Thursday, September 21, 2017

Midnight Oil 'Song a Day' #23 "Sometimes"

I know that the sunset empire shudders and shakes
I know there's a floodgate and a raging river
I say the silence of the ribbons of iron and steel
I say hear the punch drunk huddle drive hammer and steel
Sometimes you're beaten to the call
Sometimes you're taken to the wall
But you don't give in
I know that the cannibals wear smart suits and ties
I know they arm wrestle on the altar
I say don't leave your heart in a hard place
Sometimes you're shaken to the core
Sometimes the face is gonna fall
But you don't give in

One of my absolute favourite Oils tracks EVER...
A bit soft I guess, but it often makes me cry at a concert in he way it captures the emotion of struggle and I can almost visualise the faces of those I know 'doing it tough'...
I too have had moments where this song has encouraged "But you don't give in"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Midnight Oil 'Song a Day' #22 "No Time for Games"

This Capitol Theatre clip is another showing the power of the Oils and the energy they draw from a  crowd. "NO Time for Games" seemed to 'strike a chord' with throngs of young people and young adults in many a darkened venue I've been to over the years. It echoes the Oils early sound, it rocks but it also demonstrates the Oils musicianship. Finally, it's the kind of song that highlights  the uniqueness Pete brings to the band!!

"No Time for Games"
The raising of children, the rearing of young
Used to be simple but look what it's become
The choice of career, the proper vocation
Out of your hands, all for the needs of the nation
No inhibitions with the modern child
Wasted lessons or pleasure or pain
Easy to follow your natural instinct
Easy to follow, much too hard to learn
Useless expressions and sporting aggression
Don't waste my time, I can't wait for the end of the session

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Midnight Oil 'Song a Day' #21 "Jimmy Sharman's Boxers"

"Jimmy Sharman's Boxers"
From the red dust north of Dalmore Downs
Sharman's tents roll into town
Twelve will face the auctioneer
Sharman's Boxers stand their ground
Their days are darker than your nights
But they won't be the first to fall
Children broken from their dreams
But they won't be the first to fall
Fighting in the spotlight
Eye's turn blacker than their skin
For Jimmy Sharman's boxers
It's no better if you win
Standing in the darkness
Lined up waiting for the bell
The days are wasted drinking
At the first and last hotel
Why are we fighting for this?
Why are you paying for this?
You pay to see me fall like shrapnel
To the floor
What is the reason for this?
There is a reason for this?
What is the reason they keep coming back for more?
The blows now bring him to his knees
But still the crowd calls out for more
The drums are burning in his ears
The man keeps counting out the score

Why are we fighting for this? Why are you paying for this?
Great questions about entertainment v exploitation, talent v stereotyping

It's a haunting reflection on the costs to the participants of this kind of 'entertainment troupe'
Powderworkers will be familiar with the brilliant t-shirt doing the rounds!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Midnight Oil 'Song a Day' #20 "One Country"

Brilliant band clip for an inspired and reflective song that would be a great candidate for national anthem!! Before data projectors it was a feature clip at my wedding, courtesy of a huge TV perched precariously atop the piano!! Ken Duncan's photos aren't bad either!!

It's a rallying call designed to inspire action for the 'common good'

“One Country” Midnight Oil
Who'd like to change the world
Who wants to shoot the curl
Who gets to work for bread
Who wants to get ahead

Who hands out equal rights
who starts and ends that fight
And not rant and rave
Or end up a slave

Who can make hard won gains
Fall like the summer rain
Now every man must be
What his life can be
So don't call me the tune, I will walk away

Who wants to please everyone
Who says it all can be done
Still sit up on that fence
No-one I've heard of yet

Don't call me baby
Don't talk in maybes
Don't talk like has-beens
Sing it like it should be

Who laughs at their nagging doubts
Lying on a neon shroud, running around
Just got to touch someone
I want to be

So don't call me the tune, I will walk away

One country one
Country one country

Who wants to sit around
Turn it up, turn it down
Only a man can be
What his life can be

One vision
One people
One landmass
We are defenceless
We have a lifeline

One ocean
One policy
Seabed lies
One passion
One movement
One instant
One difference
One lifetime
One understanding

One country
One understanding

One island
One placemat
One firmament
One element
One moment
One fusion
Yes, and one time

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Midnight Oil 'Some a Day' #19 "In the Valley"

