Gary Shearston - Renegade - Song Lyrics
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LIVE IN LOVE

I'm a holy terror, a bushranging feller,
Wayfaring through this world of woe.
But no need to worry, I just have to hurry
To share with you these seeds I sow.
Listen to the kookaburras, laughing up the sun.
Proclaiming the good news of a new day, just begun.
Sense a world of promise in the early morning air.
Know, for sure, that it's been made for anyone who'll dare
Live in love. Live in love.

You know, I've been hunted, and sometimes confronted
By offers of my seeds for gold.
But where is the profit from what's in your pocket
If it betrays a loss of soul?

Watch the bushland slowly waking to another dawn.
Wobbly-legged, new-born calves, the crows circling the corn,
Sulphur-crested cockatoos, parading wayward style,
Breakfasting on berry seeds and screeching all the while,
Live in love. Live in love.

Somebody is calling. Isn't it enthralling
Simply to know there's someone there?
Somebody who wants you, somebody who loves you,
Who brings you joy beyond compare.

Tree-hugging koalas chewing eucalyptus gum.
Wombats busy burrowing some holes they have begun.
Silhouetted mountains, in the distance, rise and fall.
Somewhere up beside its lair, a dingo howls a call,
Live in love. Live in love.

It's been good to know you, have a chance to show you
How you may share these seeds I sow.
Go. Scatter them gently, because, evidently,
That is the way they're sure to grow.

Rabbits nibbling dewy grass, rosellas winging through.
Slinky red fox heading home from night-time derring-do.
Swifts go swiftly darting, as a wild cat licks its paws.
As I take my leave, I beg you, please take up the cause.
Live in love. Live in love.

TRUTH IS

For a while, I forgot who I was,
Just purely and simply because
I'd had taken from me, very deviously,
Opportunities outside of Oz.

Back when ASIO started my file,
A move that was utterly vile,
All I'd done was complain that all war was insane,
Vietnam in particular style.

A mistake, as it turned out to be,
Attested to by history.
With the countless lives lost at a mind-boggling cost,
A sad lesson in futility.

I was for Aboriginal rights
Which, of course, only shed further light
On the subversive ways I just spent all my days
Undermining Australia's might.

To nuclear disarmament, too,
I felt my allegiance was due.
Such a traitorous move only went on to prove
That I should be kept under review.

Then some faceless backroom boys agreed
A communist I had to be.
Just another bad red, out from under the bed,
And deserving of no sympathy.

I was sacked from a job on TV,
Blacklisted in my industry.
My career overseas got chopped off at the knees,
Surreptitiously, slanderously.

It went into a spiralling dive,
Counteracted by those who contrive
Just to brand whom they like with whatever they like,
Under licence to plot and connive.

Now the truth is I never belonged
To any political throng.
I just celebrated, as conscience dictated,
Good causes I could help with a song.

Later on, I recalled who I was,
The singer-songwriter from Oz.
I got on with the show and continued to grow,
Which I had to do, simply because.

SAY, 'YEAH'

If you want to take a load off your back, say, 'yeah.'
If you want to give a 'black dog' the sack, say, 'yeah.'
If you want to move from a cul-de-sac, say, 'yeah.'
Come and have a dance, let's give it a crack, say, 'yeah.'

Chorus: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah.

If you think the world an unholy mess, say, 'yeah.'
If you think we live under too much stress, say, 'yeah.'
If you think we're lacking in righteousness, say, 'yeah.'
Come and have a dance now, nevertheless, say, 'yeah.'

Chorus

If you feel that love is a precious pearl, say, 'yeah.'
If you feel that 'hell' is a loveless world, say, 'yeah.'
If you feel a thrill when love's round you curled, say, 'yeah.
Come and have a dance, let's give it a whirl, say, 'yeah.'

Chorus
[Instrumental]

If you feel that love is a precious pearl, say, 'yeah.'
If you feel that 'hell' is a loveless world, say, 'yeah.'
If you feel a thrill when love's round you curled, say, 'yeah.'
Come and have a dance, let's give it a whirl, say, 'yeah.'

Chorus


HEY, LITTLE LASSIE

Hey, little lassie,
Will you come and go with me?
Hey, little lassie,
There's something to see.
A world that's weary,
And in need of your care.
A world that's reeling
From the pain it's had to bear.

Hey, little laddie,
Will you come and go with me?
Hey, little laddie,
There's something to be.
A wounded healer,
With a soul that's laid bare,
Fully prepared to
Help the lassie with her care.

All you good women,
Wear your heart upon your sleeve.
All you good women,
Help the men to believe
Their ways need changing,
To a higher degree,
The way they have been
Doesn't always have to be.

