Lyrics: Cannot Buy My Soul

  1. I’ve Been Moved
  2. Thou Shalt Not Steal
  3. Elly
  4. The Young Dancer is Dead
  5. From Little Things Big Things Grow(Carmody/Kelly)
  6. River of Tears
  7. On The Wire
  8. Cannot Buy My Soul
  9. Moonstruck
  10. This Land is Mine(Carmody/Kelly)
  11. Darkside
  12. Blood Red Rose
  13. Comrade Jesus Christ
  14. Images of London
  15. Droving Woman
  16. Eulogy for a Black Man


I’ve Been Moved

I’ve been moved by the wind upon the waters
And the shadows as the leaves are blown
When that old wind moans
On a weary winter Sunday
Like a friend that keeps on knocking on my home

I’ve been moved by the crying of the newborn
The honey sweetness of the air in spring
I’ve watched the moonlight flood
Across them sleepy hills and valleys
Heard the sadness in her requiem

I’ve been moved watching nature slowly turning
Through the seasons and the patterns that she brings
And as the morning star proceeds
The breaking of a new day
You’ll find the black crow is already on the wing

I’ve been moved watching something that’s been suffering
Be it humankind or any living thing
From the fury of the storm
That old parched ground is reborn
And the deserts blooms’d satisfy a king

I’ve been moved by the tireless sea a churning
And them scarlets of an inland dusk
When a close friend has died
I turned away and cried
As they laid ‘em down and shovelled in the dust

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Thou Shalt Not Steal

In 1788 down Sydney Cove
The first boat-people land
Said sorry boys our gain’s your loss
We gonna steal your land
And if you break our new British laws
For sure you’re gonna hang
Or work your life like convicts
With chains on your neck and hands

CHORUS
They taught us
Oh Oh Black woman thou shalt not steal
Oh Oh Black man thou shalt not steal
We’re gonna civilize
Your Black barbaric lives
And teach you how to kneel
But your history couldn’t hide
The genocide
The hypocrisy to us was real
’cause your Jesus said
you’re supposed to give the oppressed
a better deal
We say to you yes whiteman thou shalt not steal
Oh ya our land you’d better heal

Your science and technology Hey you can make a nuclear bomb
Development has increased the size to 3,000,000 megatons
But if you think that’s progress
I suggest your reasoning is unsound
You shoulda found out long ago
You best keep it in the ground

Job and me and Jesus sittin’
Underneath the Indooroopilly bridge
Watchin’ that blazin’ sun go down
Behind the tall tree’d mountain ridge
The land’s our heritage and spirit
Here the rightful culture’s Black
and we sittin’ here just wonderin’
When we get the land back

You talk of conservation
Keep the forest pristine green
Yet in 200 years your materialism
Has stripped the forests clean
A racist’s a contradiction
That’s understood by none
Mostly their left hand hold a bible
Their right hand holds a gun

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Elly


Elly wrapped her nineteen years
In a coat from ’41
Had the looks that’d make a grown man sigh
From the Diamantina River country
She crossed the dry mid west
From her childhood schemes and sheltered dreams
She broke the ties

The commercial man made blunt demands
As they travelled south by east
Elly turned into a woman over night
He set her down in the heart of town
The millionaires retreat
She gazed up at the tall glass and concrete walls
At Main St. Surfers Paradise

CHORUS
If the decks been marked before the deal
You learn to compromise
Or you get to know the cool hand with the dice
You learn to live off losers, for they make the mistakes twice
You’re living in high society but you’re street wise
Just to survive, just to survive

With those centrefold looks
And bay-blue eyes
Man she stacked them in
All the senators and doctors called her Madam
With her fifteen girls she built a world
A pleasured paradise
On what a man of God would call the wages of sin

CHORUS

A wealthy woman
Drinks with diamond rings
Twenty stories high
Gazes out as the sun lifts from the sea
To make it to the top
Elly sacrificed the lot
And found that seven figure sum was far too high a fee

CHORUS

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The Young Dancer is Dead

His memory and beauty, we carry beyond
How long….how long will these killings go on?
We carry in our hearts his dance and his song
For so long, so long, so long, long gone, beyond

