Mudcat Café message #4080644 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4080644
Posted By: rich-joy
23-Nov-20 - 07:28 AM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
more Indigenous music from Oz :

We Have Survived

Written by Bart Willoughby (at age 18); performed by No Fixed Address

WIKI : "We Have Survived" is considered to be an Aboriginal anthem and an "anthem of cultural persistence"


You can't change the river of my soul
Whoa-oh-oh
You can't tell me too, what to do
You can't break my bone by putting me down
Whoa-oh-oh
Or by taking the things that belong to me
'Cause,

We have survived, the white man's world
And the horror and the torment of it all
We have survived, the white man's world
And you know
You can't change that.

All the years has just past me by
Whoa-oh-oh
I've been hassled by the cops nearly all my life
People try to keep me so blind
Whoa-oh-oh
But I can see what's going on, in my mind
'Cause,

We have survived, the white man's world
And the horror and the torment of it all
We have survived, the white man's world
And you know
You can't change that.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVI2CxvqtII   (band clip from 1981 film “Wrong Side of the Road” – which is a classic - an Aboriginal ‘Road Movie’)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkK_3oGihIQ   (clip is a great solo acoustic version by Bart Willoughby, year?)

1981 film members: Les Graham, lead guitar ; Chris Jones, guitar, vocals ; Veronica Rankine, saxophone, harmony vocals ; John John Miller, bass ; Bart Willoughby, drums, vocals, percussion, didgeridoo.
No Fixed Address were extant 1978-1988. As with Bunna Lawrie’s Coloured Stone (see previous Mudcat posts), members came from the Koonibba Mission, west of Ceduna in SA.

“They formed only four years after the Racial Discrimination Act passed Federal Parliament – making it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their race or descent – and less than two decades since the repeal of the 1911 ‘Aborigines Act‘, which enshrined in law the protection of free movement for Aboriginal Australian residents in South Australia.” https://citymag.indaily.com.au/culture/no-fixed-address-given-permanent-cbd-address/


“ …. while studying music at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in North Adelaide. They were mentored by a white musician, Graeme Isaac who encouraged them to move beyond country music, a popular genre of music adopted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to explore rock and reggae. In a sense, the boys created a whole new music genre, ‘Australian reggae’ by using traditional reggae sounds fused with the Indigenous storytelling and punk, anarchist lyrics. They were the first Aboriginal band to receive mainstream exposure, [previously] there were no Aboriginal bands in the national music charts, on commercial radio or on national television.

No Fixed Address paved the way for the iconic Aboriginal rock which began to emerge in the 1980s, including Yothu Yindi and the Warumpi Band….. They were the first Aboriginal band to tour internationally.
Their music was a source of advocacy and activism … not just talented musicians with a cool sound. Their lyrics dramatically changed the Australian music landscape, where strong songs about human rights, Indigenous welfare, racism, oppression and Australia’s shameful history were broadcast on mainstream channels. This was just shy of a time when non-Indigenous Australians were unaware of the Stolen Generations or forced labor of Aboriginal children, and public schools were teaching students that Indigenous Australians will soon become extinct.

NFA lyrics … opened conversations in the wider community about the struggles of Indigenous peoples and country-wide resistance.

The 1981 film “Wrong Side of the Road” was also a creative response to the band being denied a major recording contract on account of them being ‘too radical’. This, along with consistent police interference at their music gigs and being denied hotel accommodation while on tour, showed the public how difficult it is for Aboriginal Australians to excel in mainstream creative industries and the ways that their opportunities have been limited. Making their Halls of Fame induction [in 2011 and 2016], an even more significant win for Aboriginal music, and Indigenous excellence. They truly have survived.


https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/06/08/no-fixed-address-pioneers-aboriginal-music-inducted-sa-hall-fame


R-J