"Forgotten Years" as written by Martin Rotsey, Robert Hirst, James Moginie, Peter Garrett and Wayne Stevens....
Few of the sins of the father, are visited upon the son
Hearts have been hard, our hands have been clenched in a fist too long
Our sons will never be soldiers, our daughters will never need guns
These are the yrs between
These are the yrs that were hard fought and won
Contracts torn at the edges, old signatures stained with tears
Seasons of war and peace, these should not be forgotten yaers
Still it aches like tetanus, it reeks of politics
How many dreams remain? This is a feeling too strong to contain

The hardest years, the darkest yrs, the roarin' yrs, the fallen yrs
These should not be forgotten yrs
The hardest yrs, the wildest yrs, the desperate and divided yrs
We will remember, these should not be forgotten yrs

Our shoreline was never invaded, our country was never in flames
This is the calm we breathe, this is a feeling too strong to contain
Still it aches like tetanus, it reeks of politics
Signatures stained with tears, who can remember
We've got to remember

The hardest...
Forsaking aching breaking yrs, the time and tested heartbreak yrs
These should not be forgotten yrs
The blinded yrs, the binded yrs, the desperate and divided yrs
These should not be forgotten yrs, remember


Lyrics submitted by Chris_Gough

"Forgotten Years" as written by Martin Rotsey James Moginie

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Forgotten Years song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentAnd in remembering those wars try not to have more wars. Sorry, too late, thanks for nothing John, George W and Tony.
    chrisb1on February 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the main focus of this song (athough it may be about multiple themes) is that we should not forget the soldiers who fought in past wars, in particular the Australian and New Zealand ANZAC forces from WW1. Great video clip.
    Aneurysm1985on June 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSeasons of war and grace says it all.
    baylisson January 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of my grandfather. He fought in WWII on the European front. When I was growing up, he used to always tell me stories about the war. Nothing fucked up, but always just telling stories about WWII. I think this song sums up what he was trying to say and helps me understand a little why someone would be so proud and at times even boastful of such a terrible time.

    He was passing on the lessons of the desperate and divided years in hopes that they would not be forgotten years. The are not, and I know I'm lucky to live in a place and time where war is so rare that we actually consider regular people with guns to be abnormal and dangerous.
    emanrogaon October 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's as much a war protest song as it is protesting for the rights of war veterans
    midnight_laboron December 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove the last bit. kicks ass
    bloodnut11on May 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo it probably is about the war and that, but it also reminds me of the years of shit that i went through, and came out alive and learnt from. :D Midnight oil have my respect ^^
    Adaptable=]on May 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favourite song from the Oil's.

    Love Garret's Aussie accent on the line "Old signatures stained with tears"

    "These should not be forgotten years"
    Just brings a shiver to the body, hopefully the generations to come will continue to remember our past and be thankful for what we have today!

    "It reeks of politics"
    Ironic, considering Peter Garrett's current occupation. Although his long standing critcism of governments is probably what motivated him to join the political arena, I can see that, it's just that I sometimes think to myself, well you've just gone and joined the same group of people you so publicly disapproved of. He hasn't made any significant moves or changes yet to make me think otherwise.
    iloverock18on September 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about WW1, with some specific references to Australia

    "Few are the sins....upon the son"- the Father is Britain, Australia is the son, the sin is the war

    "Signatures stained with tears"- Australians weren't conscripted, the signed up, and would regret it

    "Our shoreline was....strong to contain"- Australia wasnt invaded because of those who fought an died to protect it, the calm we breath is peace, the feeling is freedom

    This is simply a song about remembering the sacrifice made by all soldiers during war
    etronon March 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEtron is right, but not all there. It's certainly not just WW1 specifically.

    'Few are the sins of the fathers .... ' is a play on the fairly well known biblical quote "The sins of the father will be visited upon the sons" or to that effect - Exodus I believe.

    It's indicating that we are especially blessed and have not had to pay the price that our predecessors did, we've haven't had to live the hardness of our fore-fathers etc. etc. It sets up the rest of the song. Our job now is not to forget this, to respect this and make sure we don't make the same mistakes that lead back to some of that stuff.

    And it's not just about war, but the bitterness of divided societies, depressed and unjust economic situations among other things - stuff we've not fully sorted out either of course.
    PapaJon March 07, 2012   Link

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