CHORUS
His spirit endures, our grieving hearts bled
We still long for the song of the young dancer who’s dead
Our young dancer is dead, young warrior is dead

The flower of youth, cut down in the night
Dead in the police van and driven from the site
Another young warrior has been sacrificed

CHORUS

His memory and beauty, we carry beyond
How long, how long will these killings go on?
We carry in our hearts his dance and his song
For so long, so long, so long, long gone, beyond

CHORUS

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From Little Things Big Things Grow (Carmody/Kelly)

Gather round people I’ll tell you a story
An eight year long story of power and pride
‘Bout British Lord Vestey and Vincent Lingiarri
They were opposite men on opposite sides

Vestey was fat with money and muscle
Beef was his business, broad was his door
Vincent was lean and spoke very little
He had no bank balance, hard dirt was his floor

CHORUS
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

Gurindji were working for nothing but rations
Where once they had gathered the wealth of the land
Daily the oppression got tighter and tighter
Gurindji decided the must make a stand

They picked up their swags and started off walking
At Wattle Creek they sat themselves down
Now it don’t sound like much but it sure got
Tongues talking
Back at the homestead and then in the town

CHORUS

Vestey man said “I’ll double your wages
Seven quid a week you’ll have in your hand”
Vincent said “uhuh, we’re not talking about wages
We’re sitting right here till we get our land”
Vestey man roared Vestey man thundered
“You don’t stand the chance of a cinder in snow.”
Vince said “if we fall others are rising.”

CHORUS

Then Vincent Lingiarri boarded an airplane
Landed in Sydney, big city of lights
And daily he went round softly speaking his story
To all kinds of people, from all walks of life

And Vincent sat down with big politicians
“This affair,” they told him, “it’s a matter of state
Let us sort it out,…. Why, your people are hungry!”
Vincent said, “no thanks, we know how to wait.”

CHORUS

Then Vincent Lingiarri returned in an airplane
Back to his country once more to sit down
And he told his people, “let the stars keep on turning
We have friends in the south, in the cities and towns.”

Eight years went by, eight long years of waiting
Till one day a tall stranger appeared in the land
And he came with lawyers and he came with great ceremony
And through Vincent’s fingers poured that handful of sand

CHORUS

Now that was the story of Vincent Lingiarri
But this is a story of something much more
How power and privilege, can not move a people

When they know where they stand….
When they stand in their Lore….

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

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River of Tears

There’s a cold rain on the Autumn wind
A brother murdered in Sydney Town
Marrickville brother under supposed legal cover
In his home they gunned him down
We say oh oh oh oh oh ooooooh
Gunned him down
Sad river of tears
Two hundred years in the rive of fear
Gunned him down

They took him out at point blank range
In his home with his small young son
Shot him dead in his Marrickville bed
With a pump action 12 gauge shotgun
Fatherless child and a grieving wife
A black fugitive on the run
On the run from two centuries
Of oppressions loaded gun
We say oh oh oh oh oh oooooh
Gunned him down
Sad river of tears
Two hundred years in the river of fear
Gunned him down

Terrorists dressed in uniform
Under the protection of their law
Terrorise blacks in dawns of fear
They come smashin’ through your door
You’re not safe out there on freedom street
You’re not safe inside the "can"
For their shotguns and their stunt gas
They’re licenced to drop you where you stand
We say oh oh oh oh oooooh
Gunned him down

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On the Wire

He came back from the city
I say “cus’ where ya bin?”
He says “Brother I been livin’ on the wire
Lived down in that gutter where the fittest survive
I ploughed through them fields of fire
Had a needle in a vein, that profited the sane
Had a friend with no name who was a liar
Saw the white walls of freedom, never found the black door
Saw the Devil sing with the Angels in a choir….Sisters….