All men of honour,
Lay your kindness on the earth.
All men of honour,
Let us see what your worth.
The will to life is
Simply asking of you
To help the healing,
Through whatever you may do.

Hey, little lassie,
Will you come and go with me?
Hey, little lassie,
There's something to see.
A boy and woman,
Hand in hand with a man,
Coming to help you
In whatever way they can.


PAINT ME A PAINTING, PAINTER

Paint me a painting, painter,
One that's sure to catch my eye.
One that I'll know has called for
The spirit of do or die.
Manifest your mind's eye,
Bring visions into view.
Paint me a painting, painter,
And I'll sing a song for you.

With your jars of assorted brushes,
Tubes of coloured oil,
Paper, cardboard, canvas, wood -
Artefacts of an artist's toil.
Working at an easel,
Or sometimes on the floor.
Sometimes on a table,
And sometimes out of doors.
Driven by compulsion
To get down what you saw,
Working, working, around the clock,
Seeking essence at its core.

Paint me a painting. . .

As you get things into perspective,
Sketch out your design,
May your creativity
Weave its way into every line.
As you clean your brushes
And mix your colour blends,
Following the techniques
On which your gift depends,
May your inspiration
Reflect your heart and soul,
The way of light enlighten you
As it leads you to your goal.

Paint me a painting. . .


BETWIXT AND BETWEEN

Nothing has been as it should have been,
And now we're counting the cost.
Searching high and low for a scapegoat
To blame for all we have lost.
The promise fell at the first hurdle,
Just when the going got tough.
Then we sold our souls down the river,
And slunk away in a huff.

Chorus: But there are stars in the sky,
Sun and moon floating by,
As we hang out in space,
Trying so hard not to lose face.

Bridges get burnt on the principle
Compromise equals defeat.
The only way for two to tango
Is for both to catch the beat.
You may think you've won an argument,
But you can still rue the day,
If what you stood for wasn't worth it,
Despite all you had to say.

Chorus: But there are stars. . .

Who'll be the one to pay the piper
And call for a change of tune?
One that's sure to tear at the heartstrings
And lift us out of the gloom.
Looking for a change in the weather,
To how we'd like it to be,
We'll have to surrender the blame game,
Have a go at harmony.

Instrumental chorus.

No one can bear a wounded spirit,
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
When we're clearly racing against it,
There's no time for playing tricks.
Life's mystery is insoluble,
As I'm sure it's meant to be,
So that we'll keep asking the questions,
Just to see what we shall see.

Chorus: While there are stars. . .


SHE'S A CLASSIC

She's a classic,
What a beauty,
Little ripper,
She's the best there is.

She's a knockout,
What a stunner,
A real winner,
She's a masterpiece.

Chorus: She is the apple of my eye,
She is the one who takes the prize.
She moves me to my very soul,
She keeps my spirit on a roll.

She's a goer,
What a cracker,
Just a marvel,
Icing on the cake.

She's exotic,
Quite exquisite,
A real treasure,
She's a saving grace.

Chorus

She's a classic,
What a beauty,
Little ripper,
She's the best there is.


HIS NAME WAS EDGAR WATERS

His name was Edgar Waters, a man of wide renown.
A lover of folk music, and good at tracking it down.
A writer of distinction, where folklore is concerned,
A man whose reputation was well and truly earned.

A man who shared his work with those who sought his sage advice
In learning how Australia had songs long kept on ice,
Until folklorists, such as he, found those who knew them still
Recording for posterity their music to distil.

To show appreciation for all he gave to me,
I pinched this tune of Kelly's song, about his robbery,
And set these words down to it - folk process it is called,
Which he described so many times as new songs were installed.

A man who will be sorely missed by those with whom he shared
A love of songs, poems and yarns of workers and their cares.
So long, old mate, you've left us now and gone we know not where.
But, should it need a gourmet cook, you're 'in like Flynn', I swear.

 

 

 

Words & Music: Gary Shearston
(c) Copyright. All rights reserved.
APRA/AMCOS/PPCA

GONE MISSING

Gone missing, and I whisper your name.
Gone missing, when I'm feeling the pain,
Not knowing
Where on earth you could be.
Gone missing, and your family grieve.
Gone missing, live in hope to receive
Just one clue
As to where you might be.
Did we fail to see life's iniquity
Was fragmenting your mind?
Did our helping hand fail to understand
Just how far you'd declined?
Was it righteousness, finding life amiss,
Led you to disappear?
Did a broken heart cause you to depart
From all things you held dear?
Gone missing, and the seasons go by.
Gone missing, brings a tear to my eye,
Whenever
My thoughts settle on you.
Gone missing, there's a terrible void.
Gone missing, we'd be so overjoyed
If only
We had some word of you.
Did your stoic road call you to unload
More pain than you could bear?
Did you plan the day you would steal away
On a wing and prayer?
Are you still alive, or did you contrive
To seek eternity?
Leaving us behind, scarred in heart and mind,
Torn by uncertainty?
Gone missing, and I whisper your name.
Gone missing, when I'm feeling the pain,
Not knowing
Where on earth you could be.


