Here I am again in the ship's post office
I want to send a telegram
Send it to the captain
Asking where the hell I am

I've been on this luxury cruise
For twenty five years or more
And I've just begun to wonder
Where we're headed for

Band keeps playing American songs from 1973
Getting wise to the officer's lies
That we've even got a country
You say we're independent
And we've even got the right to choose
Well we're sick of doing nothing
We'd like some work,
We'd like some work,
We'd like some work to do

Swimming pools, the cocktail parties
You keep us plied with drink
But when we cruised through South East Asia
It made us stop and think

We never take on passengers
Though we seem to have lots of room
And I can't escape the notion captain
That this is a floating tomb

Some of us have calculated
We must be short of oil
Someone mentioned fission
And blood began to boil

The passengers are restless, captain
This is how they feel
Angry at how it came to be you
Who sits beside the wheel

And the band keeps playing the Imperial Waltz
From far across the sea
Not a long way from discontent
To open mutiny

You say we're independent
And we've even got the right to choose
Well we're sick of being passengers
We've got some work to do


Lyrics submitted by blood is thin

H.M.A.S. Australia song meanings
Add your thoughts

1 Comment

sort form View by:
  • 0
    My InterpretationBrilliant protest song. I love the thought that Redgum put into their lyrics. This was from their "If You Don't Fight You Lose" album (1978), during Malcolm Fraser's turn as PM of Australia.

    To me, this song is a protest against American influence in Australia (And I've just begun to wonder/Where we're headed for/Band keeps playing American songs from 1973) and also about immigration policies (We never take on passengers/Though we seem to have lots of room).

    However, I was not politically aware during this time so I could be wrong. Malcolm Fraser's Wikipedia page (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) says "the Fraser government adopted a formal policy for "a humanitarian commitment to admit refugees for resettlement"..
    RobertMarkBramon November 22, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain