Under The Motherland's Flag EP

by Jim Moginie

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about

Under The Motherland’s Flag

I wanted to put out an EP of songs that had a binding lyrical narrative, on the theme of Australia’s indigenous people. Also wanted to release these tunes on Australia Day 2017 and mark the fact that as one side celebrates and the other mourns, that is not cause for any celebration at all. Change the date.
Recorded in my studio over a few months last winter 2016 with engineer Andy Vinall.

Your Own History (Jim Moginie)

Bruce Pascoe is an Australian Indigenous writer, from the Bunurong clan. After reading Bruce’s work, I was inspired to write this. His work reveals that before the arrival of Europeans, Aboriginal people had agriculture, stone dwellings and fish traps which puts to rest the notion that Aboriginal people were nomadic, a lie that enabled the invaders to explain away the sudden disappearance of our original inhabitants. And the effect that this unspoken fact has had on the psyche of the Australian way of life.
The song took a while to write, and was recorded simply with bouzouki, harmonium and acoustic bass.

Wind In My Head (Neil Murray/Jim Moginie)

Co-written with Neil Murray, my favourite Australian songman. Based on a bouzouki lick that I played that Neil liked, we put it together in a hotel room in Darwin after one of our duo shows. Neil finished the lyrics a few weeks later and sent them on to me.

The song explores the memory held by the land, memory of the people and previous inhabitants, moving through the landscape as if in a dream. It’s full evocative lines like ‘I see the old ones, I see them proud, I see their love still in this ground’ and ‘a forest temple, an empty beach, any place is within reach’.
I recorded it with Sydney’s Lozz Benson who added drums, footstomps, percussion and backing vocals.

First Fleet (Jim Moginie)

This song is a lost song written in the mid 1990’s which was part of an abandoned ‘ROCK OPERA’. Some of the other songs from this work ended up on Midnight Oil’s album ‘Capricornia’. Again with Lozz on drums, I love this drum track. I played the other instruments.

By trying to educate Aboriginal people with European customs, the Europeans presumed their culture was a civilising influence, whereas it was much more barbaric that the culture it sought to eradicate.

It Must Be Adieu (JIm Moginie)

Inspired by the story of Pemulwuy, an Eora man who grew up in Botany Bay and fought the white man after spearing the soldier MacIntyre as payback for killing Aboriginal people. He was a warrior in the uncommemorated civil war that happened with the arrival of the Europeans. Known as a cleverman for his ability to evade arrest, his bushcraft and most famously his escape from a prison hospital wearing a leg iron with a buckshot wound to his head.

I had the piano piece recorded separately, very much in the style of an Irish slow air, and managed to marry it to the song with a bit of editing.

credits

released January 26, 2017

Jim Moginie: vocals, guitars, guitzouki, harmonium, Ernie Ball bass, piano, synth, Hammond C3
Lozz Benson: Drums, percussion and backing vocals
Produced by Jim Moginie
Recorded by Andy Vinall
Mixed by Brent Clark
Recorded and mixed at Oceanic Studio, Sydney, Australia
Mastered by Steve Smart @ Studios 301
All songs Moginie. Published by SONY ATV except
Wind In My Head: Neil Murray/Jim Moginie
Universal Music Publishing/Sony ATV
Cover art by Paul Ryan
Reverberama Records

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about

Jim Moginie Sydney, Australia

Jim Moginie’s 25 year contribution to Midnight Oil cannot be understated. Jim has recently toured the world with the AustralianChamberOrchestra. He is a record producer (Sarah Blasko), collaborator(Carolina Eyck, Kev Carmody), film composer and a fully fledged solo artist. Projects surf band The Break, Irish music projects The Tinkers and Shameless Seamus and now his Electric Guitar Orchestra. ... more

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Track Name: Your Own History
Your Own History

Mannalargenna never went home
Simply tricked, into leaving the country he owned
To Wybalenna Mission, on Flinders Isle
Water surrounding the place for miles

So well equipped, so hidden, so windswept and bare
On the island, no ceremony or language was spoken there
The picket fences that confined him were as pearly gates
He died looking south to his homeland, his fate

When your spirit is gone
God will take you first and be done
Its just best, to deny your own history

Truganini did what she could
She saw death everywhere that she looked
Extinction was upon her, her choices were few
She chose life, so tell me, what would you do?

