SONG LYRICS

 
 

Below are the lyrics to some of my songs. Remember they are lyrics, not poems. They are meant to be sung, not said. Yet as words alone in print they give some idea of what I sing about.
 

THIRD FLEET

Eleven big ships left England one day
Theyíre going to sail in to Sydney Harbour one day
And all of the people with their skins black or brown
May well see it as a day to frown
And remember the day they lost their land

But Iím  gonna be there when those boats sail in
I wanna feel the thrill and remember the day
That the white people came and paved the way
For people like me to be here and say

I donít expect you to cheer with me
But Iíd like you to know that Iíve travelled the sea
I keep cominí back to this land you see
Cos itís the best that Iíve seen north or south
I wanna thank you for sharing this land with me
And mine

Iím sorry we didnít treat you right
We can all get together and make it right
Thereís enough room for black brown and white
Canít you see that I love this land
Iím no black Australian but I call this home
The hum of this land is a part of me
 
 

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A HUG FOR THE BORDERGUARD (listen in Real Audio)

Last night they opened up THE WALL
A source of wonder to us all
Now those who live on the other side
Can walk in peace that great divide
And go on home again

Cold War - what was it anyway?
I was born too late to have a say
That wall - I touched and I gazed at it
And wondered at the why of it
Last night they tore the damn thing down
No man's land became a place for clowns
As I watch the tears and joy of all those who
Can't quite believe it's OK to go through
Makes me think that I would like to be there too
As they pull the whole thing down
No man's land becomes a place for clowns
Berlin becomes a reunited town
Last night they opened up the wall
A source of wonder to us all
No man's land became a place for clowns
Berlin became a reunited town
(Copyright  Michael Coghlan 1989)
 
 
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FEAR OF BEING TOO GOOD (listen in Real Audio)
 

 You've walked the paths of history
 And you've watched the rivers flow
 You've been away for far too long
 It doesn't matter where you go
 You've been to funerals dressed in white
 You've stood pale among the dark skin
 You've looked for patterns around the world
 That describe the common man
  So where's the sense in returning
  To those who do not know?
  That's true devotion
  Or was it fear of being alone
       fear of being alone
       fear of being alone?
 

 You've kept your cool in foreign lands
 When conversation turned to God
 You've managed a touch of sympathy
 For the rundown unkempt sods
 You've drunk from flagons in the park
 And you found it quite a lark
 When the old man turned and told you
 He would never take a plane
 To the destinations across the sea
 That you flew to with your pain
  And the spirit then was lurking
  Like a misfit in your brain
       a misfit in your brain
       a misfit in your brain.
 

 You've sat out on the beach at night
 And were asked about Jesus Christ
 You found that you enjoyed it
 Like the tropics it warmed your heart
 The night wind formed your words
 In a way that you found easy
 But the sunlight left you questioning
 Unsure of where you stood
  It was all too bright and daunting
  Or was it fear of being too good
       fear of being too good
       fear of being too good?
 

 You've walked the paths of history
 And you've watched the rivers flow
 You've been away for far too long
 It doesn't matter where you go
  Where's the sense in returning
  To those who drove you away?
  That takes dedication
  Or was it fear of being alone
       fear of being alone
       fear of being alone?
 
 

 (Copyright  Michael Coghlan 1994)
 
 
 

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UNDER THE SEA AT NIGHT
 

 People will say you can't behave that way
 But you know you can because you did it last night
 People will say you wouldn't risk what you got
 But I know I would because I gambled the lot

  Driven by a force that pulls you down
  Under the sea at night as you slowly drown

 Suddenly she turns and faces your fury with pain
 There's some dumb expression about pain meaning gain

  Then you notice there's a fire in her eyes
  You push no further or you'll forfeit the prize

   Of waking up tomorrow when the cool wind blows
   With the one you've always dreamed of in a love that glows

 People might say you'd never hide like a kid
 Under the blankets to forget what you did
 I know I can because I did it that day
 Till he came to me and told me all was OK

  No need to fret or frown just get on with the day
  I didn't know she'd already been away

