"Anni Kookoo" as written by and Xavier Rudd....
The places that we live and the living that we did
The places we were put and the things we were given
He sings what they talk

But they took away are pride but they didn't take our lives
They took away the things that made us feel alive

Said, "Ooh ooh, what have we become?
What have we become?"
Said, "Ooh ooh, how did this become?
How did this become? How did this become?"

In old woman we flex from the East to the West
She thinks of her grandmother and her grandfather
And strings that they had

Now she looks to the arm, saw them sniffing on their drugs
The drink in there has stolen so many souls
And flooded her sacred blood

She says, "Ooh ooh, what have we become?
What have we become?"
She says, "Ooh ooh, how did this become?
How did this become?"

She says, "Ooh ooh, the bottle took away my son
It took away my son"
She says, "Ooh ooh, where are we gonna run?
What have we become?"

She says, "Ooh ooh, what have we become?
What have we become?"
She says, "Ooh ooh, how did this become?
How did this become?"

She says, "Ooh ooh, see the bottle took away my son
It took away my son"
She says, "Ooh ooh, where are we gonna run?
What have we become?"

Lyrics submitted by xcrossox

"Anni Kookoo" as written by Xavier Rudd

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Anni Kookoo song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentPlease, 'yeww', this isn't a place to be sending bad vibes.

    Xavier's wife is Canadian, so of course he would hold North America close to his heart, and it makes perfect sense to be a song written about the Inuits or American Indians. Yes, I am Australian, so don't attack me about being a "Stupid American".

    This is a song which doesn't discriminate. Native American? Australian Aborigines? Who cares who it's written about, the message is the same.

    To be nitpicking between the two cultures is like sorting Smarties. They are all the same inside, no matter what their appearance. The issues afflicting both of these cultures are horrifying and need to be dealt with swiftly.

    Why bloody debate over a 'financial crisis' or who has the biggest guns or bombs when we have violation of human rights under all of our noses? Who gives a damn if some corrupt corporation goes under? We have kids sniffing petrol as their prime source of entertainment. It may be depressing, but ignoring it or discriminating against it are going to do nothing to help it. NOTHING.

    That said, here is my interpretation:

    First Verse:
    "The places that we lived ... they took away our pride"

    This is referring to the original invasion of colonists. Wiping out the local culture and doing all-round terrible things to the natives. Note that this is applicable to Native Americans, Australian Aborigines and just about any other culture harmed by the sickening attitude of the colonial "whites".

    "if they didn't take our lives, they took away the things that made us feel alive"

    Just more culture bashing. The colonists either killed the locals or killed their culture.


    "What have we become?"

    Why did us, the natives, sink from our proud culture to become addicts, living in squalor and famine? The colonists forced them into this lifestyle which is becoming ever more apparent among indigenous youths.

    Second Verse:

    "the old woman reflects ... drinking that has stolen so many souls and flooded her sacred blood"

    This "Old Woman" is thinking of her ancestor's proud cultural heritage and how shameful and depressing it is to see her children and other youths wasting their lives with drugs and substance abuse, not taking a moment to think of their own heritage.

    A great, heartfelt and emotional song. It opens the eyes to the atrocities that are happening right under our noses.

    Pride yourself upon your culture, respect those who are there to teach, don't throw it all away.

    One Love and Peace.
    Dowhayon June 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti'm thinking this song could be about the plight of the native people (in Canada at least).

    1st verse: residential schools - white people came in and forced natives into reservations and residential schools where they were taught to forget their 'evil' traditional ways and adopt christianity and european lifestyles

    2nd verse - how the native people have unfortunately become a people of destitution

    3rd verse - the strength of the people from coast to coast, and the now rampant drug/alcohol abuse that ravages native reserves

    beautiful, empathic song
    bellechatteon February 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust read 'land rights' lyrics. even more convinced of this interpretation. boo-ya
    bellechatteon February 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbloody anorthern americans
    the world dosnt revolve around u and ur stupid country
    xavier rudd is asutralian and it is about the australian aboriginals
    im not saying its a good things that this is happening but its true and hes singing to raise awarness about it
    and once again bloody northen americans
    yewwon March 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou tell her yeww!
    nothing to do with canada...
    exnerdon April 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAside from just being about native american use of alcohol, I think this song is applicable to any person who has let alcohol control their lives and felt the void it created in their life. It is really beautiful and heartfelt and a much needed voice in our culture where alcohol is so prevalent.

    sort of like a grateful dead wharf rat type of song, but much more clear. wharf rat is a song where you have to know that it is about alcoholism prior to listening to understand it, it's a story of someone inside of alcoholism, and much more abstract. this an outsider looking at a culture or people abusing alcohol and commenting on how sad it is.

    This is a really rare song and I think anyone would be hard pressed to find another song making a similar statement like Xavier rudd is here. That just makes this song even better.

    And It seems clear the song is about alcohol to some extent.

    'the drinking that has stole so many souls...

    oh the bottle took away my son. what have we become?'

    hydrophillicon May 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionWell said Dowhay!!! this song is right on the money. My mum is originally from a small town just near Dubbo in
    the central north of NSW (lots of Aboriginal people). She has very little time the the aboriginal people there.
    She says that are lazy, free loaders... she cant even list to Midnight Oil - It's ridiculous! I can't stand it!
    We have had so many fights coz i fire up everytime she says anything negative. I wish i could just play this song
    and make her listen... This is a fantastic song!!!
    taytay9212on June 20, 2009   Link

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