The Kelly Option

Words & Music: Pat Drummond (3.27)

For Edward and Dan Kelly and For The Workers of The MUA and The MEAA

Dateline: Glenrowan, Victoria and Botany Terminal, Sept 1999


Ned Kelly was not the kind of man

that you could ever push around.

He started out poor and in trouble with the law

but the bugger just wouldn't lay down.

He was just sixteen and he had no bail

when they threw his mother in Her Majesty's Gaol.

Ned, as I said, was not the kind of kid

To take that lying down.


So along with his brother and a couple of others

he took to the bush in crime,

and there was more than one squatter

who wished he hadn't bothered to tangle with the Kelly line.

Still they dogged his tracks through the summer weeks

till the dead 'traps' lay in the Stringybark Creek.

A lot of men might have turned the other cheek

but Ned was never that kind.



You better know who you're pushing.

You better know just how far

you can go with a man before he takes a stand

and he starts to hit back hard.

There's a little bit of Ned Kelly

In the broken and the beaten and the maimed.

If you push too hard, and you go too far

You've only got yourself to blame.


They took Ned Kelly at Glenrowan.

He was dressed in armour plate.

They shipped him on down into Melbourne town

To await his final fate.

They broke his neck, and they cursed his name,

But Ned lived brave and Ned died game;

and working men recall his name

whenever you hear them say:




So listen up then, all you powerful men

as you watch our wages fall.

There's a lot of working women and men

with their backs against the wall.

So you can come on tough and you can talk New Right

but they're not going to go down without a fight.

The Kelly Option still burns bright in Australia today.




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