Lyrics: Ronald Ryan

Ronald Ryan was the poor bastard son
Of a drunken miner dying from black lung
This was the depression, he was born in ’25
Mother turnin’ tricks just to keep the kids alive

That’s a pretty good start now for a life of crime
But he was no gangster just strictly small time
Got a 13 year stretch, he’d do 5 for sure
On Friday the 13th November ’64

Chorus:
If there’s a hard way to live
If there’s an easy way to die
If he leadeth me the quiet waters by
Don’t ask me for my tears
Or for whom the bells toll He can’t save my neck.
Can he save my soul?

Ron was a schemer rising for a fall
When he and Peter Walker went over that wall
One Pentridge warder lay dead as he fell
Who pulled the trigger you probably can tell

Just 3 weeks after the boys had flown the coup
Tipped off in Sydney, the cops made the swoop
In the dock he stood there, sentence was read
Guilty of murder hanged until dead

Chorus

The judge and the jury never thought that he would swing
But some politicians they had votes to win
Give me law and order, the cry of the day
To win that campaign some bastard would pay

And now they’re gatherin’ at the Coburg Hotel
He takes communion inside the cell
One nip of whisky before we go
Someone’s lighting candles out on Sydney Road

They fit the shackles then they fit the cap
Hit the lever and you plummet through the trap
The hangman’s table, it’s all worked out
Pray that the rope is strong and the beam is stout

Chorus

Ronald Ryan was the poor bastard son
Who squeezed the trigger and pointed the gun
But someone signed orders. We now these men
Ronald Ryan’s not the only killer then