"In the Valley"
My grandfather went down with the MonteVideo
The rising sun sent him floating to his rest
And his wife fled south to Sydney seeking out safe harbor
A North Shore matron she became with some paying guests
My father went down with the curse of big cities
Traffic tolls and deadlines took him to his peace
Now Bob Dyer glued us to our seats
And lawns were always Victa neat
Whilst Menzies fawned at royal fleet do you remember?
In the valley I walk, I took some comfort there
In the valley I walk, cold comfort I can hear you talk
In the valley I walk, who will take me there?
When my mother went down it was a stiff arm from Hades
Life surprises and tears you like the southerly
She always welcomed the spring always welcomed the stranger
I don't…

What Pete describes as 'this song about my family' shot in a community they enjoy visiting and felt like staying with. A raw song where after exposing the tough stories of losing his mother and father, Pete tossed in not only the idea of hope, but mentions a few

I hope virtue brings it's own reward
And I hope the pen is mightier than any sword
I hope the kids all take it slow
And I hope my country claims it's own


Not sure if I'll keep up the pace on holidays for two weeks but we'll see

Friday, September 15, 2017

Midnight Oil 'Song a Day' #18 "Earth and Sun and Moon"

"Earth and Sun and Moon"
In the morning we will wake up and take to the air
Look back at the planet - I'm glued to my chair
Southern half is burning as we climb through the cky
Sea birds softly falling, smoke way up high
There's the contours of the mountains, the deserts and plains
And a hurricane is blowing, and it turns once again
Now there's oil spills in the water where Columbus once sailed
And there's history and mystery and it's rolling away
I wish you could see this great mystery
Earth and sun and moon, human tribe, thin blue line
Earth and sun and moon will survive
Sediment is flowing from river to sea
Now where are the mighty nations, no lines to be seen
An axe…

It took me a few days of listening to really hook into this album but I loved it...
A sprawling sound exploring the environment, vision and love
A couple of the songs hang together for a concert segment and bring in synth and variety without it being over produced!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Midnight Oil 'Song a Day' #17 "When the Generals Talk"

I know many will want to choose the Oils on the Water version, but I wasn't there and this one gives me the chance to shout out to friends who came to Canberra for this miracle show, brought about by tragedy and carried out with the surreal presence of several Labor 'pollies', like Julia Gillard, who came to experience this great joy with the rest of us!! Hat tip to Lubo front and centre complete with outsretched arm and head wobble [I hope enjoys Alice Springs in 2 fish weeks!!! We preferred to eat food before we queued up... sadly!!

I was comfortable back about ten deep from the stage and just loved listening to the musicianship and passion that night. I think Pete really missed busting out to these tunes!!

I guess for me this is 1984... the doomsday clock is close to midnight so the genuine threat of nuclear war was palpable through the ongoing 'Cold War.' This is also the era that gives rise to Gordon Gekko and films like "Wall St" so the Generals were global companies, not just despots... on that score countries like Chile would 'get' this song!!

"When the Generals Talk"
Up there on the platform
He is speaking to the people
The people are responding
With clapping and a'cheering
But the meaning of the message
Not revealed to those assembled
They're taken for a ride
Taken In his stride
When the Generals talk
You better listen to him
When the Generals talk
You better do what he say
There's a rumor in the ranking
Someone's talking insurrection
So the General has a purge
Cause he wants to win elections
With the certain satisfaction
That the people are appeased
Long live the revolution
The General's very pleased
Sitting on the fence both ears to the ground
The fat cats still push the thin cats around

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #16 "Short Memory"

27min 28 from this "Real Thing" gig with about 300-400 people at Newtown Theatre!!
It was a great night... thanks to family grabbing tix we saw what would end up being the most amazing of my four 'Real Thing' concerts... history, justice, politics, human rights and protest all wrapped in this determined song... something to get behind and not let happen again!!
Wonder if the punter who interrupted Peter at this gig and took the stage between bands as if he was a roadie is out there somewhere today? And no, I'm not talking about me...

