Push start that car tomorrow
I'll take it to the tip yard
Well I'll leave it as a metal wreck
For cats to sleep

Then I'll catch the bus to Bondi
Swim the beach and wonder
Who can wear the fashion when
The place is oh so hot

I'm just part of this play
I'm making an inroad on the one and only
I'm just part of this play
I've finally decided I'm here to stay

Then I'll stop the small talk
Then I'll stop the games
I'll show them that the plans
I've made aren't wrong, what's wrong?
Then I'll shop at New World
Fill it up with real toys
Initiate a face-lift for the captains to corrupt


Lyrics submitted by Chris_Gough

Section 5 (Bus To Bondi) song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentNo allegory here, early Oil's song written in the days when the lyrics were literal.
    I have to stop myself from compulsively whistling the opening riff just before each annual City To Surf race.
    chrisb1on February 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI didn't understand the "Section 5" reference until one day soon after I moved to Australia, I was taking a bus to Bondi Beach (Sydney) and looked at my ticket stub and read "Section 5". It refers to specific transportation zones where your ticket cost is relative to the distance from the destination.

    Great change in time signature at mid-bridge, super fun for drummers to play.
    adfafdfvsdfwetvdfaerafon May 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEarly Midnight Oils songs talked about Sydney Culture. The later ones expanded into the realm of Australia - and this made them truly important. Section 5 is about the lifestyle of 1980s Sydney - it's about the beach culture, which is being out of doors. It's also a commentary on the desire to elevate the culture into the international sphere - so there's a comment on fashion which is incongruous with the temperature. One goes to the beach, but dresses to impress - that's a contradiction. Thus the song says, "I'm part of this play"- which indicates the singer (not necessarily Peter Garrett) is saying that he embraces the desire to "belong" - to be a Sydneysider. Note that he dumps his car ("take it to the tip") which suggests he can't afford the repairs or registration fee. He's working class, but aspires to more. But the crunch is that he really is apart of the aspiring middle (or lower) class. The indictment is that he shops at crass shops, where he buys "real toys." Here is the genesis of Midnight Oil's commentary on ignoring real social issues and going for the "commercial" ideal of identity. What's important for 1980s Sydneysiders is appearing to be sophisticated and cool as dictated by the media and advertising. The real tragedy is that the song is prophetic.
    grey102125on August 04, 2015   Link

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