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I spent some time on a property on the Maranoa River west of Roma, Queensland, Australia.
The land was in the grip of drought and in the afternoon the grazier would look to the west at the thunderstorms forming hoping they would drop some rain on his land. This made the difference between stock living and dying and/or keeping or selling stock.
Men are terrible at speaking their true feelings and this song is about what is really going on inside when the family are urging him to sell up and leave the land he has worked on all his life.
No wonder farmer suicide is such a problem in rural Australia. It seems everyone but the men think it is about the money, banks and drought.
The thing that really brings us guys undone is personal identity, pride and achievements.
This song is about the characters who live on the same road I live on in sub-tropical Brisbane, Australia.
It is an area with people from all walks of life, rich people, students, hostels and rehab clinics and people working on their fixer-upper (like us)
A great mix of people!
My thanks to Mo (Maureen O’Brien) who came up with the idea when she heard the meolody and we ended up writing the words together.
Before publishing this song I gave it to the identified people to ask if its all OK to publish. I got the thumbs up!
Malala is the courageous girl was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for being outspoken about education for women.
She is fighting for something I, in Australia, take foregranted.
My girls went to school, they have gone to university, they can learn whatever they want, they have careers and they can challenge me and everyone else without fear of retribution.
Malala, just a small young girl, came afoul of ignorant murderous fools just asking for the same rights I, as an adult, take foregranted.
In contrast I am so thankful my girls could to remain so comparably innocent in their childhood.
The fools my girls came across were rambunctious boys in the playground and those engaging in gender stereotyping but not the murderous fools Malala had to contend with.
This contrast is so humbling and I should never take foregranted the priveleges of education which can be so easily taken away by ignorant people.
Mundi Mundi Plain
Mundi Mundi Plain
My partner and I grew up in Broken Hill, a mining town in NSW, Australia, a rather random coincidence as we met later in life.
One holiday we were driving to Broken Hill talking about our childhood memories but always in our conversations were politics, climate change, work etc., the world we were trying to leave behind while on holidays.
If you drive out of Broken Hill towards Silverton where the Mad Max movies were made, there is a lookout over the Mundi Mundi Plain before you decend from the rather small hills on to the Mundi Mundi Plain itself.
It is flat to the horizon – like an ocean – but dotted with stunted trees and Willy Willies (Dust Devils for some)
Chris turned to me as the sun was going down and said “You can feel the wrinkles come out of your shirt”
Sends Us Wild
Sends us Wild
My partner is like a cat. Always perfectly groomed, neat and tidy, she never spills anything on her clothes when eating. She keeps tabs on whatever mess I have made or about to make.
I am more like a dog. Mud on my paws, jumping up on newly cleaned white clothes.
But….it works and sends us wild on a number of levels.
So Many Times
So Many Times
I lived in a small country town which was just a beautiful place with beautiful people. When my marriage ended, small towns gossip. People also found it easier to blame than try to understand.
I heard through the gossip grapevine that I was having an affair with three different women, I heard I was gay, the marriage break up was to get social security payments, my business was successful so I was moving up the social ladder…geeze…life was hard enough at the time without hearing these rather ordinary assessments of my character.
I wrote this song to express my real reasons for the marriage breakup. Sometimes two people are just not suited to each other, “Who’s to blame? Who can say?”
I never did play the song in town before I had to say goodbye and I never got to have those affairs either. :o)
I was going through a tough time in my life and Mo ( Maureen O’Brien), a musician in Newcastle, NSW, Australia who I did not know at the time came up to me after a gig and said how much she liked my music.
Not being very good with compliments I said self depreciatingly “yeah but they are all break-up songs” to which Mo replied, “well maybe that’s where your head is at the moment”.
Being a guy my first reaction was to deny to Mo such an emotional state but later on I figured Mo was right and it was time to move on.
It was a turning point and this song helped release the valve after being admonished so much for so long that relationships should last forever, no matter how bad.
Who’s ever said anything should last forever, who’s ever said we should never move on
Uncle Ron's Lament
Uncle Ron’s lament
I did some work with Uncle Ron, an Australian Aboriginal Elder, many years ago.
During our discussions he told me a bit about his life which I have put in this song.
Uncle Ron deeply cared about his community and the future of the young ones in his town. He expressed an awful dilemma which is central to this song.
I did not think I had the right to take his name and culture for such a personal song without his permission. It’s called respect.
Quite some years after working with Uncle Ron I rang him and rather akwardly asked if I could visit and play this song and ask his permission to put his name to it.
I had the feeling he thought he had a weirdo on the phone but graciously he agreed.
Uncle Ron agreed to let me use his name for the song but more importantly to me was that the song was true to our conversations.
About a week after we met he rang me wanting a couple of changes which I have put in to the song.
Thank you Uncle Ron for what you taught me and what you have taught others.
Some of us have been through some pretty tough times with their relationships.
Some people get angry, some get malicious.
Some people stay true to themselves and their hurt doesn’t show on the outside. This hurt is still there all the same and their resultant fears of relationships keep ‘interested’ others at arms length.
They are a bit like a light bulb attracting moths but the moth can never reach the light within. That really sucks for the moth!
This song is about how the moth got smart. It was mostly fictional when I wrote it but then I met Courtney and Patrick. Talk about life imitating art!
It is now their song.