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I Was Only 19 (A Walk in the Light Green)
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal,
(1t was long march from cadets).
The Sixth Battalion was the next to tour and it was me who drew the card…
We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left.

And Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay;
This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean;
And there's me in my slouch hat, with my SLR and greens…
God help me, I was only nineteen.

From Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust at Nui Dat,
I'd been in and out of choppers now for months.
But we made our tents a home, VB and pin-ups on the lockers,
and an Asian orange sunset through the scrub.
 
And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M16?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only nineteen.

A four week operation, when each step could mean your last one on two legs:
it was a war within yourself.
But you wouldn't let your mates down 'til they had you dusted off,
so you closed your eyes and thought about something else.

Then someone yelled out "Contact"', and the bloke behind me swore.
We hooked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar;
Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon: -
God help me, he was going home in June.

1 can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel
on a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau.
And I can still hear Frankie lying screaming in the jungle.
'Till the morphine came and killed the bloody row

 And the Anzac legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears,
and stories that my father told me never seemed quite real
I caught some pieces in my back that I didn't even feel…
God help me, I was only nineteen.

And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me,
I was only nineteen.

Recorded under Redgum’s name in 1983 but from Redgum only Hugh McDonald and I performed on the track. Other  instruments were played by Brian Czempinski, Trevor Lucas and Peter Coughlin..

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Long Run
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

You look out your window at the cold grey dawn
It’s seven o’clock on a Monday morning
Pour a cup of coffee, better make it a strong one
Weather man on the radio says it going to rain
And it’s going to blow
It’ll be all right, it’ll be all right, it’ll be all right in the long run

Australia marched out of Vietnam
Out in the streets against Uncle Sam
We won the fight, it was a long one
Uranium demo the other way
One of my mates got dragged away
As they slammed the door I heard her say
It’ll be all right in the long run.

Italian bloke who works with me
We swap laughs and company
And he slapped me on the back
He said “You’re wrong, son
This isn’t the land I was told it would be
It’s not so equal and it’s not so free”
But it’ll be all right, it’ll be all right, it’ll be all right in the long run”

From the shadow of history a convict screams
The shearers curse, the people dream
We’ve taken some right turns, they’ve been the wrong ones
Troop ships leave and the headlines blaze
Australia remembers happier days
And the faith lives on within the haze
It’ll be all right in the long run

So you sit in your camp and you stare at the fire
The doubt drops away as the hopes get higher
And you sing to yourself
It’ll be all right, be all right in the long run

And the sun gives ground to a long cold night
And you screw up your courage for another fight
But you know in your heart
It’ll be all right, be all right in the long run

And the sun streams in with power and might
You look at your kids in a different light
You know in your heart as you kiss them goodnight
It’ll be all right in the long run

Taken from the Redgum album “Virgin Ground”, 1980

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The Last Frontier
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

There's a corrugated highway leading north from Port Augusta
Lined with ratted cars that didn't rate a tow
Salt plains out of Pimba and your eyes begin to stream

On to Kingoonya huddled dusty by the road.

Romantic notions shattered like the tyres that didn't hack it
This has got to be the country's last frontier
And a sports car's next to useless running cattle grids and river beds
We drove a van from 1963

And someone mentioned walkabout and kiss your job goodbye
Just to see the country shimmer through the windscreen
Drinking beer and telling stories while the laughter filled the night
And flexi-time's behind you like a bad dream

A flat on Anzac Highway and Lawson on your shelf
Its a southern comfort, air-conditioned rage
But a homestead's more than just a cheap print dangling from a wall
And mateship's more than lines upon a page

We went looking for Australia in between the TV lines
'Cause the ABC just couldn't make it real
A colour documentary from a bean-bag on the floor
Never shows as much as it conceals

A stark and blistered Alice Springs and a river runs with shame
And you wipe the sheets of bulldust from your eyes
Another country's uniform, the mirage it falls apart
To the open gap between the truth and lies

“Go and see your country, mate,” the travel agents scream
Politicians sell its heart just for a pastime
Signs and high-wire fences hold the land where I belong
It's as if I'm in the outback for the last time                                                                  
For the last time

Originally recorded for the Redgum album “Brown Rice and Kerosene”.
This version was taken from Redgum’s live album “Caught in the Act”.
Hugh McDonald overdubbed the bass guitar later.

