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!!

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