Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Ugly Australian


I initially wrote this song about travelling in Greece. I was a deck class passenger on a ferry between Athens and Israel and I was give this inedible food for dinner. I kicked up a fuss with the ferry staff and they agreed to give me some other food and allowed me to sit in the first class lounge while I ate it. The food in truth wasn’t that much better, and after a short time all the lounge staff logged off and turned off most of the lights as they went.  As I sat there in the half-darkness eating this dreadful food I realise I’d been had! It was the kind of thing that made you want to go home.

Thirty years on I realised that if I just tweaked the lyrics a little and wrote them from the perspective of a refugee stuck on Manus or Nauru I have a similar but different song.




You put shit food down in front of me and expect me to eat it
You put me up in the first class lounge with my anger and expect that to placate it
I’m on a foreign boat in a foreign sea in times foreign to us all At times like this I’m wonderin’ why I’m so far from my native shore I’m going home

I’m tired of the ever moving ground
I'm tired of the ever changing ground

Australia will you wait for me with your long and golden shore?
You’re a land of sun and dreams they tell me but I wanna know for sure

Are you keeping up with fashion? Are you keeping down the poor?

Are you looking down the barrel? Or has nothing changed at all?
But I’m coming home


So I’m coming home


TAKE 2: 2018

You put shit food down in front of me and expect me to eat it
You stick me out on an offshore island with my pain and expect that to placate it
I’m in a foreign place in a foreign sea in times foreign to us all

Australia was what I was looking for – why I left my native shore
But I can’t go home

I’m tired of the never changing ground
I’m tired of the never moving round

Australia I will you wait for you with your long and golden shores
You’re a land of sun and dreams they tell me will I ever know for sure?
I have no home

Are we closing up the country? Have we shut down all the doors?
Are those in need not welcome? When did we get so mean?
They can’t go home
They have no home



2 comments:

deliab said...

Michael, every voice is needed in this struggle for justice. Your songs, both of them, move me deeply...

Michael said...

Thank you Delia.