John Carter Brown
The Ballad Of Ronnie Dunwoody - Poem by John Carter Brown
Ronnie Dunwoody done wrong to his buddy
He done him a dastardly deed;
He killed him one night
In the cold moonless light
In the heat of his passion and greed.
Regardless of all of the danger
Dunwoody had made up his mind;
He knew he'd do time
For his obnoxious crime
If evidence he left behind.
The speak-easy rang out with laughter
The show, Ronnie knew, had begun;
He bagged up his buddy
With fingers all bloody
While those out the front had their fun.
The rear of the joint was in darkness
Hiding well the dead body of Jake;
In the hands of a knave
On it's way to a grave,
At the bottom of Michigan lake.
The cops in their car on the corner
Knew nothing of Dunwoody's crime;
But as Ronnie drove by
They were wondering why
He kept looking behind all the time.
It was not very far to the water
But Ronnie was not in the clear;
When the cop's siren wailed
He was sure he had failed
And the thought of it filled him with fear.
He stopped, as he couldn't out-run them,
On the floor of the car was his knife;
If they looked in the trunk
Then he knew he was sunk
And the sentence could only be life.
'Hey Mac! you should look where you're goin',
Because drivin' that way is a crime;
I should book you I guess
'Cause you're sure in a mess...
But get lost, and be careful next time.'
Ronnie drove to the edge of the quayside
Lake Michigan swallowed his 'chum';
The crime was complete
He was out of the heat
And away, back from where he had come.
The club was still ringing with laughter
When Ronnie arrived on the scene;
But he silenced the crowd
As he told them out loud:
'Jake's gone... if you know what I mean?
So, Ronnie had moved up the ladder
In fact he was now at the top;
The racket was his
With the whole premises
And he'd drain it right to the last drop.
But out of a dark smoky corner
Stepped a man who would foil Ronnie's plan;
Jake was still in the place
With a smile on his face
Because Ronnie had killed the wrong man!
(Written April 1996)
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