This song didn’t fit in Northcote Country Soul at all – it’s almost totally humourless (which some might say made it a natural fit!) – but I had to put it in there. I can’t really explain it for those who don’t know what it’s about, except to sigh and say that it had been a long, long, long eleven years in Australia, and this was written in anger in the middle of it.
I don’t know how to say this, and it might come out all wrong, but I think it should be said I’ve not been loving you too long. So, though I know it must be hard, I’m showing you the door: I’m afraid I just don’t trust you with my country anymore.
You wave away indignity and poverty and shame, and then wave the green and gold and gush at any touch of fame. Dear John, you broke my heart across this great divide: if you cannot show your sorrow, then you should not show your pride.
I saw you via satellite on April 25 – I know you heard the bugle and you saw the dawn arrive – but standing at the service with one hand upon your heart and the other in your pocket, could you tell the two apart? Fuck the noble Anzacs, and fuck Gallipoli, and fuck their selfless sacrifice and all it did for me. Why is one exalted when another is denied? If you cannot show your sorrow, then you should not show your pride.
When a child loses a mother, a mother loses a child, and motherhood means nothing, childhood is defiled, a cousin loses a cousin, a friend loses a friend, and a generation loses. A generation loses. A generation, loses, Johnny, what’s so fucking hard to comprehend?
I don’t know how to say this; it reminds me of the way you don’t know how to say the words I think you might know how to say. For way too long, I’ve hoped the word would catch your eye – that you’d walk across the bridge and read it written in the sky.
And you could’ve made me happy if you’d said it out aloud, but now it makes me sick to see your face in every crowd. For every child that suffered, every mum and dad that cried, if you cannot show your sorrow then you should not show your pride.