"Short Memory"
Conquistador of Mexico, the Zulu and the Navaho
The Belgians in the Congo short memory
Plantation in Virginia, the Raj in British India
The deadline in South Africa short memory
The story of El Salvador, the silence of Hiroshima
Destruction of Cambodia short memory
Short memory, must have a, short memory
The sight of hotels by the Nile, the designated Hilton style
With running water specially bought short memory
A smallish man Afghanistan, a watch dog in a nervous land
They're only there to lend a hand short memory
Wake up in sweat at dead of night
And in the tents new rifles hey short memory
If you read the history books you'll see the same things happen again and again
Repeat repeat short memory they've all got it
When are we going to play it again
Got a short, got a short, got a short, got a short
They've got a short must have a short they've got a short aah
Short memory, they've got a.....

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #15 "Outside World"

One of many surprises from Selina's at Coogee and on through including London!!

"Outside World"
There's a wind on the eastern side
Ghost gums dance in the moonlit night
Mopoke mourns the racketeers
The bosses they can sense your mood
All in place to a hand that rules
They all want to deal you out
I can see the outside world
Everything's inviting in the outside world
Leaving all my problems in the outside world
It's the summer of another year
A little world weary a little more to fear
Hold those cards tight to your chest
Maybe someday you could be a man
Living quietly in a caravan
Not the Lismore road tonight

Monday, September 11, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #14 "Wedding Cake Island"

Take a break with this instrumental from the Oils, well...
“there's lines of swell down at Byron Pass mate”

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #13 "Tin Legs and Tin Mines"

"Tin Legs and Tin Mines"
I'm gonna wait for the moment to come
I'm gonna wait till we all stop from running
Boxed in like candles, polar bear pride
Turning to terror as the script is read out
Unwilling actors, accomplished protractors will shout
I'm gonna wait till we reach the sky
Tin legs and tin mines, anyone cries
Cry in the hope that there'll be tomorrow
Waiting around there must be a time
Time to start thinking and working it out
Come with me now, come with me now, we'll be laughing
Who's running the world today?
I'm gonna…

Brilliant change of pace song live in a frantic gig... Jim's piano track, Garrett talk/singing and the haunting sound of this ballad calling for hope...

"Who's running your world today?"
A timeless relevant track and question...

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #12 "Best of Both Worlds"

"Best if Both Worlds"
You say times are tough
We've got the best of both worlds here
Things are rough
We've got the best of both worlds here
Times are tough
We've got the best of both worlds

The real world is not as calm as it appears to be from here
The old world is not as safe with the new world closing in
The great south land can be as great as the one it could have been
The one it could have been

The real world is not as calm as it appears to be from here
The small world is not as strong and the testing ground is near
The old world is not as strong as the one we could have seen
The great south land can be as great as the one it could have been
The one it could have been
We've got the best of both worlds...

Ringtone, email tagline quote, absolutely one of my fav. all time Oils tracks...
"the real world is not as calm as it appears to be from here"

It's got that hopeful sense of calling for us to be better, to notice, to care and to recognise some are doing it tough...

Friday, September 08, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #11 "Read About It"

"Read About It"
The rich get richer
The poor get the picture
The bombs never hit you when you're down so low

Some got pollution
Some revolution
There must be some solution but I just don't know

The bosses want decisions
The workers need ambitions
There won't be no collisions whey they move so slow

Nothing ever happens
Nothing ever matters
No one ever tells me so what am I to know

You wouldn't read about it
Read about it
Just another incredible scene
There's no doubt about it

The hammer and sickle
The news is at a trickle
The commisars are fickle but the stockpile grows

Bombers keeping coming
Engines softly humming
The stars and stripes are running for their own big show

Another little flare up
Storm brewed in a tea cup
Imagine any mix up and the lot would go

Nothing ever happens
Nothing ever matters
No one ever tells me so what I am to know

You wouldn't read about it
Read about it
One unjust, ridiculous steal
Ain't no doubt about it
You wouldn't read about it
Read about it
Just another particular deal
There's no doubt about it

"The rich get richer, the poor get the picture" is a timeless hook to the theme of this song. It's a protest song and the likes of Rupert Murdoch are in mind. It wasn't #fakenews back then, it was and is editorial policy and a reflection of the dominant values that widen the poverty gap!! I love the many different ways the 'in the know' crowd wait for the bars of rest on the song, even Robbie Buck was caught out back announcing on JJJ one day before the song had finished!! This song never sounded better than from the front 4 rows deep in the throng at the old Newcastle Workers Club!!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #10 "Power and the Passion"

So this from the last time I saw the Oils live, in Canberra... there are so many great versions of this including the original clip by the band. It's because it's a song you remember every time you hear it... so Sydney, so Oils, so much energy and always part of a ramp it up section of their setlist... the long version on the "On Country" CD single is outstanding also and it's great to see Rob First still playing the water tank Charlie McMahon found on the roadside in Northern Australia and brought back in 1987!! Can't wait to hear about underarms and football clubs once more!!