 She's been down to the ocean in the dark of the night
 Had already left me to make everything alright

   So we'd wake tomorrow when the cool wind blow
   With the one you'd always dreamed of in the afterglow

 INSTRUMENTAL

 People might say that your sea looks so calm
 They have no idea what can lurk beneath the charm
 You're always so together so much in control
 But they don't know the fire that consumes a restless soul

  Driven by a force that pulls you down
  Under the sea at night as you slowly drown

   And then you'll wake tommorow when the cool wind blows
   With the one you've always dreamed of in a love that grows
 

 (Copyright Michael Coghlan 1994)
 
 
 

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HAPPY ONLINE (listen to a very raw version in Real Audio)

People say that I've got grey hair
I must say that I donít care
Everyone struggliní to go on line
You might be a friend of mine

Tapping keys there across the world
Perhaps a lost and lonely girl
Who turns to the web to find her heart
With someone whoíll be apart
Far away

Everyone wants their own home page
Aiming to be the next web sage
I tried to find you but your site was down
You must have been out of town


Planning dreams to take me away
Itís time to go I just canít stay
Email my friends to say goodbye
Itís time to go off line
Iím goiní away

Then it happened - life fell apart
My friend dear life lost its spark
No urlís ; no send, no reply
Just tropical heat and a whole lotta rain
In my eyes
Something had died
Someone has died

Gee itís good to be back on line
Where real life canít touch me and I feel fine
Say hi to my friends who have no face
They got no pain and they got no place

They canít see that I got grey hair
And thatís why I say that I donít care
They canít see the tears in my eyes
I could be laughing and I could be wise
And Iím far away
Happy on line
Itís email time
Happy on line

(I don't mind 404. I don't mind server down. I'm happy online.)

(Copyright Michael Coghlan 1997)
 
 
 

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DEAR LIFE (listen in Real Audio)

Here comes my baby now
Crossing the bedroom floor
He loves the mandolin
Heís chasing the mandolin for dear life

Although the skies are grey
And though itís a rainy day
Itís dear life
Life thatís worth living
Dear life

So donít let them end it now
It canít be over now
This dear life
Life thatís worth living
Itís dear life
Life thatís worth living

Dear life and I wanna have it
Dear life thatís worth living

Little boys in Moscow
Little boys in New York
Want dear life and they ought to have it
Dear life you know itís their right

Itís time to be counted
Itís time to protect this dear life
If  you care for your children
Then stand up, protect this dear life
This life thatís worth living

So donít let them end it now
It canít be over now
This dear life
Life thatís worth living

So I play the mandolin
Because  itís a happy sound
Of dear life
Life thatís worth living
Itís dear life and I wanna have it

Itís dear life
Dear life
Dear life
Dear life.
 

Copyright Michael Coghlan 1984
 
 
 

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DEEP CREEK

  When the wind comes up you'd better brace yourself
  It can catch you unprepared and sweep you down to the valley below
  Where your fears lie unprotected and your demons stalk too close
  You're gonna need a guide to help you that's never walked on a city street

  And as you look back up you no longer stand above
  All those fears you've been hiding lie awaiting round the next bend
  Of the creek that's deep and winding on its journey to the sea
  The water has gone before you and cut you out a path to see

  You're standing there with nothing but yourself and the water to show you
  The way you must go with those fears inside your head
  About those other people and what they might think of you
  You step into the icy water and it chills you to the soul

  You're losing all your history as you begin to start to know
  That you can't sink any lower so it's onward you must go

  Your eyes caress the mountains as you begin your slow sojourn
  It all looks so familar but you have lost control
  Of everything that's happened in that life on those city streets
  You get a taste of future wisdom as you go down Deep Creek

  You're gonna need a guide to help you that's never walked on those city streets
  You get a taste of future wisdom as you flow down Deep Creek
  Go down
  Flow down
  Go down
 
 
 

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ADELAIDE BORN (listen in real Audio)
 

  Adelaide born, 1954
  Born in the suburbs
  And what the hell for?
  To live for my fellow man,
  Or to grow grey, old and wise?
 