It’s a high price to pay
It just eats you up every day
Just deny, keep denying your own history

The Last Mohican, the last native face
What a comfort it must be to call us the dying race
Our skulls and our bones went to your institutions
To make it look like it was just evolution

No such thing as the last one, we cried
For the murder, good intentions, and lies
Keep denying your own history

The white fella leapfrogged his way across the land
A land grab, a fever, a Christian and righteous rampage
Destroying evidence, and those that fought for their homes
These are the facts that will never leave you alone

To move the whole place forward
Without any hope of any earthly reward
Recognise its your own, your own history
Coz we somehow survived
On the islands, we just didn’t die
We’re still here
To remind you of your own history

Our children don’t see the facts in the history books
Coz the facts were erased, or just overlooked
Invasion, not settlement is the countrywide story
You are the victors, but not covered in glory

Drown it in alcohol
As you breath your freeman’s air
We’re still here
To remind you of your own history
For to always deny is just to slowly to die
Take your time, just recognize your own history
Track Name: Wind In My Head
Wind In My Head

Wind In My head
Wide open heart
I stumble on
Ancient paths

Tracing circles
In a random way
There is method
To the prey

Beside a river
On an empty beach
Any place is within reach

Hold this moment
Hold it clear
Can you tell what happened here?
I see the old ones
I see them proud
I feel their love still in this ground

Foot prints beneath
The city streets
I hear them closing
In my sleep

Walking forward
With the past
All the songs are in the stars

A forest temple
A mirrored lake
In open desert
I kneel and pray

We were bequeathed
A sacred land
But there are few
Who understand

Keep it decent
Keep it whole
Don’t make a fist
of freedom’s home

I see the old ones
I see them proud
I feel their love still in this ground
Track Name: First Fleet
First Fleet

The gods were smiling
On the South Pacific dream
They said give that man a tall ship
And a star to set him free

The ship sat low
In the hills of the sea
Had to bear that human cargo
That was screaming to be free

The southerly blew us off course
Into the bay at Eden
I saw the humpback he was cruising there
We took a longboat out to see him

Gonna take things slow
Our pockets filled with fool’s gold
Poor fellow my country
Nothing gets through
Nothing gets through to you

The land was so golden
Yielded like the touch of silk
The colony had no supplies
Treason flowed like buttermilk

The plains were rusty and wide
The sun a piece of coal in the sky
We were just following the invader’s code
And the road was straight ahead

Under the motherland’s flag
We committed murder and mayhem
Good Old God and Country’s
Gonna come for us again
How many knighthoods does it take to ease your mind
Because we became lords and ladies then
Or did we?

Gonna take things slow
Our pockets filled with fool’s gold
Poor fellow my country
Nothing gets through
Nothing gets through to you
Track Name: It Must Be Adieu
It Must Be Adieu

From the mangroves of Botany Bay
He could see the tall ships sway
Stormtrooper, skin and bone
Just fighting for his home
Eora Man
Clever Man

I see the shadows playing
I hear sweet sounds, no mayhem
You're moving
You're travelling
Must be adieu
It must be adieu

There’s no hospital bed
That could contain you
With buckshot in your skull
And a leg iron you still ran
Coz payback was your code

The chessboard pieces set
The endgame played, so deft
You had to go to sleep
To breathe the freeman’s air
Eora Man
Clever Man

I see the shadows playing
I hear no sounds no mayhem
You're moving
You're travelling
Must be adieu
It must be adieu

Few history books contain it
No name in lights, no faking it
No movement, so quiet
It must be adieu
It must be adieu
Must be adieu