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 Lyrics 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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  • +3
    General CommentHaving just listened to Blue Sky Mining & absorbing it quickly the following are fairly obvious, to me. I am the only one who views it just so. Like each prior post. Great comments & stories. The song does what it sets out to do. I love the imagery Mr Garret conjures out of his experience. Which just so happens to be all of our experience. Human activity is relatable, who knew?

    I echo the paternal relationship with Great Britain. I have often remarked the same about the States. You don't need a masters degree to climb on board. There are no apologies & why would there be? These years were hard fought & won. Yes soldiers from Australia & New Zealand were tossed into the fray. This whole topic makes me ponder how many conflicts/ wars/ terrorist attacks never existed. Fighting in the Vietnam War proved two things: The enemy realizes the length you'll go to protect your interests & where would you prefer to fight? Over there or over here?

    I love the symmetry. Has Australia or America ever been invaded? I don't count the 1812 drubbing but we not only survived we went on to surpass the father. War hero turns president model was strong but waning in these modern days. A sad day when a kid can beat dad at whatever. Yet we are all still on the same side. A terrible & awesome power our country's leaders weild. How devoid life would seem without other people to remind us that the best time . . is now. = )
    mats_fan_710on January 30, 2018   Link
  • +2
    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
  • +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
  • +2
    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
  • +2
    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
  • +2
    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
  • +2
    My OpinionOh, just one more point.

    The lines "Still it aches like tetanus, it reeks of politics
    How many dreams remain? This is a feeling too strong to contain"

    Commemorating the fallen of WWI and WWII, has been hijacked by politicians for political gain, it was hijacked at the time of war, and it's STILL being hijacked by politicians today to pit us against one another and to divide us along ideological lines.

    The song is saying; "I know it's hard, but don't let politics stop you from honoring the fallen; their sacrifices and their victories, because THEY fought for US, not partisan political gain". We must ALWAYS remember that, and not use it as an excuse to ignore, or be angry with, the sacrifices of those who have taken up arms to defend, not only our nation, but other nations as well.
    LYoungon January 29, 2018   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 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 20, 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 15, 2008   Link

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