A thoroughly ridiculous song that was the early centerpiece of “Evening”. Delightful to sing with Aurora Kurth, who played Sally – and I don’t write many neo-Meatloaf/Billy Joel multipart songs (trip on that thought for a moment: neo-Meatloaf! Scary or what?), so it was fun just to shake the fist at the sky etc. Melbourne, for those who don’t know, is often ranked highly in studies of the world’s “most liveable cities” – a fact of which the city’s tourism board has been occasionally a little too proud. Caution: it’s a verrrrrrry rudimentary demo… oh, God, it’s even got Autotune on it ato finish. Eek! Sorry!


A London bar, and I was pissed
debating which great metropolis sat at the top of the list
they cast their votes for Tokyo, New York, Berlin and Rome
they eulogised Paris and thought me embarrassed to speak of my humble home

but then I stood, and stood my ground
I said “you call it down under – in fact it’s the other way round.
“I make my claim for Melbourne, I will not be denied:
“your cities are sweet but they’ll never compete with the seat of my civic pride.

“It’s just so liveable – so hard to dismiss –
“you can travel around but you won’t find a town as tolerable as this.
“It’s so acceptable – yes it’s perfectly fine –
“so I’m glad to invite you to stomach the sight of that adequate city of mine.”

I could tell they thought my claim was overstated and my case was doomed to failure
they thought I’d set the bar a little higher than my city was worth
but Eureka is the second-highest residential tower in Australia,
and the Melbourne Cricket Ground has got the highest lighting fixtures
for a sporting venue on the earth!

And so they came from overseas
They came with backpacks and bumbags and God knows what foreign disease
and when they saw this mighty cosmopolitan land
they took back their last thoughts and tore up their passports and said “Now we understand:

“it’s just so liveable – it’s perfectly clear –
“we could try to compare, but there isn’t a there as habitable as here.
“It’s unobjectionable – satisfactory all round –
“any sceptical guest would be just as impressed with your thoroughly bearable town.”

Gary and Sally lived up in the Mallee
a couple of k’s out of Nyah
Breakin’ their backs with the plough and the axe
in the drought and the heat of that shire
Toughened and tanned from the work of the land
and they couldn’t abandon the dream

But late on a Saturday night
Shakin’ a fist at the stars so bright
Gary would shout ‘til he thought he might explode:
“Sally, there must be more.
What in the hell are we waiting for?
We’ve got a brand new life in store on Whitehorse Road.”

“I’ll be employed as a realtor in Croydon
and you’ll be a dentist in Ringwood.
We’ll get a place somewhere out near The Basin
and live as a queen and a king should.
Hook up to Foxtel and look at our stock swell
and head into Knox for supplies

But late on a Saturday night
If we should feel that the time is right
If we believe we deserve a lighter load
Gary, we’ll lose control
Cough up a piece of the Eastlink toll
Into the city rock we’ll roll from Whitehorse Road.”

“Sally, the race we’ve run is ending;
we battled to save the farm and gave our all.”
“Gary, but now we’re done pretending:
nothing could work as well as Bourke Street Mall…”
“Bourke Street Mall…”

“It’s just so liveable – we couldn’t compare –
“and it’s perfectly clear that there isn’t a here as habitable as there.
“It’s unobjectionable – satisfactory all round –
“so we’ll trade in the farm for the moderate charm of that thoroughly bearable town.”

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