AND A BUTCHERBIRD OVERHEAD SANG

Off the petered out end of a lonely bush track,
In some scrub isolated from view,
A man parked his car for the very last time,
Having made up his mind what to do.
Prescription pill packets on the passenger seat,
With a bottle of whisky beside,
He fixed up the car so that, when the time came,
He'd be breathing carbon monoxide.
And a Butcherbird overhead sang. . .

Behold a man whose love of life
Was slain by the ways of the world.

He had witnessed just how many ways of the world
Were still governed by evil intent.
How two-faced hypocrisy under the law
Cooked up rules that could always be bent.
He had seen how corruption so easily spreads
Just to gain a competitive edge,
And how those, like him, who rejected The Game,
Were condemned for not taking the pledge.
And a Butcherbird overhead sang. . .

For a while he remembered the good friends he'd had,
Hoping they would forgive no goodbyes.
Professional favours and good turns he'd done,
And the times he'd been taken for rides.
Most of all, he just thought of the wife he so loved,
Of their children with kids of their own.
And how, since she'd died just on six years ago,
He'd lost all sense of purpose and home.
And a Butcherbird overhead sang. . .

With creation around him still pulsing with life,
It was time to extinguish his own.
His tormented soul could no longer endure
Heart and mind from which reason had flown.
He had lived out his life with love, best as he could,
Through the good times and moments of strife.
But now, still in hope of some heavenly realm,
He just needed to follow his wife.
And a Butcherbird overhead sang. . .


TWO BLOKES QUESTIONED ALFIE

Two blokes questioned Alfie as to what it's all about.
He asked for time to answer, didn't have it figured out.
He knew that he'd come from the void, and to it he'd return,
But, in the time allowed between, what was he meant to learn?

Perhaps to know when he's mistaken,
But not to let the knowledge break him.
Just carry on, but take it easy,
And keep an eye on what is pleasing.

They asked him if taking or if giving wins the day?
Whether to be kind or cruel would prove the wiser way?
Whether just the strongest can lay claim to life itself?
They mentioned the golden rule, their knowledge of true wealth.

Now all of this got Alfie thinking.
What had he missed when he'd been blinking?
Should he swim on, or was he sinking?
What kind of air had he been drinking?

They told him that true love was the greatest wealth of all,
Irrespective of belief, or no belief at all.
That, they said, repeatedly, is what it's all about.
Alfie took it all on board and wrestled with his doubt.

He saw a world of endless violence.
People complicit in their silence.
A world that seems to have no meaning,
Governed by rules so overweening.

But their word of love just kept on ringing in his ear.
The more it rang the more he felt it conquered all his fear.
Whether life has meaning, or is just a cosmic joke,
Love makes up the best of it, from birth until we croak.

And so he gave them a simple answer:
He agreed that love was life's enhancer.
But he regretted, and often fretted
There were so many who didn't get it.


BUT YOU DON'T KNOW ME

Down in the dumps, and feeling blue.
Thinking about how me and you
Drifted apart, it breaks my heart
Right clean in two. Right clean in two.

Chorus: You know my name, you know my game,
But you don't know me. You don't know me.

Another day fading away,
And still it's hard, so hard to say
How love got lost, at such a cost,
Along the way. Along the way.

Chorus

The ceiling's low, the clouds are grey.
Don't know what more there is to say.
Too many serves get on your nerves,
And then they fray. And then they fray.

Chorus

What's good for me was good for you,
And, in reverse, the same was true.
But now it seems divided dreams
Melted the glue. Melted the glue.

Chorus

I hate to see the sun go down,
The western sky in evening gown.
Each night to blues, I pay my dues,
And sorrows drown. And sorrows drown.

Chorus


A CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCE

It was just one of those days,
When all your broken dreams come tumbling in,
Regret piles on regret, to no avail
You feel like you were never meant to win.
Love can be cruel,
Make you feel a fool.

When you hear a wayward wind
Reminding you it's free to come and go,
While you are stranded on the sands of time
And subject to their every ebb and flow.
Just tossed about
By belief and doubt.

When all impossibilities are true,
Whatever you believe is up to you.
The only constant thing in life is change,
And so we have to choose and rearrange.
Better up and at it, while there's still a chance,
To bring about a change of circumstance.

It was just one of those days
When suddenly your dreams are coming true.
Piaf sings no regrets into your ear,
You feel you're on a winner, through and through.
It's good to find
That love can be kind.

