1. Irish Son

From the recording Frontier

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Ned Kelly is Australia's most famous bushranger. The son of an Irish convict, Kelly had once been awarded a green sash for saving the life of a drowning boy, but by the time he was in his early twenties he was regarded as perhaps the greatest horse thief in the colony. During this era the Irish still felt oppressed by the English. In Kelly's times, many Australian Irishmen had been born in Australia and believed they deserved a 'fair go'. To the English (who still held the great majority of power throughout the colony), the Irish were regarded as an inferior race and were often openly treated as such. Kelly was accused of firing a gun at a police officer - a charge which he denied - and was forced on the run with his 'gang' - Kelly, his younger brother Dan, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart. In a subsequent standoff with police at Stringybark Creek, where the Kelly gang ordered the police to remove their weapons while holding them at gunpoint, three police officers were killed when they instead chose to fight it out. From that day, the four members of the Kelly gang were doomed men.
Eventually tracked down at the Glenrowan Inn, three of the four were killed while Ned was seriously wounded and captured. At the time of his capture, police removed his armour to find him wearing the green sash he was presented with as a child.
Ned Kelly was hung at the Old Melbourne Gaol on the 11th November 1880. It is said that he sung Irish ballads to himself the night before in his cell, and as he was being led to the gallows remarked what a 'lovely bunch of flowers' were growing in the prison garden bed. Ned's final words were 'such is life'. With these thoughts in mind I give you 'Irish Son'. I'm not sure if as a songwriter you're allowed to choose favourites on an album. But I am. This is it.


Irish Son
Copyright 2016 Craig Stewart

Come the day, come the hour
They'll lead me away, by a garden of flowers.
Don't cry ma, I did what must be done,
For I was raised an Irish Son

So gather 'round my boys, we'll drink to Donohue,
And for old Ireland still fightin' to be free.
We'll dance the final dance, and now must bid adieu,
For the whistle of a train is calling me.

Once was a time I wore a sash of green,
Now stained with the blood of a life that might have been.
They came to Stringybark with a packhorse and a gun,
Not much choice for an Irish Son


Come the day, come the hour
They'll lead me away, by a garden of flowers,
Don't cry ma, I did what must be done.
Such is life, for an Irish son.