Ned Kelly’s Tea House
© 1999, Jim Lesses. All Rights Reserved.

Ned Kelly’s Tea House, stands on the highway,
Gathering dust in the morning.
He waits near the doorway, twenty feet high,
Silently sounding a warning.
"Do not enter here, for all is now lost,
They have ripped my memory asunder,
The bankers and squatters have taken the land,
And wilfully pillage and plunder.

"And the souvenir shops are flooded with junk,
Designed to empty your purses,
While I stand forlorn, in the cold early dawn,
And cover your head with my curses.
You’ve taken my life, and all of my hopes,
And turned them in to cheap tokens,
While the men of the land have hung up their ropes,
Where their dreams lie shattered and broken."

Yes, look what we’ve done to your memory, Ned.
The Japanese tourist is scratching her head.
She can’t understand why we brought her on down,
To stand on the streets of this dusty old town.
There are magnets and key rings and tea towels and such,
But to her tired eyes they don’t mean very much.
And you know that she’s right, and in her gentle way,
She’s hoping we blow the whole nightmare away.

At the sad re-enactment the rifles ring out,
But the barrels are smoking with blanks,
While the tour coaches wait in the gathering heat,
Before they escape without thanks.
We have bought all the dross, without wisdom or loss,
Without history, struggle or meaning,
Before we take flight, like thieves in the night,
And leave your ghost to its keening.


So ‘Stand and Deliver’ again, Edward Kelly,
The pilgrims have run out of choices,
We’re waiting to follow your lead once again,
And shatter the silence with voices.
We remember the letter you wrote in the night,
Against Tyranny, Might and Oppression,
We’ll reclaim the country again for ourselves,
And fight on with strength, not concession.

Chorus: and repeat last two lines of chorus…


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