sharing a message of love

We first set foot in Yass, eighteen seventy five,
Strange country and people with hope in their eyes,
We brought wisdom and caring, built convent and school,
Sharing the joys of our home

We taught the young children, whatever their race,
Education is something to be given to all,
But with a government ruled by the small minds of men,
Native children were forced from our school.

Our legacy started a hundred years past,
But our voices still can be heard
In the laughter of children through Mt Carmel’s Halls
Our memories faithfully held


The Ballad of the Commercial Hotel

By Daniel Kelly – 2021

C       G         D        G   
Around 1850 she opened her doors,
   C         G             Am        D
A beer and a bed, for the traveling scores,
     G               D          Em       C
John Gibbons he dreamed of business done well,
           G               Bm         D         G
When he pulled the first beer at his Commercial Hotel

Just twenty years later, in the time of the flood,
The North of the town, it was buried in mud,
Mr Coles had a heart, and he answered the bell,
When he offered the rooms of the Commercial Hotel.

Sadly the fire, in 1903,
Started in the parlour, but quickly spread free,
Though the brigade fought hard, there was only a shell,
When the flames did their worst, to the Commercial Hotel

Just twenty years on, the hotel shined anew,
Mrs Johnstone employed great architects two,
Monk and Jeffs had plan, a contractor as well  
and Lawrence rebuilt the Commercial Hotel 

Last drinks were served just 16 years ago,
In a place that had built the community so,
Watching her decay, I know many tears fell,
No one is drinking, at the Commercial Hotel

But now comes the news, another buyer is found,
Will he be like the last, drive her into the ground,
We can only hope, as time it will tell,
If drink once again, at the commercial hotel.


Yass Water

By Daniel Kelly – 2019

Here’s a story I will tell,
     C               G
One Yass residents know well,
     G                               D
One of the dirty little secrets of our town,
Turn the tap on at your sink,
     C                  G
You’ll be greeted by a stink,
G                    D               G
And a colour ranging from urine to brown.

C               G
Yass water, Yass water,
G                                         D
I’m sick of bathing in and cleaning with Yass Water,
All my clothes are turning brown,
A sickly odour to the town,
G                    D                   G
It’s well past time to clean up this Yass Water.

Well the smell’s hard to define,
Between mouldy socks and slime,
And the colour will just make your stomach turn,
Not fit to bath your kids,
Or boil up your squids,
And you better like wearing dirty brown,

There are some who don’t complain,
“We’re lucky to have water at all”, they explain,
But this here is the 21st century,
I pay $400 bucks a year,
To have this swill delivered here,
plus a dollar for each thousand gallons used.

A proper treatment plant,
The council says it can’t,
$11 million is too hard to find,
Just glad I have a rain tank,
Don’t have to drink that stank,
But it’s time the people stood up for themselves.


Yass Valley Wind Farm Song

       G                        C             G
As I sit on the back porch, of my thousand acre lot,
    D                               D             G
I look out on the gorgeous view, proud of what I’ve got,
      G                                   C        G
But now those flamin’ greenies, want to ruin it for me,
        C               G             D               G
With solar plants and wind farms, far as the eye can see.

          G                           C               G
I don’t want your flamin’ wind farm, here in my back yard,
       D                                   D                    G
Just put the darn thing somewhere else, sure it can’t be that hard,
         G                                    C       D     Em
Give me coal seam gas and strip mines, but somewhere else instead,
              C                G          D             G
Cause by the time the planet boils, I’m sure I will be dead

I’ve done all of the research, on the inter webs,
Those windmills don’t make power, kill bats and birdies dead,
They send out emanations, that brainwash all the sheep,
And adding insult to injury, they make it hard to sleep.

Now I’ve convinced the council, to keep us in the past,
There won’t be any wind farms, my view is safe at last,
It’s a pity about the weather, no water for the crops,
No future for my grand kids, but at least my view is tops.

Small Town

by Daniel Kelly

    C         G               C                 G
Living in a small town, were people know your name,
     C                       G                   D                 G
You can count on folks in a small town, There’s nothing quite the same

      C                     G            D                  G
I’ve spent some time in the big town, getting lost in the crowd,
     C                  G               C       D         G
In shopping malls and parking lots, so angry, scared and loud

There was Allan at the toy store, with books and games and more,
A wonder land for every child, from three to ninety four

There Tootsie, Thyme and Traders, cafe’s to name a few,
Friendly faces on a Saturday, caffeine to get you through.

The members of town council, you meet them in the street,
They don’t arrive by limousine, mostly walking on their feet.

At the Market’s on a Saturday, you’re sure to meet a friend
Fresh and local produce, music and a hand to lend

You’ll hear Brian on the radio, spinning up some tunes,
With Trish or Jan or Johnny, reading the local news

Washpen Creek

by Daniel Kelly

   Em      G        D       Em
If you go down, by washpen creek,
       C       G       Em
You better go with a friend.

       Em                 G       D        Bm
For the things that were seen,by washpen creek,
              Em      D            Em
Have caused many a strong mind to bend.
Jerimiah Mcarthy was down by the creek,
Watching the Davis Sheep,
When a shot from behind, it blew his mind,
Sending him to eternal sleep.

