The Ruler Of The Land

All lyrics written and copyrighted by Casey Bennetto, 2004.
Annotations written by Loki Carbis, 2009; revised in 2014.
The assistance and advice of Casey Bennetto in the creation of these annotations is gratefully acknowledged.

This page is intended for informational purposes only.

 

Keating: I thought this moment would be nervous
But tonight I’m full of joy
I bless my twenty years of service
Bankstown is Keating’s home town, and Blaxland is the electorate it is located in – also Keating’s, during his years in Parliament.As a Blaxland Bankstown boy

A chance to make the nation richer
An opportunity to see
A wider screen, a bigger picture
And you gave that chance to me – I take it with glee!

‘Cos I am the ruler of the land
They tell me I’m the man –
Band: who da man?
Keating: who da man?
Band: you the man!
Keating: yes I am.
I am the ruler of the land
They tell me I’m the man
Band: who da man?
Keating: who da man?
Band: you the man!
Keating: – yes I am.
but… but… but…

I am the ruler of a nation torn
By redneck scorn of the native born
Aboriginal reconciliation, including an acknowledgment, apology and reparations for the European invasion, was a major goal of Keating’s years as PM. Keating wanted to make a treaty, but was widely opposed in this goal.Can we finally have a treaty please?
Apologies to Aborigines?

Nowadays I’m quite persuaded
A nation takes its share of blame
The white man certainly invaded
The past will always stay the same

Show me something of our future
Smarter, wiser, less afraid
Put the mozz on every moocher
Let the nation be remade – I must be obeyed!

‘Cos I am the ruler of the land
They tell me I’m the man –
Band: who da man?
Keating: who da man?
Band: you the man!
Keating: yes I am.
I am the ruler of the land
They tell me I’m the man
Band: who da man?
Keating: who da man?
Band: you the man!
Keating: – yes I am.
but… but… but…

I am the servant of a distant queen
Who can overween and intervene
Republicanism was one of Keating’s major policies – he believed that becoming a republic would help Australia to show its independence and assume its rightful place in the world.Can we finally make her obsolete?
Stand complete on our own two feet?

Keating went to a lot of trouble to repair and enhance Australia’s ties with Indonesia, up to and including a security treaty.And wouldn’t it be nice to get on with your neighbour?
Engagement with Asia was painted by Keating as both geographical and economic good sense. Keating pursued this goal through extensive diplomacy with Asian nations and the formation of APEC.And make it very clear: Australia part of Asia?
And wouldn’t it be good just hangin’ in the hood
To lend a cup of sugar like a neighbor should?
And wouldn’t it be sweet talkin’ over the fence,
Prime Minister Mohamad Malathir of Malaysia was one of the least receptive to Keating’s plans for APEC, which he refused to attend. Keating commented that “APEC is bigger than all of us – Australia, the U.S. and Malaysia, and Dr. Mahathir and any other recalcitrants” – sparking a minor diplomatic incident.
Even other polticians such as John Howard and Pauline Hanson (who called out Malathir on his racism) sympathised with Keating on this one: Malathir was, in Howard’s diplomatic phrasing ‘a difficult person.’
Evans/Keating: Recalcitrance becoming common sense?

Keating: Now, now
Let me now address the chamber
In American politics, the Republicans use red as their signature colour, while the Democrats use blue. In Australia, the ALP is usually given the red colour and the Liberal-National coalition the blue, which reverses the political alignments of the US. (No prizes for guessing what colour the Greens get.)Everyone from red to blue
“well I’m talkin’ to you!”
Yes, I’m at the end of the rainbow
In Irish folklore, leprechauns lived at the end of rainbows, where they kept their pots of gold. Keating was very proud of his Irish roots, and may possibly have seen himself as a leprechaun – although if so, he was smart enough not to say so in public.And now I hold a pot of gold for you
Here’s the gist of my agenda:
‘Advance Australia Fair’ is the national anthem of Australia.Let’s advance Australia fair.
No retreat and no surrender
‘Til we get our nation there – I solemnly swear!

