Monday, January 25, 2010

Australia Day and a song

from w
It's Australia Day today in memory of the 26th January when a fleet of ships brought convicts from England to settle in a bay on the eastern coast, thus displacing the tribes that were already here. Anyway, history is real and now we have a holiday to remember that day, though with good things like Citizenship ceremonies for new Australians. Peceli took up Oz citizenship a few years ago, but would never not call himself a Fijian! Of course you can have two tribes to belong to. I think nationalism, patriotism is fine up to a point as long as we know also that we are citizens of the wider world, part of all humanity.

I don't like the current National Anthem with its woozy 'girt by sea'. Instead I like the song the Seekers (I think) sang - 'I am Australian'. I found the words and chords from a website called School Spirit.

I Am Australian

I came from the Dreamtime, from the dusty red soil plains.
I am the ancient heart, the keeper of the flame.
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come.
For forty thousand years I’d been the first Australian.

I came upon a prison ship bound down by iron chains.
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I’m a settler, I’m a farmer’s wife on a dry and barren run.
A convict then a free man, I became Australian.

I’m the daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode.
The girl became a woman on a long and dusty road.
I’m a child of the Depression – I saw the good times come.
I’m a bushy, I’m a battler, I am Australian.

We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come.
We share a dream and sing with one voice
“I am, you are, we are Australian.”

I’m a teller of stories, I’m a singer of songs.
I am Albert Namatjira and I paint the ghostly gums.
I’m Clancy on his horse, I’m Ned Kelly on the run.
I’m the one who waltzed Matilda, I am Australian.

I’m the hot wind of the desert, I’m the black soil of the plains.
I’m the mountains and the valleys, I’m the droughts and flooding rains.
I am the Rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run.
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come.
We share a dream and sing with one voice
“I am, you are, we are Australian.
I am, you are, we are Australian.”

If anyone is interested, the chord progression is as follows – (// signifies a new line in the lyrics)

C / F C // Am / F G C // C / F G Am // C Dm / F G C //

Chorus follows as -

C / F C // Am G / C // C // F C // F G / Am G / F G C //

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