The Mateship

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.


‘Just let me talk’ is practically a catchphrase of Howard’s – it tends to come out whenever he’s under fire in an interview.Howard: Hang on a tick, just let me talk
‘You can tell by the way I use my walk’ is the first line of the Bee Gees’ classic ‘Stayin’ Alive’.‘Cos you can tell by the way I use my walk
I’m just a bloke, a normal bloke, and nothin’ more
I’ve got my home, I’ve got my health
I’ve got my lovely wife and kids, I’ve got no tickets on myself
I’m just a bloke, an Aussie bloke, to the core

So you know that I’d be grateful to the nation at large
If you thought it was appropriate to put me in charge
Band/Howard: of the Mateship – Anchors aweigh!
Howard: We’ve decided you’re invited to stay
Band/Howard: on the Mateship – Welcome aboard!
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.Howard: We could find a better kind of accord, uh-huh-huh

Well I can jibe, and I can tack
Howard was quick to go to war in 2003, and frequently referred to the ANZAC campaign at Gallipoli in 1915. He himself has never served a day in uniform, of course.So let the skipper take the clipper to Gallipoli and back
I’ll be a bloke, an Aussie bloke, with digger pride
We wouldn’t mix with other crews
Howard was happy to consult with several right wing religious groups, notably Hillsong and the Exclusive Brethren – all groups noted for the singular nature of their views.We won’t consult with any cult promoting multiple views
We’ll just be blokes. Dinkum blokes. Bonafide.

And I’d look to the community defending the land
If you took the opportunity to give me command
Band/Howard: of the Mateship – Hoisting the sail!
The ‘Baby Overboard’ incident occurred in 2001. The MV Tampa, a refugee carrying ship of Norwegian registration, entered Australian waters. It was stopped by Australian naval vessels, at which time, it was alleged, one refugee threw their baby overboard. This claim was later disproven, but not before it had been repeated by Howard and a number of his ministers, and received a great deal of media attention. Howard rode a combination of this scare-mongering and that related to the 9/11 attacks to victory in the 2001 election.Howard: Never throw a baby over the rail
Band/Howard: on the Mateship – Flying the flag!
Howard: You’ll be clamouring to carry a swag, uh-huh-huh

Band / Howard: Mates would die for a mate
Mates are worth their weight in gold
Mates can rely on a mate
Howard was widely believed to lack strong personal relationships and other friendships.Howard: So I’m told…

Now I’m a man, I’m not a boy
When they say Aussie Aussie Aussie I say oy oy oy
like any bloke, a rugged bloke, pretty tough
It’s catching on, it’s all the rage
Why even now I look around and see no women on the stage
Only blokes, Aussie blokes,
Australia has a long history of claiming New Zealanders as their own, but only the really talented and/or famous ones. Which is why Tim Finn is from New Zealand, but Neil Finn is Australian. In addition, this line had an extra layer of resonance for the band because the bassist, Eden Ottignon, was indeed a proud New Zealander, as he is quick to point out here.Bass Player: Hey! I’m a Kiwi
Howard: close enough.

Howard was dismissive of what he saw as Keating’s “black armband” view of history.You could dwell upon tomorrow and the sorrow you feel
Or set a course for yesterday and give me the wheel
Band/Howard: of the Mateship – Rounding the buoy!
Howard: No political correctness ahoy
Band/Howard: on the Mateship – Anchors aweigh!
In the course of the Tampa incident, Liberal election advertising proclaimed that “We decide who comes into this country, and the circumstances in which they come.”Howard: We’ll decide if you’re invited to stay
On the Mateship…
on the Mateship…

Previous Song Power | Next Song – Choose Me
Keating Annotations Home

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.