"The Radicalisation of D" as written by and Gareth Michael R Liddiard....
A young boy busts his dad's Hills Hoist, using it as a swing
Kills a magpie in the backyard with a homemade ging
Steals chlorine from the neighbour's swimming pool
Puts it in a coffee jar and pours brake fluid in
Makes a pipe bomb using match heads, and it fizzles when he runs
Tries again using the powder from the shells of his
Old man's shotgun
It hisses like a feral cat he's seen, slithers like the snake he killed
Leaves a scorch mark on the pavement,
And he's badly beaten for it
Finds a Playboy on the way to school,
Tries remembering his Mum
Throws rocks at a girl he likes, and he's sent
Home before lunch
Finds a King Kong doll beneath a bush,
Probably some rich kid's
But it roars ants when he shakes it,
So he drops it in a bin
Later on dinner time comes,
He puts tinned beans on white Tip Top
Halves it with his fingers,
Shares it with the dog
Jumps a cyclone fence to the sound
Of his old man fucking through the evening
Finds a severed kangaroo hind leg
Just laying in a clearing
There's a tendon or a tapeworm
That retracts after a kick
Finds a new stink that nearly makes him puke
When he pokes it with a stick
Meets a friend near there,
They go to see his house just down the road
The sister lets them in,
Then goes back upstairs in a bathrobe
He sees a Phillishave full of hair clippings,
In a bathroom, near a bra
They find some car keys,
Go outside and search a V8 car
And there's a Beta tape in a brown paper bag,
Hid under a seat,
Hit play on the VCR machine
And start to hear flute music
Now there's two girls on a farm somewhere,
Playing with a labrador
Which rolls onto its back, like it has
Been through this before and
It's the last time D hears flute music,
The last time he thinks about girls
He sneaks home about 10 o'clock
Gets inside using the dog door

Channel 7 gets the scoop again,
There's a man gone crazy
He stole an APC from the army base
And closed down half the city
D's been expelled from school and he's quite happy
Staying in bed
He keeps track of all the updates,
Surfing networks instead
This tank arrives at police HQ about 8am
It makes pancakes out of 5 or 6 patrol cars and then
Runs out of diesel near a Castrol service station
And there's a standoff
Then he's teargassed and
Not heard of again
D's father dies of cancer the next Christmas day
He's so hopped up on morphine that he
Can't get straight
He says "Be proud of me my boy,
Well I am finally off the fags
Since they caught me upstairs
Smoking on the helipad"
They cut the tumor off his liver
But he died without it
Seems like no one gets to choose
What they can't live without
It don't matter about money,
When there ain't no way around
You are living in a nightmare
You can't bribe your way out

D finds a one room flat
That overlooks an underpass
He works part time as a labourer and it's ok
Though it's hard
Then some black kid steals his concession card
And beats him 'round the head
Next time D sees an army surplus store he steals a bayonet
Then one day the bus to work
Knocks down the kid that held him up
He dies laying in the street,
The driver don't make too much fuss
He smokes a ciggie with the cops,
The ambulance is running late
And something inside D finds all this very, very strange
Soon after that the work dries up
And D starts drinking hard
Starts drinking cheap cask wine with old black fellas
Living in the park
One has a tattoo of a swastika made with a candle,
Soap and spoons
Says he's half caste and that full bloods prefer
Petrol over goon
Says he was brought up on a mission,
Then became a Viet Vet
Ain't got a single tooth to chew
So D gives him a bayonet
He has white scars between his knuckles,
Or what's left of them and says
"See I'm white too,
I just cannot drink inside the way you like to"

Five years later D meets Werner at the rifle range
Werner's granddad was SS,
So now he goes by the nickname
Werner the Jew Burner and young D become so tight
They start going bush in his Landcruiser,
Living on roos they shoot spotlighting
They get a year's lease on a duplex,
Werner finds D some work as
An unlicensed forklift driver in a fish market for cash
He's got pictures of Adolf Hitler,
Antique copies of Mein Kampf
But D thinks Hitler's obsolete
And Werner's practice too relaxed
But Werner finished high school
And studied engineering
D never did finish school
And Werner breaks the news that evening
The RAAF say they accept his application
To be trained to work on Hercules' 2000 miles away
He leaves tomorrow for NSW
And throws a party
Late that night
They get to drinking and they're talking
Then they argue then they fight
D comes to bleeding in his bedroom
Begging Werner not to go
But Werner's full weight's on his back now
And he's face down in a pillow
D wakes up late next afternoon,
But Werner is long gone
D goes to find his .22
But there ain't no shells at all
He finds 5 valiums in a Winfield pack
In a duffel bag in the hall
Then sits in front of the TV screen,
washes it all down with a bottle

