Flame Trees – by Cold Chisel

There’s a girl falling in love near where the pianola stands
With her young local factory out-of-worker, just holding hands . . .

Flame Trees, from album Twentieth Century, 1984.
Lyrics by Don Walker, music by Steve Prestwich.

Twentieth Century


This is a great reference to the youth unemployment problems of the late 70s and early 80s, a situation that has become a permanent part of modern western society, especially in rural areas, which is the setting of this song.

  • Eirene Hogan

 

San Franciscan Nights – Eric Burdon and the Animals

‘It’s an American dream, includes Indians too’

‘San Franciscan Nights’ by Eric Burdon and the Animals from the Winds of Change album, 1967.

A folksy hippy flavoured paen to the city of San Francisco with a plea for love and not war which features an early sympathetic pop culture reference to the Indians (native Americans in today’s more accurate language).

eric-burdon-and-the-animals-san-franciscan-nights-mgm-3

Beds are Burning – Midnight Oil

The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
It belongs to them
Let’s give it back

Beds are Burning, Midnight Oil, from the album Diesel and Dust, 1987


beds_are_burning_australian_edition

I am posting this in reference to the current debate about what day Australia should use to celebrate their country.

Australia Day” is currently celebrated on 26 January, the anniversary of the British ‘First Fleet’s’ arrival to New South Wales, bringing with them convicts, to establish a permanent colony upon the land. Another words, it is when Britain invaded the land formerly occupied by Aboriginal peoples who had been there for something like 50,000 years. The British came in and ‘settled’, claiming the land as ‘terra nullius’, meaning no one owned the land, which they said gave them a right to claim it as theirs.

Of course people did live there, as already stated, and had for 50,000 years, but  they were not European and Christian and did not farm the land, they hunter and gatherers. In 18th understanding this was not important as they were simply seen as ‘primitive savages’.

So – times have moved on, and many of the white folk of Australia have – to a fair extent – recognised the error of those days, and that the Aboriginal people are worthy of respect that their land was stolen from them. We cannot solve the problem by simply returning to the countries we came from, it is too late for that, so we need to work out a way to compromise, recognise the indigenous past and the mistakes the British made, and build a new future with our multicultural population.

However, we STILL celebrate Australia Day on that day. Many want a day when we can celebrate the modern multi-cultural 21st century Australia, but to me the 26th January is not that day. It is just a constant reminder to the Aboriginal peoples of the tragedy of that event.

If we want an Australia Day we can all enjoy, and not just the white population, then we should “move on” and choose another day. 26th January can still be recognised as the day the First Fleet came, but do impose on that an expectation that all Australians can celebrate it.

 

 

THIS IS NOT AMERICA – David Bowie and the Pat Metheny Group

A little piece of you
The little peace in me
Will die (This is not a miracle)
For this is not America.
Image result for this is not america

THIS IS NOT AMERICADavid Bowie, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, 1985, the John Schlesinger film The Falcon and the Snowman.


This song belongs to 1985, the era of Reagan, and was popular with those who felt disengaged by his rule.

While it is an old, 20th century, Cold War song, I feel the lyrics resonate well with the contemporary situation in the USA. Their words, and their message, echo through the years. What is happening in America today is not what America, to me, means. Hopefully, these days will be over quickly, and quietly, and we can return to the America that supported liberty and justice for ALL.

Rodriguez – THIS IS NOT A SONG IT’S AN OUTBURST: OR THE ESTABLISHMENT BLUES

Public gets irate

but forget the vote date

 


Rodriguez, THIS IS NOT A SONG IT’S AN OUTBURST: OR THE ESTABLISHMENT BLUES, 1970

Cold Fact (USA)


 

Some things never change. This quote seems to suit the USA at the moment, days away from what could be the most memorable election of them all.

I am constantly grateful for living in Australia, one of the very few countries in the world that have compulsory voting. Many would think compulsory voting is undemocratic, but that is like telling a king he does not have to rule. Perikles himself said it was the duty of citizens in a democracy to vote. If you want to live in a democracy, then you should vote. If you don’t, that is saying you do not want a democracy.

Image result for rodriguez


 

Idiot Wind – Bob Dylan

‘Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped.
What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top
you’re on the bottom.’


‘Idiot Wind’, Bob Dylan from the album Blood on the Tracks, 1975.


One of Bob’s great rants against those who have aggrieved him. From the album I think is his greatest.

blood-on-the-tracks-album-cover