"Power and the Passion"
People, wasting away in paradise
Going backward, once in a while
Moving ahead, falling behind
What do you believe, what do you believe
What do you believe is true
Nothing they say makes a difference this way
Nothing they say will do
Take all the trouble that you can afford
At least you won't have time to be bored
Oh the power and the passion, oh the temper of the time
Oh the power and the passion
Sometimes you've got to take the hardest line
Sun burnt faces around, with skin so brown
Smiling zinc cream and crowds, Sundays the beach never a cloud
Breathing eucalypti, pushing panel vans
Stuff and munch junk food
Laughing at the truth, 'cause Gough was tough till he hit the rough
Uncle Sam and John were quite enough
Too much of sunshine too much of sky
It's enough to make you want to cry
Oh the power
I see buildings, clothing the sky, in paradise
Sydney, nights are warm
Daytime telly, blue rinse dawn
Dad's so bad he lives in the pub, it's a underarms and football clubs
Flat chat, Pine Gap, in every home a Big Mac
And no one goes outback, that's that
You take what you get and get what you please
It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees
Oh the power...

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

"You're the Best Thing About Me" U2

Interesting, upbeat, Oliver Jeffers work is clever, "Ordinary Love" part 2

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #9 "Armistice Day"

Sydney's Capitol Theatre and the legendary show...
Demonstrating Pete didn't just pick up a megaphone for Redneck years later!!

"Armistice Day"
You're watching people fighting, you're watching people losing
On Armistice Day

The watchers do the wincing, reporters so convincing
But the TV never lies
I went looking for a war, but the only guns I saw
Never used in anger

You're watching people fight, say they fight, oh say they lose
On Armistice Day

The fixers do the fixing, the locals do the lynching
The papers deny
I went looking for a headline, got talking to the backline
They'd never seen the action...

I look forward to hearing this live in the Domain on Armistice Day 2017!!
A song about the futility of war, observance at such a distance from the reasons, sacrifice and the reality of war and the co-option of troops and whole countries, seemingly without learning the lessons. This song is connected to later tracks and the family histories of the band as well as their passion for our country and it's story... I can remember when this song and others were released, wishing I'd had access to them in 1978 trying to write an ANZAC Day 5min speech for High School and frantically looking for the right piece of prose to express solidarity and frustration... sadly, we haven't seen "The Last of the Diggers"!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #8 "My Country"

"My Country"
Was it just a dream, were you so confused
Was it just a giant leap of logic
Was it the time of year, that makes a state of fear
Methods, were their motives for the action

And did I hear you say
My country right or wrong x 3

Did you save your face
Did you breach your faith
Women, there were children at the shelter
Now who can stop the hail
When human senses fail
There was never any warning, no escape

And did I hear you say
My country right or wrong
My country oh so strong
My country right or wrong x 4

I hear you say the truth must take a beating
The flag a camouflage for your deceiving
Cause I know, (I know) I know, it's written on your soul
I know we all make mistakes

This is not a case of blurred vision, it's a case of black holes, 
pocket holes, soul holes

And did I hear you say
My country right or wrong
My country oh so strong
My country right or wrong x 4
My country, my country, my country

Much as I'd like to have the first US late night TV clip of my list be from Letterman [who loved the bushmen from the outback] this one does exist [and at least Leno is being self conscious about Pete's height] so we have the MTV Unplugged style of this song, with Chris Abrahams on piano as he did around that time... but just in case we also have the Oils VEVO version.

This song from "Earth & Sun & Moon" is both anthemic and lends itself to acoustic/sit down style... it's obviously hard to keep Peter Garrett still! It helps if Pete remembers the lyrics...

It's a song about use and misuse of patriotic symbols like the flag, especially our flag with the Union Jack in the corner, co-opted to argue NO to a republic when used for the purposes of power and not always altruistically...

