Saturday, April 5, 2008

Redgum - Brown Rice & Kerosene


1981 was the year Redgum went full time as the band members
gave up their day jobs to pursue the band.
It was also the year that their 3rd Lp was recorded and released.
I remember hearing about this during an interview on 4zzz,
the album was just released it was a promotional thing and they
played the single "100 years on".
I still love the song, a modern take on "Waltzing Matilda"it takes
us to the heart of John Schumann's songwriting genius, his
ability to tell a yarn.

100 Years On - John Schmann

He came in from Melbourne on a Pioneer
Adelaide morning, warm and clear
And a past that wasn't quite
Within the law

And he opened yet another ten dollar room
To a broken blind and a rising gloom
And a threadbare cotton carpet
On the floor

And the muzak piping through the corridor
Played that song he heard before
It went :-

Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
A suitcase held with rope and twine
Cleaner's shirt and an open mind
A trail of debts
To mark where he had been
A million miles of racetracks
And torn tickets on the ground
And his only son cut down in Phnom Penh green

Police car crawled down Gouger street
As he looked for some place cheap to eat
It was just another
Curb's eye interview

With a warrant out in Adelaide
For a bad decision that he once made
An instinct took his tongue
And pulled him through

So he left his hotel room that night
In time to make a midnight flight
With an overloaded truckie
Going east

And the line ran round inside his head
Was it something that his best friend said
"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"

The billabong's just a grubby pond
That's busy washing ore
The squatter drives a thoroughbred steel
And if he runs forever
Will his life be all in vain?
At least that's how it makes him feel

And the truckie pushed a cassette in
As they rumbled through the Grampians
It played Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?

Waltzing Matilda,
Waltzing Matilda,
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?

Waltzing Matilda,
Waltzing Matilda,
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?

And the truckie pushed a cassette in
As they rumbled through the Grampians
It played Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?


This is my favorite Redgum album, its the songs that do it
and sure theres a bit on clumsy left rhetoric, but I can
forgive it, the brilliance in some songs more than makes
up.The sound is less folk like, introducing things like
synthesizers, yet not sounding commercial.
The epic "Where you gonna run to now" exposes
Schumann's fears for the future and a strong environmental
stance that was unheard of at the time

Where ya gonna run to - John Schumann
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 come
And in the name of the law
They punch him in the jaw
Where ya gonna run to now?

A long white car out of 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?


The Michael Atkinson songs both work well
and don't for me.
I love the title track that ends with this
brilliant verse

Sometimes I think about cocktails
Update Molotov's recipe
Forget the gravel ballast and stink of benzene
Use rice and kerosene
A major change of scene
Like 1917
With people before machines


And "The Federal Two Ring Circus"
is and very funny take on our political system,
but "Your OS Trip" seems a little too bitter.

You're standing ten feet tall, you've been and seen it all
On your Cook's Grand Tour of Spring
With your Polaroid�s so shady, I'm surprised, my lady
That you saw anything


The truly greatest track however is the Schumann penned
"The Last Frontier."
Here he captures a young man pilgrimage
to the heart of Australia,
a trip I would do myself some 10 years later.

The Last Frontier - John Schumann
There's a corrugated highway
Leading north from Port Augusta
lined with ratted cars that didn't rate a tow
The 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
Where a sports car's next to useless
Running cattle grids and river beds
We drove a van from 1963

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

You got a flat on Anzac Highway
And Lawson on your shelf
Its a Southern Comfort, air-conditioned rage
Where 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
Colour documentary From a beanbag 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
And 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 it's heart for a past time
Signs and high-wire fences
Hold the land where I belong
It's as if I'm in the outback for the last time
Download Here

10 comments:

Beergut said...

Thanks for this one mate. It is truly one of Redgum's finest.

Keep up the good work, and keep that Redgum coming.

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

No problems mate , for someone who does as much as you do over at ausrock, I'm glad your enjoying it. Now whats next, "A cut to the quick'
I think. I haven't even ripped that fella yet.
ciao bob

Anonymous said...

G'day Bob,
Another Z Share file that will not load,this is band were so underrated!!

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

reuped

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

Can you do your magic for Brown Rice and Kerosine please - 100 Years On is what I have been looking for. Thanks Chris Davis.

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Uploading now Chris, that is a great song on what is I think their greatest album.

Peter said...

I've been looking for this for ages, but why do I have to do a test and give my cell phone number before I can access the download. Peter (Sydney).

Bob said...

You dont, go to the megaupload link from the zshare page, it still works which is amazing seeing I reupped this two and a half years ago and the links expire after a month of no use

Haydon said...

If possible, could you please upload this one again? I now need only "Your O.S. Trip", "The Last Frontier" and "Parramatta Gaol 1843" to complete my Redgum studio album collection...

Bob said...

back up