Friday, July 4, 2008

John Schumann - True Believers


In 1988 some 20 years ago John Schumann released "Looby Loo"
his only album I haven't got. Its a children's record with such
fine songs as "She"ll be coming round the mountain" and
"This old man." The next few years are detailed on his web
site as follows

In 1998 until 2001, John’s passion for social justice and the
environment led him into mainstream politics.
In the 1998 federal election he took the Minister for Foreign
Affairs
down to the wire in the seat of Mayo, reducing
Mr Downer’s
blue-ribbon margin from 16% to 1.7%.
John Schumann
campaigned for three weeks only.
The count took 12 days.


In 1993 John released this album "True Believers," a solid album
with a hint of the past few years in the lyrics. His green cred
showing on the opening track "If I close my eyes"

I can see the river redgum rising green
against the dawn
I can hear the sacred silence of Wilpena
in the morning
All I have to do is close my eyes

If I close my eyes
I can see the sunlight tumbling down between
the native pines
Broken by the breeze, splashing red and orange light
I can see the wedge-tailed eagle climbing s
tairways in the sky;
If I close my eyes

But its the track "Eyes on fire" where we see the old Schumann
surface, the song rollicks along like a steam train dragging you into
the world of people losing their jobs to cheap labor overseas

and a country selling our manufacturing base for a cheap buck.

Eyes on fire - John Schumann

Out here on the western line, where the carriages
bump and sway
And the aerials tag the skyline and the ragged
children play
I lined up every morning, we were living from
pay to pay

There are some things, mister, that I just don’t
understand
How the job I’ve had for 20 years has just moved
to Japan
And I’m standing in a dole queue while my country’s
changing hands
Eyes on fire

Eyes on fire – and in the firelight
Non-one’s taking anything more from here,
without a fight
Eyes on fire

My shoes are made in Poland, I’ve got a pair
from Singapore
These gloves come in from Shanghai,
we don’t make them anymore
And there’s all these Kiwi shearers here
I’ve never seen before
Eyes on fire

My radio comes from Taiwan, my car’s made in
Korea
My son was making car parts, but they closed
the plant last year;
And it’s not coming back, the company made
that very clear
Eyes on fire

Eyes on fire – and in the firelight
Non-one’s taking anything more from here,
without a fight
Eyes on fire

So hold on, darling, it’s a real rough ride
We’ll make it out of here, to the other side
And while the sun still shines and the birds
still sing,
They can’t take away important things from us,
Like faith and hope and dignity
And eyes on fire

You can hear the changes coming like the
rumbling of a storm
And under southern skies I see the breaking
of the dawn
We didn’t start the fighting, but we won’t run
from the war –
Eyes on fire

Eyes on fire – and in the firelight
Enough’s enough – no more ground
Nothing more – without a fight
Eyes on fire

Also John covers the song made famous by Barnsy
"Working class man" turning it into a folk anthem, and
he also puts the Banjo Patterson poem
"Clancy of the overflow" to music.
Plympton High is also worth mentioning, set to
the music of "I've been to Bali too" its a very funny
look at John's high school years

Track List
01 If I Close my Eyes
02 Leigh Creek Road
03 Fallen Angel
04 Eyes on Fire
05 Working Class Man
06 Roll on the Day
07 Clancy of the Overflow
08 If the War goes on
09 Hyde Park Calling
10 Plympton High
11 Eyes on Fire (acoustic)
12 If I close my eyes (reprise)

A wonderful album by one of the greatest songwriters
this country ever produced.

Download here

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob
Gareth (in the UK) here.
I haven't dropped by for a while, pleased to see another band feature that 1. I have heard of and 2. have some CDs by - MY FRIEND THE CHOCOLATE CAKE - YES !!!
Thanks especially for the solo John Schumann and Hugh McDonald posts - awesome !
Is there anymore REDGUM related to come ?
Thanks again, all the best, Gareth

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Hi Gareth, good to hear from your from up the top of the earth. I do have a couple of redgum live boots which I'll post and another Hugh album, I may wait a bit and post some other stuff for a while before I bore to death the people who just don't get into redgum
ciao bob

Anonymous said...

Fantastic ! I look forward to them - and whatever else comes in between :O)

Thanks for all, Gareth

Adrian said...

Bob,
Both links to True Believers go round in circles. Clicking to download takes you back to the same page, part 1 (i.e. 'Your link will appear shortly', with the countdown).
No problem with the other Redgum stuff though, and I haven't tried the Lawson downloads.
Yes, I've used a Redgum search.

Adrian

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Zshare lost all my links sometime back in October I reup on request.
So i had requests for redgum but not johns stuff, just tell me what your after and it will go on the list.
Are you after all the john stuff?
ciao bob

Adrian said...

Bob,
I've got the Redgum, so it's John's Material, especially True Believers and Etched in Bue that I'm lookingfor still.
Thanks,
Adrian

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

been busy round here but its back up

Anonymous said...

hi bob wayne here been stuck in asia for some years now just stumbled upon this great site i had johns stuff on tape years ago before the electronic age and as usual tapes get eaten up at some stage in life i was resigned to the fact that both my tapes were lost until now but i have attempted all the links seems because of inactivity they have gone dead any chance of getting another upload going
i would love to buy the originals but until now have not been able to find them
rgds
robbo