Cliff has a beautiful wife
He's insured for his life
It is autumn here in Brooklyn,
In obstetrics, labour pain
And though his roots here are in slavery
Cliff is dressed himself by slaves
Credits rise like you're collapsing, so bewilderingly fast
Seems the Cosbys of the world all go to bed 11 sharp
The rest of you have a choice of late night news
And more commercials
Yeah Just Do It, Have A Break, yes Life Is Good,
Because You're Worthless
Maybe She Was Born With It,
And maybe you were too
Seems that one way or the other,
There is nothing you can do
'Cause you can only go as far as denying
You haven't come anywhere
Forget Charles Darwin's namesake
Is surrounded with black hair
You are depressed now but need only take this pill
To ban despair
If East Timor can't be middle class,
It can't really be there
You are driving the Jeep Cherokee,
Burning Arabs for fuel
But you are driving the Jeep Cherokee
And that's good enough for you
You are living among taxpayers
Who welcome brown folks with a moat
Conducting policy with the one free hand
While the other's round their throats
You are living in a land besieged
By what the world might think or know
But with its head so deep in Turkish sand
This can't really be so
You are living in a nightmare,
Let them Balkanize the East
No one says a word these days,
They turn the other cheek
You are living in a nightmare
You can't trust a ceasefire bid
And any wall they build around Gaza
Will be begging for a lid
You are living in a nightmare
You can't bribe a want of doubt
You are living in a nightmare
You can't bribe your way out of

But now we interrupt this broadcast
To bring you breaking news
There is a building in Manhattan
And it's burning.


Lyrics submitted by david_lpfan

The Radicalisation of D song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    Song MeaningOstensibly about David Hicks, the song appears to be only loosely based on the life of the Australian terror suspect. Liddiard seems to be questioning what might lead a white, working-class Australian to work for Al-Qaeda, and in this 16-minute opus provides a compelling and powerful argument.

    Although the imagery is at times seems a little exaggerated, Liddiard's basic argument lies in the essential truth of causality: genetics aside, we are the products of our experiences, interpersonal relationships and upbringings. Thus, small events from the protagonist's childhood are listed; less a catalogue of cataclysmic events than a visceral portrayal of abuse and societal rejection. However fantastical this opening stanza is, the ensuing events seem more or less plausible. This is not to say that all or even many abused children will end up radicalised; but the well-argued point is that such an outcome could feasibly eventuate, and that is what Liddiard establishes.

    The fifth and final major stanza is perhaps the high point of the song. Here, 'D', and indeed the entire country that the song is set in, disappear from the lyrics. Instead, they are replaced by a general comment on the state of Western society in the 21st century; a world of empty advertising, wars of oppression and depression medication.

    The chilling finale, a reference to the September 11 terrorist attacks, brings us back not just to 'D', but everybody involved in the strike and, indeed, us. Far from justifying those actions, Liddiard simply tries to find some rational explanation for it all. Do we live in a world where such atrocities can take place? - this is the question Liddiard poses, but it is entirely rhetorical. Our world, of course, is tailor-made for them.
    david_lpfanon October 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA great insight into gaz's thoughts on the song, courtesy of M&N:
    theworldaccordingtogaz.com/

    I'm interested to know how the imagery is exaggerated in this song though david_lpfan. Are you referring to the details of Hicks' life being portrayed inaccurately?

    Liddiard admits in the interview that the song contained events that were derived from his own personal experience. In some of the other interviews floating around, he seems almost reluctant to acknowledge the Hicks story as the primary influence of the song, yet in this interview he doesn't shy away from it.

    I completely agree that the final two stanzas are the song's high point. Those are probably the best lyrics his ever written. It conjures memories of Jezebel, the high point of Gala Mill. Any suggestions on the significance of 'Cliff' though? Or is it irrelevant?
    golyadkinon November 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDavid Hicks? How so? David Hicks is from Adelaide / South Oz, and his dad is still alive - in fact he was Hicks' staunchest supporter.

    This song is so heavily laced with recollections about West Australian metropolitan lifestyles - the story starts off in Perth surburbs... The nutjob who stole the APC from Swanbourne Army Barracks... a "ging" is a WA colloquialism for a slingshot...

    It's "generic" urban Australian story, and could be about anyone.

    I could be wrong - but it doesn't sounds like David Hicks...
    daniel1154on May 17, 2016   Link

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