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Where Ya Gonna Run To….
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

Mother and child playing on the lawn
It's a middle class home on a Sunday morning
And the mother says, “Son, where ya gonna run
Where ya gonna run to now?”

“I just jumped bail on a dope bust, Mum
And I'm saying goodbye” and then the drug squad comes
And in the name of the law
They punch him in the jaw
Where ya gonna run to now?

He did it for a dare on the night he turned eleven

His first shop break, Magnum 357

A frightened young cop

And the kid doesn’t stop

Where ya gonna run to now?

A long white car out at Tullamarine
A Government Member to the Carribean
And a man with a broom
Yells across the room
Where ya gonna run to now?

Will you have to tell lies when the kids ask you why
The horizon's a blanket of gloom?
When the battle lines draw
Which way will you turn?

Terania Creek's got a dozer track
And we'll never ever get Lake Pedder back
A director and a graph
And a million dollar laugh
Where ya gonna run to now?

Enrich the oxide out of Port Pirie
And the toxic gases they won't even see
But where ya gonna go
When the North wind blows
Where ya gonna run to now?

And your loungeroom is screening Nationwide
And you've just given blood to the bank
And the books on your shelves
Are a measure of all that you've earned
Will you have to tell lies when the kids ask you why
The horizon's a blanket of gloom
When the battle lines draw
Which way will you turn?

Shake me, wake me, tell me it's a dream
I've got a B-52 on my TV screen
And a man in a tie
Pointing to the sky
Where ya gonna run to now

Mother and child playing on the lawn
It's a middle class home on a Sunday morning
And the mother says, son, where ya gonna run
Where ya gonna run to now?

Originally recorded for the Redgum album “Brown Rice and Kerosene”.

This version was re-recorded in 1984 for overseas release.

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I’ve been to Bali too
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

Qantas flight 20, Denpasar
Meals and accom and a rent-a-car
I've been to Bali
I've been to Bali too

Took a two week course at a suntan clinic
So lying round Legian I wouldn't look anaemic
And you can't impress me
‘Cause I've been to Bali too

Got a ride out to Kuta in the back of a truck
Cost me twenty dollars and it wasn't worth a buck
Hustled to a losmen down in Poppy's Lane
By a Javanese guy in a tropical rainstorm,
Lock up your daughters
I've been to Bali too

Life is tragic hanging out at Kuta
If you haven't got a car, a bike or a scooter
Show me the bike shop
I've been to Bali too

Got myself a Honda, had to get away
No brakes, bald tyres,
five thousand ‘rupes’ a day
I've been to Bali too

Well I don't ride a bike much home in Australia
As a motorcycle hero, guess I'm a failure
Bemos to the left, trucks to the right
The Honda was a wreck but I was alright,
Hello Mercurochrome
I've been to Bali too

Wired home for money, I was short of cash
A dose of Bali-Belly and a tropical rash
Daddy came through - American Express
Bali T-shirts, magic mushrooms, Redgum bootlegs
I've been to Bali too

Took my bag and mozzie coils to Peliatan
It was there where my Bali trip really began
Been there, done that
I've been to Bali too

Tourists from Holland, Britain and France
Late night puppet shows, legong dance
Want to see my slides?
I've been to Bali too.

Well, I wandered off to Ubud, just a little up the track
One week there didn't want to come back
Listening to gamelon and playing guitar
Tjanderi’s tacos, Hotel Menara, two month visa
I've been to Bali too.