CHORUS
We’ll take you home to the land we know
Give you that peace of the evening
Give you that moon with the wind on your face
The rains and the change of each season

I saw people who were trapped
Under the whip of fat cats
Saw people there devoid of their Dreaming
Deep down inside there with so much to hide
Brother you could see in their eyes there’s no meaning
So take me my sisters and welcome me home
So I never again walk alone
Our spirit demands that we die in this land
And I know now my spirit’s come home

I says, ‘Brother what you see in this land of “Progress”?’
He says, ‘I never felt them four winds a blowin’
Lived with people in chains, the wounded and lame
Heard Messiahs who spoke without knowin’
And them seven seas rose and the desert lands froze
Each individual there was trapped in a prison
And my spirit cried out, to know what it’s about, brother
Their basis had no rhyme or no reason

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Cannot Buy My Soul

For 200 years us blacks are beaten down here too long on the dole
My dignity I’m losing here and mentally I’m old
There’s a system here that nails us ain’t we left out in the cold
They took our life and liberty friend but they couldn’t buy our soul

Joe Hill died, Che Gevera fought and Pemulwuy lay down dead
If a person speaks out critically here you can get loaded down with lead
How long can the majority wait for their story to unfold
They took their life and liberty friend but they could not buy their soul

The cleverman spoke precisely, humanity he said was done
It’s creed of greed could not proceed if our struggle’s to be won
For humanity’s more important here than that constant quest for gold
You may take life and liberty friend but you cannot buy our soul

Jesus woke one morning, rode a donkey up through the gate
He could see quite clearly he was going to face his fate
And the powers that be, could see that he, could not be bought or sold
They took his life and liberty friend but they could not buy his soul

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Moonstruck

When the western sky’s ablaze
And the sun lays down to rest
When the curlew starts to cry
And the birds fly home to roost
When the full moon begins to rise
Satin moon beams on my face
Beauty of the night goes far beyond
Far beyond both time and place

Chorus

No-one’s lost who finds the moon
Or the sweetness of the wattle’s bloom
Rebirth with the rain in spring
Or the dingo’s howl on the autumn wind
Spirit of the moon here calls me home
Spirit of the moon here guides me home

Moon it draws me to the scrub
Night voices raised in song
Past the water lilies bloom
In that tranquil billabong
Walkin’ on the shadowed leaves
That are reflected by the moon
To the rocks and hills an’ caves
Where the dingoe’s pups are born

Stars ablazin’ across the sky
In the brilliance of the Milky Way
I’m surrounded by the beauty
Of every night and every day
Walkin’ towards that morning moon set
Caress of moonlight on my skin
Knowin’ that freedom of not carin’
Of why I’m goin’ or where I’ve been

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This Land is Mine

This land is mine
All the way to the old fence line
Every break of day
I’m working hard just to make it pay

This land is mine
Yeah I signed on the dotted line
Campfires on the creek bed
Bank breathing down my neck
They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away from me

This land is mine
Rock, water, animal, tree
They are my song
My being here where I belong

This land owns me
From generations past to infinity
We’re all but woman and man
You only fear what you don’t understand
They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away from me

This land is mine
This land is me
This land is mine
This land owns me
This land is mine
This land is me
They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away from me

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Darkside

Chocolates, roses, kisses, zits to hide
To copulate most males bribe
Warm fuzzies. Gentle care
Expensive cars, pubic hair
Parties, alcohol, domestic fights and incest
Adolescent, hot fast, messy sex.

CHORUS
On the southside, darkside
South of the freeway them Logan kids
Use to hang out in that trashed out Rooster & Ribs

Fast food, junk food, foul, food, chunder
McDonalds, Kentucky, rail line thunder

Tavern drive-in, ya buy the piss
The grog we flog, they’ll never miss
Poor behind, square one, it’s hard to start
Five fingered discount from the rich K-Mart

CHORUS

Fish smell, cabana, burnt out shell
Rooster and Ribs is a scene from hell
Broken plaster, fibro, power cords
Hangin’ down….to the burnt out boards….
Dope an’ drugs keep ya stable….
Couples screwin’ on the table

CHORUS

Most night ya screw or fight
Girlfriends, boyfriends, use the night
Hid their reality from society
Only place you can feel free
Moans smashed, glass, trashed out spew
Shit-hole smell, rat-shit view

CHORUS

Graffiti, the neon cut the night
Blue light flashin’, hot spotlight
Siren wailin’ squealin’ tyre
Time to change into overdrive
Batons, handcuffs, they carryin’ guns
Cops have arrived, it’s time to run

CHORUS

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Blood Red Rose

Her night companion was James Joyces’ prose
She’s like the morning dew left to melt on a blood red rose
And her reading light it would burn ’til the night grew old
She’d demand a man for a one night stand
She always gave her soul
And it took it’s toll