‘Cos I am, I am the ruler of the land
They tell me I’m the man
Band: who da man?
Keating: who da man?
Band: you the man!
Keating: – yes I am.
On May 14, 1986, Keating warned in a radio interview that Australia was in danger of becoming a banana republic. Unfortunately, this comment was most often reported and interpreted as him saying that Australia was a banana republic.Band: Top banana republic man

Keating: – oh!
Band: Top banana republic man
Keating: – Yes I am
Band: Top banana republic man
Keating: – I am the ruler of the land
Band: Top banana republic man
Keating: – Yes! Yes I am
Band: Top banana republic man
Keating: – I am the ruler of the land
Band: Top banana republic man
Keating: – And they tell me I’m the man
Band: who da man?
Keating: who da man?
Band: you the man!
Keating: I am!!

Previous Song – It’s Time | Next Song – The Beginning is the End
Keating Annotations Home

It’s Time

All lyrics written and copyrighted by Casey Bennetto, 2004.
Annotations written by Loki Carbis, 2009; revised in 2014.
The assistance and advice of Casey Bennetto in the creation of these annotations is gratefully acknowledged.

This page is intended for informational purposes only.

 

Keating’s hobby of collecting antique clocks has been the subject of much mockery from both the Opposition and the media, and is often cited as evidence of his perceived ‘elitism’.Keating: I’ve made a habit of collecting clocks
Sleek antiques with ticks and tocks
Didn’t you ever wonder why?
I hear the seconds as a perfect space
Pushed together in relentless pace
The beat of a moment passing by
And every face is like the moon to me
Full of hope and opportunity
Pulled in the orbit of its hands
My tide is high and my chance is nigh
I’ve got to take it and you know why
Somewhere inside you, there’s a man that understands:

‘It’s Time’ was famously the slogan of Gough Whitlam’s Labor Party when they were elected to government in 1972 after a record 23 years in Opposition – a government which Keating was a member of.It’s time! Time, the revelator,
destroyer and creator,
no-one gets to wait on time!
time to start afresh, we
know we’re only flesh and
bones and so it’s precious time!
Whoa it’s time!

The Opposition take a different tack
They wind it down and they turn it back
They don’t like to hear that sound
But time is slipping past them everyday
‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is a famous story by Oscar Wilde, in which the titular portrait ages and experiences in the place of its subject. When the picture is destroyed, all that it has borne comes flooding back to Gray.Just like “The Picture of Dorian Gray”
And it’s they, they who come unwound

Keating / Hawke: For evolution needs time to move
Just like a drummer beats time to groove
And it never can stand still
Keating: The revolution of a second hand
Is the solution that I must demand
Keating challenged Hawke a second time on December 19, 1991. This time, he was victorious, 56 votes to 51.A change is gonna come now,
you know it always will
Keating / Hawke: in time!

Keating: time is of the essence
I know that it’s unpleasant but
no time like the present time!
time won’t be denied and
though you try to hide you
know it’s on my side

Hawke: it’s time!
time to make a break, it’s
time for you to take it,
whip it out and shake it,

Keating / Hawke: time!
Keating: time and time again, you
might have dug the venue,
now you’re on the menu,
time!
Oh it’s time!

Previous Song – I Remember Kirribilli | Next Song – The Ruler of the Land
Keating Annotations Home

I Remember Kirribilli

All lyrics written and copyrighted by Casey Bennetto, 2004.
Annotations written by Loki Carbis, 2009; revised in 2014.
The assistance and advice of Casey Bennetto in the creation of these annotations is gratefully acknowledged.

This page is intended for informational purposes only.