Flying Kangaroo out of Denpasar
Left me camera in the airport bar
I've been to Bali
I've been to Bali too

Touch down, touch down Tullamarine
Sprayed me on the plane so I'd be real clean
Coming though Customs
I've been to Bali too

They went through my bags like McCartney in Japan
I didn't have a thing so I didn't give a damn
You can't trick me
'Cause I've been to Bali too

You've been to Paris and you've been Boston
You've been to Fiji and you've been to London
But you can't impress me
'Cause I've been to Bali too

From the Redgum album “Frontline”, 1984
Bass by Steven Cooney

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Borrowed Ground
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

The wind out here’s like a cross-cut saw, the land is red and green
The summer sun’s hanging in a pale blue sky, the air is sharp and clean
There’s a frozen moment in waving grain, food for a hungry world
But we can’t clothe ourselves with the cheque, we can barely feed ourselves…

At night I lie awake and worry and the debts go round and round…
Furrows in my night time forehead,
And furrows on borrowed ground

There’s and old galv shed with a laughing lean, it’s kept the tractor dry…
I remember the day when we knocked it up with stringybark and fencing wire
The earthen floor’s been beaten hard, where the rain hasn’t cut a path
I’m frightened to look because I’m beaten too and the mice run through the chaff…

And I lie on my bed, staring into the red
and the overdraft won’t come down
And it’s hard work keeping your family together,
Living on borrowed ground

And I don’t blame your brother, son, for moving into town
It’s no place here for a bright young man,
Living on borrowed ground.

And I watch all the programs on the ABC,
after the sun’s gone down…
Lucy Broad’s talking on “Countrywide”,
Talking about borrowed ground.

We don’t own this place anymore and I don’t know how or why.
There’s some money-men coming from Sydney who tell me it’s only a matter or time.
Well, I hope they can read the seasons and they’re not here just to muck around…
‘Cause they’ve still got to feed a nation,
They’ve got to feed them from borrowed ground.

Taken from the album “Etched in Blue” by John Schumann, 1987

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Thunder Across the Reef
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

Out off the coast of Semaphore
There’s not a seagull in sight…
Black clouds tower in the wind and the rain and it looks like a dirty night
The Star of Greece, she got her harbour clearance with a load of grain for home
The wind is tugging at the rigging, there’s a low and a broken moan

Sailors arrive at their cross roads too
Lines on a chart, etched in blue
Stern to the wind, run with the sea
There’s thunder across the reef

A run of ragged cliffs from Kingston to the Fleurieu
Working the wind north-west
There was almost an inch of rain that night, green rolling over the deck
17 hands on the Star of Greece in the cold and the dark and the rain
And all but six or seven of them won’t make land again

Twenty miles off course that night, driven too close to the beach
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
There’s thunder across the reef

Evening falls and a soft breeze brushes Port Willunga bay
And the rising moon is a silver disc sliding up through the haze
You can hear those sailors in the mizzen screaming above the wind
Just outside the holding ground, on the dark side of the green

Taken from the album “Etched in Blue” by John Schumann, 1987

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Holy Mary
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd (with M. Atchison, Sundowner Music)

There was always yelling at our house
And thumping against the wall;
Dad didn’t like Mum very much,
Mum didn’t like Dad all
At night I lie awake
and listen to their marriage break,
My little sister crying in the room next door
I knew I had to get away…get away

Put a thousand down on a V8 panel van,
A little bit of rego and a sloppy front end.
Three hours later, 120 through the main street of Tailem Bend
and I was singing…

Holy Mary, pray for me,
In my hour of need

Sunshine, Melbourne, pastel morning,
The autobank’s running low,
I got a job washing dishes in a Carlton restaurant, watching the hours go…
I met her in a rock and roll joint, where the carpet sticks to your shoes
The band was playing “I’m Beginning to Lie: I’ve Been Here Too Long Blues”.
She said “If we travel to together, there’s got to be a highway code,”
She threw her Adidas bag in the back of the van and we scooted up Sydney Road

And we were singing…

Holy Mary, pray for me,
In my hour of need

If I’d thought about it, I never would have done it,
I guess I would have let it slide.
If you listen to others, you never know where you stand
And the words of all those songs ring true
And they try to put the blame on you
You can only play with the cards that are in your hand…

We fell apart in a roadhouse
A little out of Nelson Bay,
I must have changed my mind about a thousand times before I drove away
But things always happen in circles
And the dust gets in your eyes…
The past’s in the rear-vision mirror,
Don’t think about tomorrow twice, just keeping singing

Taken from the album “Etched in Blue” by John Schumann, 1987

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For the Children
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

The lady from the paper asked me would I write a song for you,
I didn’t know you then but now I do.
And I’m stuck in this motel room with an empty aching heart,
And the miles roll out between us and they’re tearing me apart…
All I’ve got are tunes and rhymes -  this one’s for you.

