helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

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anti-war song

There's a meme going round at the moment where you're supposed to post the lyrics to an anti-war song.

Personally, I could have chosen almost anything by Midnight Oil, because if they're not singing about war, it's aboriginal land rights, the encroachment of big industries, or other leftie political themes. The band broke up in 2002 because Peter Garrett, the lead singer, became a politician. HOW COOL IS THAT?

I saw the video for "Beds are Burning" when I was 11 years old, and fell in love with it. Not the band themselves, 'cos they were old and ugly even then, but the idea, spirit of the video. A band, on the back of a flat-bed truck, driving round the Australian wilderness playing to Australians of every colour. I didn't necessarily get the political implications, but I knew damn well I wanted to be in a band, and go on tour, playing to people all over the world.

Midnight Oil's "Diesel and Dust" album still makes me cry 19 years after I bought it. It touches the part of me that weeps for the fact I'm half-Burmese, and my people are living in oppression, and there's nothing I can do about it.

So here is Put Down That Weapon by Midnight Oil. Lyrics from the band's official website. The lyrics alone don't tell you what the song's like, or the way the band use Western and Native instruments, and things you wouldn't think of as instruments to make an amazing multi-layered sound. (I was listening to the album through headphones in the dark one night in hospital last week, and still hearing new sounds in the mix.) Peter's voice is actually quite harsh, to match his bald, ugly exterior - but it works. These words sung by a pretty boy with a sweet voice just wouldn't seem so fierce.

Under the waterline
No place to retire
To another time
The eyes of the world now turn

And if we think about it
And if we talk about it
And if the skies go dark with rain
Can you tell me does our freedom remain?

Put down that weapon or we'll all be gone
You can't hide nowhere with the torchlight on
And it happens to be an emergency
Some things aren't meant to be
Some things don't come for free

Above the waterline
Point the finger yeah point the bone
It's the harbour towns
That the grey metal ships call home

And if we think about it
And if we talk about it
And if the sea goes boiling black
Can you tell me what you'll do about that?

Put down that weapon or we'll all be gone
I must know something to know it's so wrong
And it happens to be an emergency
Some things aren't meant to be
Some things don't come for free
They keep talking about it
They keep talking...

Put down that weapon or we'll all be gone
You must be crazy if you think you're strong
And it happens to be an emergency
Some things aren't meant to be
And some things don't come for free...
Tags: music
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