 

Keating: Canberra’s never lonelier or colder
Keating challenged Hawke for the leadership on June 3, 1991 – he lost, with 44 votes to Hawke’s 66.Than when you feel the heartbreak of defeat
You’ll never find a sympathetic shoulder
On any bureaucratic street
So when I must forgive or be forgiven
When all my best-laid plans have gone astray
Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in Canberra created by and named for Walter Burley Griffin, the designer of Canberra. I head down to the shores of Burley Griffin
And try to wash the pain away

In wintertime, the water cuts you chilly
Walter dug it oh so deep
Kirribilli House is an official residence of the Prime Minister in Sydney, located bayside in the suburb of the same name. And I remember Kirribilli
The promise that he did not keep

He looked me in the eye across the table
Hawke and Keating made a private agreement in 1988 that Hawke would yield the leadership of the ALP (and thus, the Prime Ministership) to Keating after the 1990 election, but then reneged on the deal. He looked at me and swore he’d step aside
I gave him my support and kept him stable
He looked me in the eye and lied
At the Christmas 1991 Press Dinner, Keating described himself as the Placido Domingo of Australian politics: “sometimes great, and sometimes not great, but always good.”I dreamed that I was Placido Domingo
Ready for the spotlight and applause
Ernie Dingo is a sometimes controversial celebrity of Aboriginal descent, best know for having hosted travel and lifestyle show “The Great Outdoors” since 1993.But maybe I’ll end up like Ernie Dingo
And vanish in ‘The Great Outdoors’.

In wintertime, the water cuts you chilly,
The Lady of the Lake famously gave King Arthur the sword Excalibur, signifying by divine right that he should be king. However, it should be recalled that strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, supreme executive power deriving instead from a mandate from the masses.And I swear I see a lady with a blade
And I remember Kirribilli
The promise that a friend once made

I want to rule, I want to lead, I know just what the people need
I thought I had it guaranteed, but then
After Keating’s failed first challenge for the leadership, Hawke removed his portfolio as Treasurer, and Keating spent the next several months as a backbencher.He threw me down in the stenches of the dank back benches,
And I never want to go back there again! Again!

Time again for daring and defiance
Time to charge the throne and take the crown
And I won’t need no iron-clad alliance
‘Old Silver’ was Keating’s private nickname for Hawke.To go for gold and bring Old Silver down…

“I’m gonna bring him down”

In wintertime, the water cuts you chilly
It purifies my soul anew
“yes it does people!”
And I, I remember Kirribilli
And I know now what I have to do,
I know now what I have to do.
Dooooo…

Previous Song – Do It In Style | Next Song – It’s Time
Keating Annotations Home

Do It In Style

All lyrics written and copyrighted by Casey Bennetto, 2004.
Annotations written by Loki Carbis, 2009; revised in 2014.
The assistance and advice of Casey Bennetto in the creation of these annotations is gratefully acknowledged.

This page is intended for informational purposes only.

 

Keating: Hey, good evening, I’m Paul
Pleased to meet you all
You had some dinner to eat, now you got a good seat
A common criticism of ALP, Democrat, Green and other left wing politicians made by those on the right is that they are members of any ‘inner city elite’ – which by extension consists of chardonay-swilling over-educated snobs who are out of touch with ‘the real Australia’. A look at the actual electoral results of almost any Australian election will disprove this.See, there’s nothing wrong with being inner-city elite
I’m the star of the show
You prob’ly already know
But if you’re out of the loop, you’ll be in need of the scoop
So let me recap so that you can recoup.

Keating was born on January 18, 1944 to Matt and Min Keating. Bankstown is a locality in Western Sydney, which transformed from a separate township to a new suburb during Keating’s childhood and adolescence. A strongly working class area, it has been an ALP stronghold for decades.I grew up on Bankstown bitumen
Mum and Dad were down in the ditch and then
they had a vision of a bigger picture, and the picture they drew – it came true!
Matt Keating, Paul’s father, was a boilermaker who started his own company with some friends. The company, Marlak Engineering, grew and prospered throughout the ’50s and ’60s. Matt Keating and his mates split about a million dollars when they sold the company in the late ’60s.It might have taken a while – But they made quite a pile
And the lesson was learned: penny saved, penny earned –
Even when in Keating’s first job at Sydney County Council Transformer Handling Bay, he wore a suit to work each day.but you might as well do it in style.