May you always feel the sunshine and take time to taste the rain,
May your friends be true and caring and I hope you are the same;
And in your fleeting passage, leave a little bit behind
For the children who will follow in your footsteps, along the sands of time.

I dreamed there was a world for you, without the rush of rockets
And the thump of khaki gunships in the sky…
But there were rows of eucalyptus and trains for little boys
And tadpoles in a still black creek and playgrounds full of noise;
In my vision, fear and greed and anger were the only things to die…

May the wind blow gently through your life, may your principles be strong;
May you stand up and be counted when they work out right from wrong…
May your nights be short and peaceful, may your days be warm and long;
May your music be a service…may they pause sometime and listen to your song

And here’s this little voice, reaching down the phone,
“Dad you’ve been away so long, when are you coming home?”

May your eyes be filled with kindness, may the seeds of wisdom grow…
May you seek for truth and beauty and when you find it may you know…
May you help feed those who are hungry, and comfort those who hurt
May you always fright for justice for all of us who walk upon the earth

Taken from the album “Etched in Blue” by John Schumann, 1987

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If I Close My Eyes
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

If I close my eyes

I can see the river redgum rising green against the dawn
I can hear the sacred silence of Wilpena in the morning
All I have to do is close my eyes

If I close my eyes
 I can see the sunlight tumbling down between the native pines
Broken by the breeze, splashing red and orange light
I can see the wedge-tailed eagle climbing stairways in the sky;
If I close my eyes

And if I close my eyes
I’m flying 40,000 years
to Wilpena in the dream-time,
where the rock sweeps to the air
And the hills run from the mountainside into a haze of blue…
All I have to do is close my eyes

If I close my eyes
Underneath the windswept southern sky, Wilpena’s ancient shrine
Running down the centuries, leaving this one far behind
Touch the starlight streaming from the blackness of the night
All I have to do is close my eyes

But if we close our eyes
There’ll be black-and whited waiters serving cocktails on the green
And whirring motor-driven cameras drinking in the scene
And people running credit-checks behind a silver screen
If we close our eyes

And if I close my eyes
I’m staring into endless night
and in the hissing of the campfire
As the smoke curls to the night;
I hear Nepabunna angels chanting out Wilpena’s plight
If I close my eyes

And if I close my eyes
I’m flying 40,000 years
to Wilpena in the dream-time,
where the rock sweeps to the air
And the hills run from the mountainside, into a haze of blue
All I have to do is close my eyes

Taken from the album “True Believers” by John Schumann, 1993
Special guest: Renee Geyer  - backing vocals

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Eyes on Fire
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

Out here on the western line, where the carriages bump and sway
And the aerials tag the skyline and the ragged children play
I lined up every morning, we were living from pay to pay
Eyes on fire

There are some things, mister, that I just don’t understand
How the job I’ve had for 20 years has just moved to Japan
And I’m standing in a dole queue while my country’s changing hands
Eyes on fire

Eyes on fire – and in the firelight
Non-one’s taking anything more from here, without a fight
Eyes on fire

My shoes are made in Poland, I’ve got a pair from Singapore
These gloves come in from Shanghai, we don’t make them anymore
And there’s all these Kiwi shearers here I’ve never seen before
Eyes on fire

My radio comes from Taiwan, my car’s made in Korea
My son was making car parts, but they closed the plant last year;
And it’s not coming back, the company made that very clear
Eyes on fire

Eyes on fire – and in the firelight
Non-one’s taking anything more from here, without a fight
Eyes on fire

So hold on, darling, it’s a real rough ride
We’ll make it out of here, to the other side
And while the sun still shines and the birds still sing,
They can’t take away important things from us,
Like faith and hope and dignity
And eyes on fire

You can hear the changes coming like the rumbling of a storm
And under southern skies I see the breaking of the dawn
We didn’t start the fighting, but we won’t run from the war –
Eyes on fire

Eyes on fire – and in the firelight
Enough’s enough – no more ground
Nothing more – without a fight
Eyes on fire

Taken from the album “True Believers” by John Schumann, 1993
Special guest: Rob Hirst -  drums

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Clancy of the Overflow
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd  (words Banjo Paterson)

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago;
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just “on spec”, addressed as follows: “Clancy of The Overflow”.

