Eric Bogle & John Munro   •   Hard Hard Times

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  • Hard Hard Times
    • 1985 - Folk Freak FF 404018 LP (DEU)
  • Side One
    1. Lady from Bendigo
    2. Glasgow Lullaby
    3. Hard Hard Times
    4. Reason for It All
    5. Shining River
    6. Song of the Whale
  • Side Two
    1. Mary and Me
    2. Twenty Years Ago
    3. When the Wind Blows
    4. Never Again
    5. Belle of Broughton
    6. Safe in the Harbour

  • Musicians
    • Eric Bogle: Vocals
    • John Munro: Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Autoharp, Harmony Vocals
    • Steve Baker: Mouth-harp
    • Hans-Jörg Maucksch: Bass
    • Thomas Frickle: Synthesizer
  • Credits
    • Produced by Eric Bogle, John Munro and Carsten Linde
    • Recorded and mastered by at Günter Pauler, Tonstudio St. Blasien, Northeim/West Germany, March 1985
    • Recording and disc-cutting assistant Thomas Fricke
    • Photos: Axel Küstner
    • Cover design: Martin Jeremias and Carsten Linde
    • Special thanks to Martin Jeremias
    • All songs words and music Eric Bogle
    • Published by Larrikin, Australia

Sleeve Notes

Lady From Bendigo — A love song. In this song, love is being offered. But is it being accepted?

Glasgow Lullaby — A song about the usual victims of alcohol abuse, the wife and children.

A Reason For It All — This song is unfortunately based on a true story, Clare lived and died in Sydney, Australia. There are so many isolated and lonely people in our society, many of them old and sick, a fact of which I become more uncomfortably aware as I slide down towards 5O years of age. One of the main yardsticks by which any society must be judged is how that society cares for the disadvantaged, i.e. the people who cannot care for themselves, mainly the young, the old, the sick, the poor. I wonder if my society measures up? I don't think so.

Hard Hard Times — The plight of Aboriginals in Australia is a sad one, and one which is reflected in the native minorities in many countries. It is not official neglect which is destroying the culture of these gentle people, nor deliberate policy, just the over-powering-weight of the white man's culture. There are no easy answers to the problem, but answers must be found, or Australian Aboriginals and all other native minorities like them will eventually vanish forever.

Shining River — A simple ecology song. There are hopeful signs in this direction however. In many countries we are trying to reclaim our polluted rivers. If we are lucky we may not be too late.

Song Of The Whale — I believe there is a deep kinship between whales and humans, something reaching back into the depths of evolution of life on this planet. Gentle gregarious creatures that they are, we keep on slaughtering them, and for what? Profit, to our eternal shame, sheer profit.

Mary And Me — Poverty is a vicious circle. People who are born poor usually die poor, a fact of life. In a perfect world there are no poor people of course. Well, we live in an imperfect world, and this song is about that.

When The Wind Blows — Two years ago I read a book by an Englishman, Raymond Briggs, called "When The Wind Blows". It was a black comedy about two elderly people coping with the end of the world, courtesy of Nuclear Madness Inc. The book frightened me, it would frighten any sane person, and this song was the result. I hope this song frightens a few people as well. I realise the singing would frighten anybody, but I really mean the lyrics !

Twenty Years Ago — Last year, 1984, I was taking part in a peace march in Adelaide, Australia. As I was marching I reflected that the first peace march I ever took part in was in Scotland in 1964, twenty years before, and so I wrote this song the next day. It has, I hope, a definite 1960s type feel, which is deliberate. I'll keep marching for peace until my legs drop off !

Never Again — In 1985 I took part in the "Political Song Festival" in East Berlin. During the festival I visited the former Concentration Camp of Sachsenhausen. The visit affected me deeply, and this song was the result. The song is not about the horrors of the Death Camps, they are well enough documented, and need no further emphasis. Mainly, the song concerns freedom, and the debt we all owe to the millions who have died in effort to preserve the freedom many of us live in today, and which most of us take for granted. Places like Sachsenhausen remind us that we must never take freedom for granted again, or Sachsenhausen will happen again.

Belle Of Broughton — A song I wrote for my grandmother. When you are young you never think of your grandmother as ever being young, it seems she was born with white hair and wrinkles ! When she was young my grandmother was considered quite a beauty, and this song finally recognises this.

Safe In The Harbour — This song was written as a tribute to Stan Rogers, a Canadian song-writer who was killed in an air-crash in 1983. A great song-writer and a compassionate one.