CHORUS
Though his memory now is just a faded glow
Time and again her pages show
That the stories there though the books been closed
And as the summer comes, the summer goes,
Like a blood red rose

He’s six foot brown eyed single young and tanned
Pictured in her head is this animated man
In reality her private thoughts git banned
Deep in her contemplation and imagination
A solemn figure stands
He’s just her dreamtime man

Her youthful grace has mellowed through the years
Growing old is the most depressing thing she fears
To wind up old and lonely with just a cat
In the city’s heart she’d break apart
She never could stand that
Now she can’t go back

Though his memory now is a faded glow
Time and again her pages show
That the stories there but the books been closed
And as the summer comes the summer goes
Like a blood red rose

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Comrade Jesus Christ

He was born in Asia Minor
A colonized Jewish man
His father the village carpenter
Worked wood in his occupied land
He was apprenticed to his father’s trade
His country paid it’s dues
To the colonial Roman conquerors
He was a working-class Jew

Though conceived three months out of wedlock
The stigma never stuck
He began a three year public life
But he never made a buck
Because he spoke out against injustice
Saw that capitalism bled the poor
He attacked self-righteous hypocrites
And he condemned the lawyers’ law

But they’ve commercialised his birthday now
The very people he defied
And they’ve sanctified their system
And claim he’s on their side!
But if he appeared tomorrow
He’d still pay the highest cost
Being a ‘radical agitator’
They’d still nail him to a cross

You see
He’d stand with the down trodden masses
Identify with the weak and oppressed
He’d condemn the hypocrites in church pews
And the affluent, arrogant West
He’d oppose Stalinist totalitarianism
The exploitation of millions by one
And ‘peace’ through mutual terror
And diplomacy from the barrel of a gun

He’d fight with Joe Hill and Waleca
Mandala and Friere
Try to free the third world’s millions
From hunger and despair
He’d stand with the peasants
At the pock-marked walls
They’d haul him in on bail
He’d condemn all forms of apartheid
And he’d rot in their stinking jails.

He’d denounce all dictatorships
And Mammon’s greed
And the exploitation of others for gain
He’d oppose the nuclear madness
And the waging of wars in his name
He’d mix with prostitutes and sinners
Challenge all to cast the first stone
A compassionate agitator
One of the greatest the world has known

He’d condemn all corrupt law and order
Tear man made hierarchies down
He’d see status and titles as dominance
And the politics of greed he’d hound
He’d fight against
The leagues of the Ku Klux Klan
And the radical, racist right
One of the greatest humanitarian socialists
Was comrade,
Jesus Christ.

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Images of London

CHORUS
Snap back Jack, attack ‘tack Jack
Snap back Jack, attack these images of London
These illusions, images of London

In Montague St. Bloomsbury’s parked a white Rolls Royce
Those that own it, are inside, choosin’ a choice
Which portion of our cake they wish to partake
What our money’s worth on their exchange rate
What home we own, when we have to vacate
They dictate where we relocate

CHORUS

Drivin’ up the Thames through the deserted docks
The boarded up doors with chains are padlocked
Homeless on the streets live in a cardboard box
Fifty ‘P’s” your fee, your destiny, you’re free to live
In poverty in a democracy, under a monarchy

Black stretched limo chauffeured by a man in a cap
Drivin’ through the beggars with a pack of rats in the back
Nursin’ corgi’s that keep crappin’ in ya lap

CHORUS

Cuttin’ lose from this unreal fiction
Headin’ for the reality on the streets of Brixton
Away from that parliamentary power ‘neath that Big Ben clock
See it from cardboard city, if you own a cardboard box

Questions of proprietary, questions of blame
Guilt and shame’s, the same, preached in Jesus’ name
No one should be made to feel they’re born to lose
Our detonator’s primed we just light the fuse……

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Droving Woman

She buried him down on the edge of town
Where the brigalow suckers on the cemetery creep
She stood with them children in a heavy brown gown
What you want you just can’t always keep

"I’m sorry", I says, "I knew him so well"
Though your body is young you just never can tell
When the hand of fate rings the final death knell"
She just turned with the saddest of smiles