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumbnail dipped in tar);
‘Twas his shearing mate who wrote, and verbatim I will quote it:
“Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.”

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving down the Cooper where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night, the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For the townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I’d somehow rather fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cashbook and the journal –
But I’d doubt he’d suit the office, Clancy of The Overflow.

Taken from the album “True Believers” by John Schumann, 1993

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One True Game
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd

I’m truckie, I’m a wharfie,
I’m the girl who cuts your hair;
I’m a mother, I’m a father,
I’m the old man over there.
And Friday night to Sunday,
We lay it all aside -
And arm to arm and heart to heart we raise this mighty cry…

100,000 voices and a million shining eyes
This is our country’s one true game
And the footy ground’s on fire
And Australia’s sons and daughters, under wide Australian skies
Win or lose, we’re back again, to claim the winner’s prize…

We were here at the beginning
And we’ll be here at the end,
Running with a three goal breeze
Or kicking against the wind.
It’s more than just a game to us,
You’re more than just a team
And when the final siren goes, we’ll show you what we mean …

Life’s a game of footy
And it never goes to plan
You can run into the empty space
Try to throw your tag…
You’ve got both eyes on the scoreboard
As you’re running for the ball
And you feel your heart is bursting and you’re just about to fall … you hear

100,000 voices and a million shining eyes
This our country’s one true game
And the footy ground’s on fire
And Australia’s sons and daughters, under wide Australian skies
Win or lose, we’re back again, to claim the winner’s prize…

Recorded in Adelaide in 2002

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Faces in the Street
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd (words by Henry Lawson)

They lie, the men who tell us for reasons of their own
That want is here a stranger, and that misery's unknown;
For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet
My window‑sill is level with the faces in the street­ –
Drifting past, drifting past,
To the beat of weary feet –
I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,
To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care;
I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet
In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street­ -
Drifting on, drifting on,
To the scrape of restless feet;
I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?
Ah! Mammon's slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street,
The wrong things and the bad things
And the sad things that we meet
In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street.

Once I cried: "O God Almighty! if Thy might cloth still endure,
Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure."
And, lo! with shops all shuttered I saw a city's street,
And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet,
Pouring on, pouring on,
To a drum's loud threatening beat,
And the war‑hymns and the cheering of the people in the street.

And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course,
The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse,
And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution's heat,
And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street –
Coming near, coming near
To a drum’s dull distant beat
Then I saw the army that was matching down the street…

From “Lawson” by John Schumann & the Vagabond Crew 2005
Special guest: Rob Hirst, drums and harmony vocals

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To Hannah
John Schumann: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd (words by Henry Lawson)

Spirit girl to whom 'twas given
To revisit scenes of pain,
From the hell I thought was Heaven
You have lifted me again;
Through the world that I inherit,
Where I loved her before she died -
I am walking
I am walking with the spirit
Of Hannah by my side …

Through my old possessions only
For a very little while,
And they say that I am lonely,
And they pity, but I smile:
For the brighter side has won me
By the calmness that it brings;
And the peace that is upon me
Does not come of earthly things…

Spirit girl, the good is in me,
But the flesh, you know, is weak,
And with no pure soul to win me
I might miss the path I seek;
Lead me by the love you bore me
When you trod the earth with me;
Till the light is clear before me,
And my spirit too is free…
I’ll be walking
I’ll be walking with the spirit
Of Hannah by my side …

From “Lawson” by John Schumann & the Vagabond Crew 2005
Special guest: Marcia Howard -  harmony vocals

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