When you hear that wayward wind
Reminding you you're free to come and go,
No longer stranded on the sands of time,
But lapped now by renewed hope's healing flow.
And breaking free,
Just to simply be.

When all impossibilities are true,
Whatever you believe is up to you.
The only constant thing in life is change,
And so we have to choose and rearrange.
Better up and at it, while there's still a chance,
To celebrate a change of circumstance.


TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

If a man don't get it at home, he'll just go
Hunting like a dog.
Said if a man don't get it at home, he'll just go
Hunting like a dog.
Fancying his chances, rolling smokes and getting on the grog.

If a woman don't get it at home, she'll just go
Prowling like a cat.
Said if a woman don't get it at home, she'll just go
Prowling like cat.
Giving off the glad eye, letting people know just where it's at.

So you better make sure that you are getting it on at home,
Or you might just suddenly find that you're living on your own.
Getting it on means giving it out - good love is what I mean.
Lending each other, at all times, a shoulder on which to lean.

If a man's love is rejected, he feels he's
Just not worth two-bob.
Said, if a man's love is rejected, he feels he's
Just not worth two-bob.
He becomes dejected, lets things slide and turns into a slob.

If a woman's love has been scorned, her fury
Simply knows no bounds.
Said, if a woman's love has been scorned, her fury
Simply knows no bounds.
She'll seek retribution, in whatever way it can be found.

Just remember 'better or worse' means copping a bit of each.
Living through moments of hell-on-earth, or thinking life's a peach.
Be you rich or poor, sick or well, street-wise or holy fool,
Get it at home - good love, I mean - and obey the golden rule.

If a man gets loved at home, he won't go
Hunting like a dog.
Said, if a man gets loved at home, he won't go
Hunting like a dog.
Fancying his chances, rolling smokes and getting on the grog.

If a woman gets loved at home, she won't go
Prowling like a cat.
Said, if a woman gets loved at home, she won't go
Prowling like a cat.
Giving off the glad eye, letting people know just where it's at.


ABOUT THE SITUATION

I'm flat, stony broke. It isn't any joke
To be out of work and headed for the gutter.
All the bills are piling high, seems they're reaching for the sky,
And it looks like getting by on bread and butter.

One time, to earn a bob, I had to take a job
In a die-press factory making toothbrush handles.
Where the foreman wore a frown that got everybody down
As he prowled about the place in plastic sandals.

A die-press that's quick can lay you off as 'sick',
If you're just a fraction slow as you're extracting
Plastic handles on a frame, just one colour, all the same,
And the tedious routine is very taxing.

Dipped them in a tray, to cool them on their way
To be snapped out of their frames and put in boxes.
Then away they all would go to another factory's show,
That put bristles in the holes left by the presses.

They were plastic, too, a manufactured goo
That got hardened up and coloured and inserted.
So now, when you clean your teeth, please acknowledge your belief
In the labour in your brush that's been exerted.

At another time, I sold a pre-packed line
Of bulk wholefoods in a health fanatics' warehouse.
There, the boss was pretty good, although, now and then, he could
Suddenly become a monstrously unfair louse.

Gave church work a go. Lord, how was I to know
That the hierarchy were such big wheeler-dealers.
Claiming fundamental right to shed supernatural light,
They go spruiking, just like side-show-alley spielers?

In the money flows, keeping Mammon on his toes,
With the soul salvation they're so good at selling.
And they cover all their costs with the sheckles of the lost,
Who have turned to them for reasons so compelling.

Now, I just sing songs, keep tabs on all the wrongs
That are perpetrated by the rich and powerful
Against those who must live down at the poorest end of town,
Where the struggle is in finding your next mouthful.

Situation's dire, insolvency's a mire -
Circumstances I don't fancy getting stuck in.
Better have another go, see if I can raise the dough
Just to keep on getting by on next to nothing.


RENEGADE

My gums are receding, my hair's falling out,
My belly's too big and I suffer from gout.
I've arthritic hands and a small hammertoe,
My eyesight is failing, my movements are slow.

Chorus: But I'm still ready, willing and able
To lay all my cards on the table,
Call a spade a spade,
And be labelled a renegade.

My journey through life has been pitted with ruts.
Sometimes I've been prudent, more often been nuts.
'The last shall be first', I believe Jesus said.
Hope I head up the queue once before I am dead.

Chorus: 'Cause I'm still ready. . .

My family think I'm a bit of a beast,
A slightly deranged, temperamental artiste.
Who's best left alone when in touch with his muse,
Or tuned to a broadcast to catch up with news.

Chorus: But I'm still ready. . .

Of faults I have many, a few virtues, too.
My virtues I practice, faults try to undo.
I stumble and mumble and tumble along,
Just making my way on the wings of a song.

Chorus: And I'm still ready. . .

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