While here, just want to thank the fans in the US/Canada and Europe and the UK [and out stops on the way back] for warming up the band!! They trip to NZ in a week to keep things rolling and the Great Circle comes HOME!! You can't tell anything about a crowd from phone videos though some gigs have stood out I can't begin to imagine how huge these concerts are going to be!! 
There is nothing like an Oils crowd... I hope unlike the Sound Wave concert the crush is not full of "I was there" onlookers for their sake, when the music starts... 
AND apologies in advance to all the support acts who'll be shouted down. John Butler Trio being perhaps the only exception I've ever witnessed... Ooooooiiiiilllllsss!!Ooooooiiiiilllllsss!!Ooooooiiiiilllllsss!!

Monday, September 04, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #7 "US Forces"

"US Forces" is classic political Oils from the days when Pine Gap's military role alongside the US was the subject of regular protest and questions... what goes on there?
It speaks to US foreign policy interference and action the world over that fuels conflict in the name of supposed US interests. People make a lot of Peter Garrett's changed views about US presence here and military alliances. They speculated how the Oils could play at warm up gigs in Canberra ahead of the Bushfire Relief Concert....
[1] I suggest the whiners ask PG for his 'take' and
[2] They belted out this song and others with plenty of energy thanks!!

P.S. there are some pretty interesting versions of these lyrics online, funny what people think they hear!! This song is great up loud or in the unplugged mode... it shows off the skill of the Oils guitar engine room!! And it's worth noting it's as much about political and economic power as it is military might...

"U.S. Forces"
U.S. forces give the nod
It's a setback for your country
Bombs and trenches all in rows
Bombs and threats still ask for more

Divided world the CIA
Who controls the issue
You leave us with no time to talk
You can write your own assessment

Sing me songs of no denying
Seems to me too many trying
Waiting for the next big thing

Will you know it when you see it
High risk children dogs of war

Now market movements call the shots
Business deals in parking lots
Waiting for the meat of tomorrow

Everyone's too stoned to start emission
People too scared to go to prison
We're unable to make decisions
Politician party line don't cross that floor

L. Ron Hubbard can save your life
Superboy takes a plutonium wife
In the shadows of Ban the Bomb we live

Sing me songs of no denying
Seems to me too many trying
Waiting for the next big thing

Nice video footage of Lake Macquarie's Vales Point Power Station in the middle of the night!!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #6 "Section 5 (Bus to Bondi)"

"Section 5 (Bus to Bondi)"
Push start that car tomorrow
I'll take it to the tip yard
Well I'll leave it as a metal wreck
For cats to sleep
Then I'll catch the bus to Bondi
Swim the beach and wonder
Who can wear the fashion when
The place is oh so hot
I'm just part of this play
I'm making an inroad on the one and only
I'm just part of this play
I've finally decided I'm here to stay
Then I'll stop the small talk
Then I'll stop the games
I'll show them that the plans
I've made aren't wrong, what's wrong?
Then I'll shop at New World
Fill it up with real toys
Initiate a face-lift for the captains to corrupt

Old classic Oils!! I think I've only heard this song live twice and I know one of those was at Selina's at Coogee in the 1990s when it surprised just about everyone to hear it. That's because it was 'chocolate wheel' night and a punter spun up the track and one of our number was onstage with a select group and knew the words better than all others, including Peter Garrett actually...

Friday, September 01, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #5 "Profiteers"

Look up on the ledge,
there's a bomber diving on the golden street
Down below the crowd is falling,
bullets under feet
Don't tell me, don't tell me, hey don't tell me
We're under the beat of a brand-new marching order
Ears to be ground there's a party planned for the new recruits
Hurricane lamps are burning, teargas fills the route, yeah

How appropriate to open at the Fillmore with "Profiteers" and "Progress" reflecting on the war footing of the crazy world we live in... amazed to see the Oils famous 'whiteboard' that fuelled 5 weeks of rehearsals and hearing noms of these rare tracks included alongside whole albums nestled in various playlists. For mine it'd be great to hear the whole of 10,9,8... in Sydney's Domain as part of a 26 songs list and Diesel & Dust at HOPE Estate, alongside classics from Newcastle Workers days...

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" #4 "Stand in Line"

The early surf rock, slightly punk and driven music of the Oils!!! And we saw at Selina's at Coogee, that Bones can indeed play it... but I've chosen this Giffo version for day 4!!