Keating actually left school at the age of 14, and joined the ALP a day before his fifteenth birthday.I left school at fifteen, made the Labor scene
I learned how to survive, watched Whitlam thrive
Keating was a backbencher for most of the tenure of the Whitlam Labor government (December 1972 – November 1975), and briefly became Minister for Northern Australia in October 1975. At the time, he was the youngest man ever to be made a Minister.And I made the front bench in Seventy-Five
Opposition was tough
But when we’d suffered enough
Keating was appointed as Shadow Treasurer on January 14, 1983 – 4 days before his 39th birthday and less than two months before the election that returned the ALP to power and made Keating Treasurer.With steely looks, we overtook the schnooks
When Keating was first appointed Treasurer after the ALP victory in 1983, he discovered that the previous Treasurer, John Howard, had lied about the size of the budget deficit, and that it was in fact greater than had been admitted by the Liberal government. Keating found this to be outrageous; Hawke later noted that it “became a stick with which we were justifiably able to beat the Liberal National Opposition for many years”.and we shook the crooks out of cooking the books

I hate that Treasury jiggery-pokery
Keating was half owner of a piggery that was a joint venture between Danish firm Danpork and Australian firm Brown and Hatton.I keep my money in a piggery locally
It’s funny but it’s okely-dokely
The Accord (in full, the Prices and Incomes Accord), was a series of agreements between the ALP and the ACTU. In essence, the government pledged to minimise inflation and price rises and the unions were to restrict wage claims and industrial action. The Accord was a factor in the low unemployment figures under the Hawke government. Keating was not initially a fan of the Accord, but came to see its value as his working relationship with ACTU head Bill Kelty developed.we made an Accord – Good Lord!

Why be mercantile
If you can’t crack a smile?
In Keating’s 1988 Budget speech, after delivering a record budget surplus, he stated that this budget was the one that ‘brought home the bacon’. The ‘Drover’s Dog’ remark was made by ALP leader Bill Hayden after his ouster by Hawke prior to the 1983 election. A disgruntled Hayden claimed that even a drover’s dog could lead the ALP to victory that year. Analysis of polling data suggests that he was right about that.And if you’re bringin’ home the hog for the drover’s dog,
You might as well do it in style. Boys?
Band: You might as well do it in style…

Keating: Perhaps you noticed the suit
I think it makes me look cute
A good couturier can have a lot to say
Ermenegildo Zegna is an Italian men’s fashion label whose products are much beloved of Keating. This occasionally led to criticism of him, as the suits are made (and imported from) Italy at great cost, but made from Australian wool.And when you’re in a Zegna then you’re on your way

I’m on my way to see Bob
He’s gonna give me his job
Kirribilli House is an official residence of the Prime Minister in Sydney, located bayside in the suburb of the same name.He showed a lot of nous in Kirribilli House,
On November 25, 1988, Hawke and Keating made a deal that Hawke would step aside after one more election. ACTU Secretary Bill Kelty and businessman Sir Phillip Abeles were witnesses. The deal between Hawke and Keating is sometimes referred to as the ‘Kirribilli Accord’ or ‘Kirribilli agreement’ because it was made there.he sealed a fealty deal to really douse my grouse

I’ve been a model of loyal bonhomie
It’s time to honour the deal he promised me
Because I know he’s a man of honesty
I lent him my ears – for two years!
That’s why I dress to impress
I’m on the road to success
Hey Bobby J., get outa my way,
I know the answer is
I know the answer is
I know the answer is…

Previous Song – My Right-Hand Man | Next Song – I Remember Kirribilli
Keating Annotations Home

My Right Hand Man

All lyrics written and copyrighted by Casey Bennetto, 2004.
Annotations written by Loki Carbis, 2009; revised in 2014.
The assistance and advice of Casey Bennetto in the creation of these annotations is gratefully acknowledged.