She says "At the start well we knewed it so hard
We were always dealt the severest of cards
Honeymoon spent droving Jamieson’s stock
Through the wildest winter you seen

Romantic notions of horses and land
They were soon dispelled as a fantasised dream
Watching cattle at night in the mid-winter cold
Turns a person, both wiry and old

The flame of the breakfast fire’d be dead
As the sun rose up he’d be miles up ahead
I’d be breaking the camp there and rolling the beds
While he fanned the stock wider for feed

When the weather turned sour with the onset of rain
An’ the truck’d bog down to the axle mains
He’d move ahead with pack saddles and chains
And I’d wait in the mud by the road

With the blankets and canvas there hung out to dry
With nothing for heat ’cause you couldn’t light a fire
With no stock permit for the forthcoming shire
The dog’d whimper in the winter wind rain

Cattle don’t camp where they’re sloshing in rain
They keep walking all night like a dog on a chain
He’d be red eyed and weary with a pack horse gone lame
I’d sit miles behind in the mud

It was down through Charleville up to Julia Creek
Living on syrup and damper and salted corn meat
We had nothing but the ‘roos and the mailman to meet
We’d move up and down with the rains

But them inland skies have the starriest of nights
With the dance of the fire throwing flickering lights
The beauty of it’s sunsets were a constant delight
I felt that nature had let me intrude

The enormous vastness of them inland plains
Gives you a lonely contentment to which you can’t put a name
It’s satisfied glow city folks seldom attain
They spend life on a right rigid rail

The kids got their schooling from the government mail
We posted their work in at each cattle sale
They considered the learning a self imposed jail
They’d rather help their father and fail

Early last month at the end of the dry
He was given a horse nobody could ride
Alert were his ears with a fire in his stride
He was young and his spirit was wild

To catch him each morning was an hour long battle
We had to collar rope his near side to throw on the saddle
He’d bite and he’d strike, he made my nerves rattle
Pandemonium reigned with each ride

It was a hot summers’ mornin’ at the government bore
There was stillness around that I’d never felt before
How could he know it was fate at his door
That was stealthily watchin’ his moves

He mounted up quick taking slack from the reins
Grasped a full hand of hair from the horses long mane
He’d just hit the saddle when the horse went insane
Churning dust in a frenzy of fear

The girth on the saddle let go at the ring
The surcingle slipped it was impossible to cling
The horse felt it go made a desperate fling
He was thrown to the length of the reins

I heard his spine snap like a ‘roo shooters’ shot
He’d busted his back on the concreted trough
Sickness and fear were the feelings I got
For the doctor was a six hour drive

I looked at his face and his colour turned white
He turned slowly and said "I can’t make it till night
My body is broken, I’m bleedin’ inside"
And the life slowly drained from his eyes

I’ll sell up the plant and I’ll move here to town
Before the winter returns with a chill on the ground
For what I’ve just lost can seldom be found
I was blessed with the gentlest of men

Eventually the children will move to the east
But I couldn’t stand the bustle of even a quiet city street
I’ll stay in the scrub here where my heart really beats
For some dogs grow too old for change.

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Eulogy

Lay me down in the sacred ground
Keep me from the cold
Wrap me in the deep warm earth
Where the stars can see my soul
Take me where them trees stand tall
By the waters in the river bend
Let me face the risin’ sun
Commend my spirit to the wind

CHORUS
Make no monuments or mortal crowns
Or speak my name again when you lay me down

Lay me where the forest blooms
In the land that’s seen no plough
Where the fragrance on the western wind
Is carried from every Springtime flower
Give me peace and give me rest
Lay me down on the mountain crest
Bury me softly without a sound
Let the scrub grow back across that mound

CHORUS

Bury me quick and bury me deep
Without no coffin or shrouded sheet
Wrap me in the Mother Earth
So I can nurture the land’s rebirth
Give me joy and give me song
Carry the struggle wide and long
Do not grieve and do not weep
Mortal memories are all we keep

CHORUS

Let the winter dew fall on that grave
Let me see the night sky blaze
See the Moon in the winter wane
Knifin’ through that Cosmic maze
Give me water, give me fire
Don’t give me monuments of stone
Give me rainbows in the sky
Give back my land in which to lie

CHORUS

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