Land

by Brendan Bonsack

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released February 28, 2015

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Brendan Bonsack

Brendan Bonsack is a poet and songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. These are his own brand of folk and pop songs, described as poems with dance partners.

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Track Name: National Anthem
There were psychopaths on the day shift
And some on the night shift too
So they flew in a fun guest speaker
With a degree from the NYU

We didn't get paid for coming
Coz they said "this is all for you"
But we got to keep our name tags
And a Safeway voucher too

I assumed my place in the belly
Of the serpent snaking home
A four-tyred scale in a radio haze
Passing our prey along

They were raising the flag as a question
Of red, of white, and of blue
As the sky set fire in pinks and reds
And blackened the towers and rooves

We have children behind razor wire
We have women who have grown, shaped with a fear
We have men who swallowed a war
That fed them with hunger
So all that they wanted was more

And you ask, do I love my country?
And I answer: what is love?

Nobody knew the national anthem
In those stifling assembly halls
We just opened and closed our mouths in the hope
That somebody else had the words

And I remember this kid from The Centre
He'd memorised every line
And he'd walk home alone or in a hail of stones
And sticks in the cold street light

We have children behind prison bars
And city towers full of empty beds and baths
We have something that burns on our tongues
The answer we know but the question's eluding us

And you ask, do I love my country?
And I answer: what is love?
What is love? What is love?

And you ask, do I love my country?
Track Name: Heat
We spill into the heat, the kind
That makes the pavements glow
That final cloud, left behind,
A face slid off the bone

Your cigarettes revere you, see?
As you draw each into your mouth
Oh, to be the one you chose
To burn the whole place down

Your shirt, a river from the mountains
Who came to your shoulders to fall
How you bore it with stains and no buttons remained
The collars eroded and torn

The sunlight reveres you, see?
Flames in the waves of your hair
The pavement softens for the souls of your boots
To write you were always here

The desiccated palings of the fences and the lawns
And the crab-like kids in sprinklers
Their mothers withered and gone
Into a place with their heads in their arms

We spill into a heat, the kind
The eucalypts all distrust
Immovable as bones, so white
And buried above the dust

Your cigarettes revere you, see?
As you draw each into your mouth
Oh, to be the one you chose
To burn the whole place down
Track Name: Unemployed Statesman
Unemployed Statesman and I'm seeking State
The devil has my loneliness and I've nothing left to trade
I'm calling from a payphone, a tube of quiet glass
And I've used all the pennies of anyone I've dared to ask

This land is just too big for me
You can drive and drive and drive
And never find a sanctuary
A foot across the dotted lines

Unemployed Statesman and I'm passing through
The kinder strangers take me for the kind of face they never knew
I'm sleeping cold under the stars, with the desert blooms
And the gold beneath the soil asks me "could there be a finer room?"

This land is just too big for me
You can drive and drive and drive
Til you reach a place where, just to show their reverence,
The seas begin to rise

Unemployed Statesman and I'm seeking State
Ozymandias slept some time before the poets raised his stakes
I'm calling from a payphone, a cross-roads in the sand
I may have one last trade to make, and to force the devil's hand

This land is just too big for me
You can drive and drive and drive
And never find a single thing
That did but see you passing by
Track Name: Time
We were stones
We were stones
And we found a hidden love
While we were floating

I was the sighing of the city as
The last bus crossed the bridge
You were more the calling of the river
Through the railing

Time, oh, time
You see it now and then
Time is all the people
Who you'll never hold again

I didn't know that I was drowning
I could just see a rippled glow
Digging at the surface
For some way to get below

And there's a moment where
You feel you've scattered all the pieces of the moon
But there's really no such stone
Could ever break her

Time, oh, time
You see it now and then
Time is just the people
Who you'll never hold again

There is what we know as breathing
And what we know as breath
And the two don't know each other
Until one of them has left

And on the backseat drive
Under flying lights,
My clothes still soaking wet
I could hear my body singing -
Don't you ever now forget

Time, oh, time
You see it now and then
Time is all the people
Who you'll never hold again

Time, oh, time
You see it now and then
Time is all the people
Who you'll never hold again