Wide Brown Land

from by Men With Day Jobs



Written for a screenplay, “Bloody Colonials”, by Stafford & co-lyricist Tony, about an Irish-Australian convict sleuth. Stafford as Irish con ponders new colonial life – then 200 years on, Paul’s modern Aussie scans where we’ve got to – a mixed report card. Nice mandolin posted to us by our virtuoso Melbourne mate Ken. Rich with lively Irish-Oz sounds – Paul’s “bodhran” on the bass drum, Rod’s flutey keyboards, Stafford’s acoustic. We think it says something about Australia – other than that we still call it home.


Dawn of a new day in strange paradise, we rise with first light as one / We hitch up our chains and we take up our tools, and toil till the long day is done

Far from our homes and the land that we knew, the natural laws we once took to be true

Still the climate’s not bad and there’s fine lands in view, to work when our sentence has run

We follow their orders, we do what we’re told - don’t question the wrong or the right

We’re slaves to an empire where sun never sets – ‘cause God wouldn’t trust them at night

The ground rules keep shifting, the words don’t ring true: “Do what we say, never mind what we do”

Still, the water is cool and the sky is bright blue, and we’ve independence in sight

Drowning in sunlight, jumping at shadows / Struggling so hard to understand, this wide brown land

Dawn of a new age in fools’ paradise, working for fools and their gold

We boot up our screens and we check out the price, where land can be bought, stripped and sold

The arrowhead shirts have got logos instead / Sign on the line and we’ll see you’re well fed

And there’s no time to ask where our dreams might have led - safer to do what we’re told

Working on long leads, drifting in dreamworld / Struggling so long to understand, this wide brown land / Here in this wide brown land…


from Dreams And Tinsel, released January 12, 2008



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