  Adelaide born, 1954
  No longer wonder
  What I'm here for
  'Cos six years ago
  I had my eyes opened by a child.
 

  My dad was a cop
  Out on the west coast
  So I got to travel
  Younger than most
  And that is a habit I find hard to break
  To this day
 

  I spent my youth
  In a fishing town
  In a place called Lincoln
  Where the tuna come in, and people win medals
  And cash in on big crops
  Of herb
 

  Now when people ask
  Why do you stay?
  Go out and see some other way
  Where people live on the edge,
  And cash in on seamier lives.
 

  But I've been gone
  For many a long stretch,
  And I'm back again
  To enjoy the balm
  Of this lovely piece of land
  Out on the plains by the sea
 

  And there are many right here
  Who've been away
  And have felt the load
  Of a harder road
  Where cities are bigger,
  And skies are much bleaker
  And so what?
 

  I'm Adelaide born, 1954
  And I'll be gone -
  There's nothing more sure.
  I don't want to hide away.
  I want to know if my dream's real.
  I don't want to hide away.
  I want to know if my dream's real.


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LEAVE ME ON THE BEACH (listen in Real Audio)

let go of your child awhile
he's gone to his mother so smile
and leave me on the beach - i don't want to know

20 years ago when people got married
and then too when the romance wore thin
she'd never say to him that i'm leaving you
there's no room here for two

but maybe just the fear held them there
i was raised by such an imperfect pair
who still hold hands together
and i'm a single dad

chorus
where's my mother michael
or where's my dad
why don't we live together - did i do something bad?

so you hold in the tears and explain
we'll never all live together again
so its two homes for you, and two sets of toys
like so many other boys who cry

chorus

so here i am doing a job meant for two
hopin' it's ok what i do
it's happening all over - it can't be so bad
or have we all gone mad

now for 5 long years my boy will dream
remember how long a year used to seem
that his mum will come home - come home to stay
and we'll all go out to play

before the romance wear thin
and dad comes home stinking of gin
and mum takes to eating and living in her dreams
all that he does is all that he means
but they stick together - through thick and through thin
for the children, and produce the likes of me (x3)

leave me on the beach - i don't want to know; leave me on the beach - the sun is going down


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WALKIN' ON AIR (listen in real Audio)
 

  Walkin' on home, walkin' on air
  Everything was good tonight
  Everybody was there
  And I'm walkin' on air - gonna be on the air
 
  Walkin' in hope, walkin' away from despair
  Everything's in tune tonight
  And you're finally there
  And I'm walkin' on air - gonna be on the air

            Why did it take so long? what was the missing link?
            I knew these chords one hundred million years ago
            Why did it take so long? what was the missing link?
            Perhaps you had to go for me to find my way

  To my way back home, where I'm gonna sing
  Tell all of my old good friends
  It's the only thing that I wanna do
  Sit here and sing
  Won't somebody pay me to sit here and sing?

            Why did it take so long? what was the missing link?
            I knew these chords way back when I was a boy
            If I don't try it now I might just go to my grave
            Never knowing what it's like if I don't give it a try
 
  Walkin' on home, walkin' on air
  Everything is good tonight
  Everybody is there
  And I'm walkin' on air -     gonna be on the air
                                                  gonna be on the air
                                                  I'm a bit off the air
 
 
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ACROSS THE MEKONG (listen in mp3)

In a world meant for others
I still find it hard to see
My way to the top
When there’s nothing there for me that I can see

I come from far away
But I’m forced to live here
Where everybody talks different
And not many care for me that I can see

I rowed across the Mekong
I spent months upon my feet
With my child in tow behind me
His mother’s gone to meet a different end

I don’t know whether to tell him
That everything will work out fine
He’s learnt the ways of this land
Where the sun always shines – but not for me

I’ve been 7 years a stranger
But there’s still no place for me
And though I still keep tryin’
I’m unemployed and dyin’ but I’m free

So I’ll leave it to my children
To reap the rich reward
From this land I’m forced to die in
Desolate and bored – where is she?

Did you get across the Mekong
And think of us lifelong
This dream we had to find you
Has long since gone away
But we’re free

 

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