Tom Robinson the drifter, was accused of the crime,
The police sought to hunt him down,
But they needed a blanket, from the grave,
To strengthen the case for the crown.

Four troopers set out, to find the grave,
On a find and sunny day,
As soon as the shovel, it hit the earth,
The sky grew dark and gray.

A crack of thunder, it shook the earth,
A terrible roar was heard,
And a raging white bull, appeared on the hill,
The men said not a word.

The bull it charged, fire in its eyes,
It stopped at McCarthy’s grave.
He raised his head, and let out a cry,
That would curdle the blood of the brave.

The bull dropped dead, the men they fled,
Told their story in the town,
But when others returned, a few days hence,
No trace of the bull was found.

It’s said that Tom, was later caught,
And punished for his crime,
But each night in his cell, he never slept,
As a White Bull ravaged his mind.


The Elm Tree

by Daniel Kelly – 2018

C        F      G   C    F        G       C
Standing by the river, looking up to the town,
C            G           F        C
My roots are deep, my branches strong,
F          G         C        F         G
My life a note in,  natures song.

         F           G      C          F            C         G
Through flood and wind and fire, I’ve stood here through the years,
       F        G      Em     Am       F      G         C
I’ve seen the changes come and go, the smiles and the tears.

I was born in 1855, when Yass was still a child,
I watched her grow, from field to town,
As my branches rose, and roots grew down.

I’ve seen the young ones at my feet, play and dance and grow,
And lovers new, enjoy the view,
Sharing my shade, two by two

I’ve seen the river rage in flood, take bridge and building down,
I’ve seen the snow, seen the fire burn,
The wind it blows as the seasons turn,

The council tried to cut me down, a burden to maintain,
But I stand, still the same,
A watcher here, I will remain


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.

Zombie Sheep of the Murrumbidgee


by Daniel Kelly 2018
       C                    G        Am              G
Henry O’Brien went out one night to check upon his flock,
          C            G                 Am        G     Am
When he beheld an unearthly sight, that sure gave him a shock,
     G             Am                    G                  Am
A pair of red eyes in the dark, was the first thing that he saw,
    C                 G              Am     G        Am                        
A pale ewe, standing alone, blood dripping from it’s maw.

      Am     G               Am
The zombie sheep of the murrumbidgee x3

He crossed himself and said a prayer as it started to advance,
And when it gave a chilling howl, he nearly wet his pants,
O’Brien he ran back to the town, as fast as he could run,
He called on Dutton and on Hume, saying, better bring your guns.

The three men returned to the scene, with lanterns and well armed,
But as dawn broke upon the field, they had caused to be alarmed
Half eaten lambs lay everywhere, some still being devoured,
The blood lust in the maddened sheep made every man a coward.

It could have been the moonlight, or something in the soil,
Maybe poison in the water, that caused their blood to boil.
The rifles fired at the ewes, until they all were dead,
And as the men rode back to town, not a word was said.

Better Than Decent Girls

A song I wrote about the young girls who arrived in Yass in March 1850 from Ireland.
Many were orphans, fleeing the famine that had been caused by the English.

     G          D               C          D
The English had caused, the death of my people,
C          G               D
1 million had starved by 1849,
G               D     C              D
Cast from our farms, with no means of production,
G            C        G
Refugees in our own land.

G                   C           G            D 
Some needles and thread and a few yards of cotton,
C             G                 G              D
Packed in a trunk, with all the clothes that I own,
G          C          G          D
My family and Ireland will soon be forgotten,
      C         G          D    G
As I face a new life in Australia

In the crowded work houses of Galway and Kerry,
The offer was made of a hope for new life,
On the Thomas Arbuthnot, near two hundred brave women,
set out from England, bound for Botany Bay.

They journeyed inland, by steamer and wagon,
Nearly 200 miles, from Sydney to Yass,
Farmed out as cheap labour, to squatters and settlers,
Mothers to children, mothers to the land.

Being Irish and Catholic, sure was a struggle,
The protestant Scotts and the English were harsh,
Facing the same trials far away from their homeland,
Along with the harsh and dangerous land

William’s Razor

William leave me alone,
     C          G
William leave me alone,
          C           D       G
Can’t you see that my love has flown?
   C      D       G
William leave me alone.

     G       C          G           D
One Sunday William walked out with his lover,
C            D      G
Down by the River in Yass
     C             D                 G         C
He turned to his sweetheart with steel in his eyes,
     C         G         D
Your family has marriage forbade,
     Em        C         D         G
He drew from his coat a razor so sharp,
     C      D           Em
I’ll end my life with this blade.
     C      D           G
I’ll end my life with this blade.

The young girl fled to her sister’s house,
And had laid her down to sleep,
She had locked the door, and taken the key,
Feeling that all was fine,
But William he came and broke through the door,
In his hand the razor did shine,
In his hand the razor did shine,

Let me in young girl, I must come in,
To cut your pretty young throat,
And once I have then cut my own,
Together we’ll forever lie,
For if I can’t have your sweet sweet love,
I know I’d rather die.
I know I’d rather die.

The young girl ran to save herself,
William put the blade to his throat,
He fell to the floor in a shower of blood,
Thinking to end his pain,
But Dr O’Connor was with a needle was skilled,
And gave him life again,
And gave him life again.