Eric Bogle has been recognised as one of Australia's most significant songwriters and he's got plaques, medallions, badges and certificates to prove it! I doubt if he cares two hoots about any of these trappings however he does care about where his songs travel and the people who listen to them.
There is little doubt that the songs have travelled far and continue to do so and, like traditional folk songs, they have little regard for the restrictions of the popular music industry. His songs travel well because they talk to the average Joe and Jill Blow in a language that teeters between poetry and chatter. They talk about ordinary things that matter like our fragile relationship with nature and our equally fragile relationship with our fellow human beings. They talk about the man inside Eric Bogle in a way that most other songwriters would shy away from because it is not always that easy or attractive. Above all they talk as songs and whilst it's always nice to be recognised it is the song itself that is first recognised then the songwriter and performer. As a performer Eric Bogle is a modest yet endearing character who shouts anarchy moving from tenderness to hilarity without skipping a beat. He cares for his audiences in a way that makes them feel part of his songs and his life. He makes them feel like old friends and the world could certainly do with more of that!
This Eric's umpteenth recording with Larrikin and, in may ways, his most satisfying. It is relaxed, sympathetically produced and a major signpost in his illustrious career and, of course, it has that special Bogle magic that his audience knows so well. These songs are for you. Enjoy!
Written for Rule and Sandy — Rule for her continuing Indomitable battle to overcome obstacles that would crush a less courageous spirit, end Sandy for showing what can be achieved, Watching Sandy operate the joystick on her electric wheelchair with one hand, hold down a frantically squirming Rosie with the other, and suck a stubby of beer through a straw at the same time, was to behold an awesome feat of co-ordination.
The Diggers' Legacy
Written in 1995, the Year of Remembrance.
In August 1995, the Sunraysia Vietnam, Korean, and South East Asian Veterans Association invited me to Mildura to take part in the celebrations to mark the dedication of a memorial they bad erected to honour their fallen comrades. This a true account of an incident that happened during that weekend.
Ekka's Silver Jubilee Sang
In 1994 I celebrated 50 years of physical and emotional survival upon Planet Earth, 25 years of which had been spent surviving physically and emotionally in Australia. This song was written to commemorate that singular achievement.
Always Back To You
Refer to notes on 'Ekka's Silver Jubilee Song'.
Seems like anyone who sticks their head up these days to speak in the cause of peace or reconciliation stands a good chance of getting it blown off. This song was written two days after the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr Rabin, was murdered in Tel Aviv by a fellow Israeli acting, he assures us, on behalf of God. As far as I know, God has as yet neither confirmed or denied this claim.
Here In The Green
Moments of true peace and tranquility are a rare gift in this increasingly frantic and noisy world. I once experienced such moments in a North Queensland rainforest, and I have never forgotten them. This an attempt to musically recapture those moments.
Is Australia a piece of desirable, if slightly degraded real estate to be flogged off to the highest bidder before the bottom falls out of the market, or is it our home, to be cherished, nurtured and protected as best we can, not just for ourselves, but for future generations? This song is dedicated to those who do not recognise this to be a rhetorical question.
The Galden City
A familiar enough story, but none the less tragic for being so. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, or more accurately, apathy.
About the abduction, rape and murder of a young girl. Should songwriters confront such sickening and emotive subjects like these? Yes. Is getting it all dreadfully wrong a distinct danger? Yes. Is getting it all dreadfully right a distinct danger? Yes.
Keeper Of The Flame
This song is aimed at the loony far right fringe of the Gun Lobby who I am assured, are not representative of gun owners as a whole, However, if anyone else wishes to take offense, please feel free to do so.
Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo
Love conquers all? Not in Sarajevo it seems. Another depressingly true story.
The Red Heart
The urban dweller's most enduring fantasy. Quitting the rat race, throwing the swag over the shoulder, and taking to the road, leaving all the pressures, cares and responsibilities behind. And fridges air conditioning, TV., mobile phones, computers, washing machines smart cafes, theatres, restaurants, movie houses, videos, fresh croissants, wine shops, ice-cold milk McDonalds, Sunday footy, etc., etc., — I told you it was a fantasy.
Dedicated to Troy Lovegrove who died on 3rd June 1993 of an AIDS-related illness, three weeks before his eighth birthday. All royalties from this song are going to:
The Troy Lovegrove Foundation Ltd
PO Box 624
Double Bay NSW 2018
This foundation provides care and support for other families and children living with the HIV virus. They could use your help too.
I hope to write a series of anti Olympic Games songs leading up to the Sydney 2000 Games, each one gaining in hysteria and vitriol as the dreaded event draws nearer. This a fairly gentle start to the series.
Heart Of The Land
I once toured a dust-covered, drought-stricken farm in Western New South Wales with it's equally dust-covered but incredibly cheerful and resilient owner. Though all my city-bred eyes beheld a depressing collection of seared brown paddocks with clumps of khaki coloured sheep foraging listlessly in the dust, this Cocky assured me that, in good seasons, this place was a 'Bloody Paradise!'I looked carefully but could see no hint of paradise anywhere, but then I wasn't looking through the eyes of love.
One Small Star
Written for the parents of those poor wee kiddies who died in Dunblane, Scotland.