It predates my own awareness of the Oils except as scratchy noise my mates used to listen to and it took a good late listen to 10,9,8... for me to get hooked... love the raw energy of this band!! This is a song that speaks of it's early sound, before D&D, before BSM and at the same time you hear more than any other Friday night pub band. The musicians and the chemistry and the notion of a band that believed in the power of making statements and reflecting on life as punters knew it!!! A great song from a great concert event!! Not only that but the tag line for many 'powderworkers' posts from sound check on the current tour... "everything's set, everything's fine..."

"Stand in Line"
Oh get down, getting down, so much money in the ground
For the people who don't deserve it now
It's a circus we're the clowns as the giant ones disown
Every bit of something we call home
Said it's a pity 'bout the middle class Holden mass
We get a bit to play around with doesn't really matter
They kid us with their dole, kid us with the dope
But generally speaking, nobody's got a hope
We're playing the music of the middle-aged queens
Getting fatter and fatter and splitting their jeans
It's all the same, we're out in the cold
The good ones died, the others just got old
Everything's set, everything's fine
You just got to stand in line
Oh everything's set, everything's fine
You just…

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" Number 3 "Redneck Wonderland"

   In the excitement of now waiting for the Oils to return home and start an inspirational run of shows, my next song choice is "Redneck Wonderland" from the album of that name...

"Redneck Wonderland"
I don't want to run I don't want to stay
Cos everything that's near and dear is old
And in the way
Emergency has gone, apathy rolling on
Time to take a stand
Redneck wonderland

Got you in my sights, spotlit by the fence
If it's love you're faking it's just common sense
Brick and tile for miles, rolling in the aisles
Rifle in my hand
Redneck wonderland

Well the streets are clean, nothing gets away
I can see the beauty treatment draining from
Your face
It is vision free, It's poor bugger me
Something less than grand
Redneck wonderland

   It's a great song from a powerful album that sensed the spirit of the age as one lacking generosity and apportioning blame for why people are 'missing out' and over blowing issues to whip themselves into a fearful state.

   I still have the framed graphic artist mock up of the album artwork, bought as a gift from the Triple J East Timor Auction!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Midnight Oil clip a day, day two... 
"Only the Strong" from th album 10,9,8... which I first listened to about 3-4 years after it's release and loved it!! This is again a clip from the legendary Capitol Saturday Night concert in 1982. 
At Selina's at Coogee many years later the whole crowd, jammed in, swayed back and forth to this song and you could just about lift your feet off the floor and not fall... just the raw power of the Oils guitars and drums is enough to lift this track, then comes PG's unique singing. Sometimes it would be a second track in a concert, other times it'd be right smack bang in the middle of the driving part of the set... great song!!

"Only the Strong"
When I'm locked in my room
I just want to scream
And I know what they mean
(One more day of eating and sleeping)
Speak to me, speak to me
I'm not spoken for, I'm ready to talk
Look at me, look at me
I've been broken up and shaken down
Speak to me, speak to me
I'm at the edge of myself I'm dying to talk
Look at me, won't you look at me
Back once more at the point of no return
When I'm locked in my room
I just want to scream
And I know what they mean
Only the strong

Midnight Oil "Song a Day" 1 "Lucky Country"

OK, let's see if I can keep up the pace, from today, through holidays in a few weeks and on into the local homecoming leg of "The Great Circle Tour" for Midnight Oil!!! "Song a Day" to drive my friends crazier than normal.
This offering is from the legendary Capitol Theatre gig [1982] which I know from many friends and stories must have been a mind-blowing night... This song is "Lucky Country" It's not quite national anthem material but it's pretty close. Warning, it's not just best but should ONLY be played up loud!

"Lucky Country"
Speed, and this
There's a feeling I get when I look to the sun
Love, it's so tough
Cause it raises your hopes and then it makes you run
We're all looking for a shorter day
We're all looking for an easy way
Even when the debts are dead and gone
Down, the stairs
And an eight mile drive waits for you to turn on
Hear, the time clocks sing
And the smoke in the distance reaches the eye line
We're all working on a shorter day...
No conversation as you go
There's so much space the heat moves you
Terracotta homes, backyard barbeque and eucalyptus smell
It's fine on the clothes line
It's fast food and slow life and red roof
My silence, comic interruptions
Surely there's some relief from atomic art
And the fragile state of world events
With clowns who love the kings and power and the mutant media babes
Wanking on dreams and fashions and toilet paper flowers
Don't talk to me in this backyard - it's clandestine, it's nuclear
Smell of space and now forever I want to go
Straight down the exit eight mile attraction
you-turn is up and the time clock sings lets go
Lucky country
Where the geckos are paid to live in the sun
On and on there's a ribbon of road and a mile to spare
Lucky country .......