This page is intended for informational purposes only.

 

Robert James Hawke, Prime Minister of Australia from 1983 to 1991, making him the longest-serving Prime Minister to come from the ranks of the Australian Labor Party (and third longest serving overall).Bob Hawke: Let’s go back to 1990; it’s not so far away
Where with each misty morning dawns a more exciting day
Peace and love are everywhere defeating hate and greed
Margaret Thatcher, fiscally and socially conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 1979. By Thatcher’s own account, she and Hawke mutually disliked each other. And Thatcher is resigning
West Germany and East Germany were finally re-combined into a single Germany after a separation that began in 1945 and endured for 45 years of Cold War.And Germans are uniting
Nelson Mandela, an opponent of apartheid in South Africa, spent 27 years in prison for his opposition. His release marked the end of apartheid.And even that Mandela fella’s freed:
There’s never been a better time to lead.

Here in 1990, Australia’s doing well.
In the 1987 election, Hawke promised that “by 1990 no Australian child will be living in poverty” – a promise that was quietly swept under the rug when that year arrived.No child lives in poverty as far as we can tell
And all I hear across the land’s a chorus of content
Band: Hey!
And positive appraisal and Hazel Hawke was the wife of Bob from 1956 until 1995, when she divorced him.love for Bob and Hazel
Yes, I’m a hit with each constituent
The unemployment rate of Australia averaged 6.66% across 1990, increasing in every month except March.And unemployment’s only (inaudible) percent.

Relaxed and comfortable” was a catchphrase of the Howard government dating from the 2004 election. It has rarely been used without irony since then.It’s a comfy bloody country, comfy and relaxed,
Not too bloody up itself or too highly taxed.
It’s a lovely bloody system, that I try to understand,
There was a widespread perception that Keating was the ideas man, and Hawke the salesman – a perception shared by Keating himself.But I don’t really get it, I give much of the credit –
I’m indebted to my right-hand man –
My right hand man.

My right-hand man’s a charmer, the smoothest of the smooth
He’s got a nut for every bolt, a tongue for every groove,
Keating became Treasurer upon the election of the Hawke government in 1983, and presided over some of the most far-reaching reforms to the Australian economy ever seen.
Also, the band sing the word ‘harmony’ in, well, harmony.
A pleasurer as Treasurer, creating harmony.

On the economic levers
True Believers” is a traditional term used by the ALP to describe its faithful supporters.And he loves all you true believers
He’s the linchpin in my winning dynasty:
With him around, there’s not much use for me!

Of course, he’s quite peculiar, if that’s for me to say,
A little unAustralian in his own endearing way
Hawke is a noted fan of all kinds of sport, while Keating generally prefers more high culture pasttimes.I take him to the footy and his eyes aren’t on the ball
Gustav Mahler was a composer of the late romantic era, noted for his symphonies.And in his private parlour, he plays the works of Mahler
The strangest sound’s cascading down the hall:
Billy Thorpe is an Australian rock singer, best known for his song “Most People I Know (Think That I’m Crazy)”.It doesn’t sound like Billy Thorpe at all.

Oh it’s a comfy bloody country, ‘cos we know what’s in our hearts,
Bob Hawke notably once held a record for beer drinking, and as Prime Minister, revived the concept of the Prime Minister’s First XI: more or less a command performance first class cricket game.It’s beer and boots, Not wine and suits: Cricket – not art!
It’s a lovely bloody system,
And I’ll lead it while I can.
Just a bloke and his mates,
But if you wanna talk rates –
Look for the midnight tan
On my right-hand man.

Next Song – Do It In Style
Keating Annotations Home