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.


Eddie Koiki Mabo was a Torres Strait Islander who became famous in Australian history for his role in campaigning for indigenous land rights and for his role in a landmark decision of the High Court of Australia that overturned the legal fiction of terra nullius which characterised Australian law with regards to land and title.Keating: There’s a tale I heard, of an island man
Tough and undeterred, he said “Haven’t you heard?
“This land: our land!”
We belong
Mabo v Queensland (No 2) (commonly known as Mabo) was a landmark Australian court case which was decided by the High Court of Australia on June 3, 1992. The effective result of the judgement was to make irrelevant the declaration of terra nullius, or “land belonging to no-one” which had been taken to occur from the commencement British colonisation in 1788, and to recognise a form of Native Title.That’s what the High Court said
So when you sing this song,
You gotta sing it for Ed.
For Eddie.
Band: Ready!

Band: Mabo! Mabo! Mabo!
Keating: What’s that name?
Band: Mabo!
The Meriam people are a tribe of Torres Strait Islanders who occupy Mer (Murray Island). Traditionally, they live through fishing and farming.Keating: For the Meriam people

Band: Mabo!
Keating: it was very unequal
Band: Mabo!
Keating: Was it totally legal? Oh no!
Here we go. Oh oh
Band: Mabo! Mabo! Mabo!
Keating: And here it comes again.
Band: Mabo!
The Native Title Bill was introduced to Parliament by Keating in June 1993. After amendments by the Greens and Democrats, it finally passed the Senate on Devember 21 of that year.Keating: Native title
Band: Mabo!
Keating: It’s alive and vital!
Band: Mabo!
Keating: Speak the truth and make it so!
And if we follow this philosophy
Demand a land beyond compare
Then girt by faith and generosity
We’ll all combine to redefine a beauty rich and rare
‘Advance Australia Fair’ is the national anthem of Australia. The last three lines of this song all paraphrase lines from it.In joyful strains then let us sing: Advance Australia…

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