Songwriters: Moginie/Rotsey /Garrett/Gifford /Hirst

Saturday, August 05, 2017


Not only has President Trump stretched the friendship with his weekends in Florida BUT it seems he's on a seventeen day vacation... the one he said he'd never take as POTUS!! Here's the thing, everyone," even the leader of the free world" needs to take a break, this shouldn't be big news. I also think not taking holidays is a stupid short term thing to try and do. It's just that the promise not to was another one of Trump's specifically ridiculous incessant shots at President Obama during his two terms. It also adds to the general sense that Trump will say or do whatever works for him at the time, perhaps not even as well crafted as Tony Abbott's 'scripted' and 'unscripted' remarks idea. Again, the holiday isn't the big deal, the rubbish he says is... OK, back to the 'not being baited into a weekly Trump rant' zone!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

"Kingdom" Dan Sultan

Dan Sultan's music sneaks up on you for how great it is... and this song is ideally suited to this Sunday's story of loaves and fishes as a story exemplifying a compassionate God as seen through Jesus story... It just doesn't fit my context, so I leave to here for others!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Comic Relief and British Airways

Love the attitude of 'your big break' into Airline Safety Videos

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Marking the UCA 40th year at Morisset 25th June 2017

I think we did OK today, but I left my phone/camera in my bag unfortunately so I can share a couple of other pics BUT it was tricky...

Here's what we did...

A quick "Good Morning" and Intro to the UCA Prez's Video

40th Anniversary Message from Uniting Church in Australia on Vimeo.

I modified John and Elizabeth's work...
CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from John Squires/Elizabeth Raine)
Our land is alive with the awe of God’s creation
Desert sands, gum trees, brown grasses and rivers bring rhythm

We join our voices with all the earth
And we know God’s Spirit is with us
Our Creator surrounds and upholds us,
Christ Jesus walks beside and before us
The Spirit moves within and between us

We wonder, we celebrate,
we recognize the 40th year of the Uniting Church in Australia
We acknowledge the Awabakal people,
Who share a special relationship as first inhabitants
Of the land on which we gather today

Song #1 TiS 474 “Here in This Place” v1, 2, 4  

And modified this...
A PRAYER: 40 Years of the Uniting Church
Voice ONE:
Amazing God,
You have led your pilgrim people through centuries past
And are calling us to serve you today.
You have blessed us with gifts of the Holy Spirit.
You have given leaders to your Church
Who have guided us with courage and insight.

Voice TWO:
Despite the failings of your Church,
You continue to claim us for yourself,
To renew our faith and to send us out to a world in need.
We thank you for the inheritance into which we have entered:
16th century reformers who preached the centrality of Jesus Christ;
18th century evangelicalism reaching out in fresh ways with good news
20th century ecumenism bringing Christians together
across barriers of race, language, culture and tradition.

Voice THREE:
We give you thanks for all who prayed and worked
to bring the Uniting Church into being:
for the envisaging of it’s vision and ethos
for those in every locality who worked patiently to bring people together;
for those who for 40 years have proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
ministered to the sick and suffering, and developed new initiatives in mission.

Voice FOUR: 
We ask your blessing on your Church in the coming years:
that you will draw us closer to other communities of faith;
that you will strengthen our work for justice and peace;
that you will help us minister to the poor and distressed,
the lonely and alienated, the confused and despairing.
May your Spirit of truth and love be our guide,
both now and in the future,
that we may be a faithful servant Church,
giving of ourselves and all we have
as Jesus gave himself for us.  

Storybook “Stuck” by Oliver Jeffers read by Allira
with images onscreen

Song #2 “The Pilgrim’s Song” Paul Chalson

Bible Reading/s non lectionary
Isaiah 42: 1-9
Matthew 28: 16-20

+ Video Clip “An Australian Church edit” 6min 41
[Edited a little bit out of Craig Mitchell's excellent UCA DVD series]
Typed up the text for those who find it difficult to hear...

An Australian Church from Uniting Church in Australia on Vimeo.

Buzz Groups Discussion: a few minutes
What do you know/appreciate about the Uniting Church/THIS church?

Banner intro/UCA Logo build in cardboard

Song #3 “God the Father, Son and Spirit” [Tune TiS 152 Ode to Joy]

Prayers of the People
Creator God,
We pray for a world in trouble not easily solved, for those who seek peace
And for those effected by the pursuit of power and politics
For the Middle East, Syria, Afghanistan, for the UK and ongoing tensions

We pray for this country, filled with division and skepticism
For the challenges of daily life, money, family and hard times

We pray for those we know, unwell, grieving and in recovery
[naming some names and silence for others]

God , you call us to be people who care, help us reach out in love
Give us insight and energy for our journey of serving
In Jesus name

Song #4 TiS 687 “God Gives Us a Future”

Sending Out

[then there was cake]

We also shared a Soup & Damper Lunch with Table Quiz
Table Menu Questions to promote conversation...
Four Rounds including Sound Clues + Famous Faces Page
Magnificent Soup
Good community

Monday, June 05, 2017

"One Love Manchester"

   This was always going to be a concert for the youngsters in terms of the bands but what a great start with Marcus Mumford introducing a 'moments silence' for those effected by the recent 'terror' attacks and then singing "Timshel" which is moving song that fitted the reflection and celebration that is a concert to follow such horror!! Love drives out fear indeed... "We're still singing our songs" was great too from Robbie Williams leading the crowd...
   In Oz our media coverage today has also included the cover by Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over."
   I love music... for lots of reasons... including it's capacity to transport you in time and place and in things like this concert to assert that although people are dented, they're not broken... although there's fear, ongoing violence and a world in turmoil, people want to say that someone bringing a bomb into the foyer of a concert is 'madness'...
   At some time we will have to come to grips with the fact that US foreign policy, and the coalition of the willing, oil and military action in the middle east are yielding an extreme response that whilst never justifying terrorism, is contributing to the anger that creates it!!
   The loss of life in these attacks that will go on, needs to be rested with love in communities that pull together, with celebrations of life and also with ways of helping people work through the aftermath... the concert can't bring anyone back but it can contribute to the healing of emotional wounds!!

The way the artists and songs unfolded in the concert provided a pretty solid journey through grief, an array of feelings and on into love, hope and celebration, even determination to hold to something bigger and worthy of celebration!! Space to grieve, to move and to express something bigger... but also room to just be or to not be able to move...

AND here regarding money raised for the RED  CROSS

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Future for "Recognition" of First Peoples in Australia

" 2017 we seek to be heard"

   It was inspirational to catch 'most' of Q&A tonight on ABC TV here in Australia. The Panel were at Parliament House and held a discussion and answered audience questions following on from the gathering of community representatives that formed part of a two year long process within consultation with indigenous people about the future, about "recognition" and about genuine change.
   I have always been a supporter of the movement for 'Recognition' of Aboriginal people in the Australian Constitution. For me it's always been as another step on the path to further efforts towards reconciliation on indigenous terms. Tonight's discussion canvassed this and many other important aspects...
   For me the standout reminder was something I believe about any current issue you can name. Our politicians seem unwilling or are simply unable to imagine a vision for a better future of our country. This is what to takes to bring real change, to bring people along with you and to LEAD!!
   Indigenous issue and identity are/is bigger than the current conversation... It's also true that when you read the new Constitutions of countries who have renewed theirs in light of historical mistakes and issues, there are some outstanding ethos statements and visionary thinking. e.g Canada was mentioned tonight and it particularly describes who people see themselves as and how they hope to be seen by others in terms of their core values... not so much how territories will organise their commerce and law... 

It would be brilliant to see a new Constitution, not just an amended one...
The gathering at Uluru was always going to be a landmark and it didn't fail to deliver, it's only the vacuum of Politicians reactions since that prevent the work from being recognised for the visionary work it is, especially as a response is often that "aboriginal people themselves are not of one mind on these issues"... Here's hoping it creates a desire for people to suspend their opinions and take time to listen to indigenous voices, to hear the imagined future where incarceration, poor health and absence of opportunity are all addressed... Now is the time to know what the Statement says and to read it and sit with it for a while and to listen to Aboriginal people, their story, perspective and hopes...

We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from 'time immemorial', and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.

This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or 'mother nature', and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link Is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.

How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?

With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia's nationhood.

Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.