I recall a schoolboy coming home
through fields of cane
to a house of tin and timber
and in the sky
a rain of falling cinders
from time to time
the waste memory-wastes
I recall a boy in bigger pants
like everyone
just waiting for a chance
his father's watch
he left it in the showers
from time to time
the waste memory-wastes
I recall a bigger brighter world
a world of books
and silent times in thought
and then the railroad
the railroad takes him home
through fields of cattle
through fields of cane
from time to time
the waste memory-wastes
the waste memory-wastes
further, longer, higher, older

Lyrics submitted by ruben, edited by lordnimon, jhuntsman

"Cattle and Cane" as written by Grant William Mclennan Robert Derwent Garth Forster

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Cattle And Cane song meanings
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  • +4
    General Commentmemory wastes. AHH the loss of childhood, the loss of innocence, growing up in this big stupid dumb world
    strokesmanon November 17, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI swear that this song was written about me, haha. This song makes me a bit nostalgic about growing up in Queensland, Australia in a sugar cane-growing town (Bundaberg) and then moving to Brisbane to go to university.

    Excellent song and I can't believe no one's commented on it yet.
    Aneurysm1985on August 08, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti think this song is about growing up and losing innocence, growing in a sad way... g mclennan's voice is sometime's so sad and nostalgic
    kadyoon September 08, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the stripped-back tune is part of what makes it great. It gives me shivers. So simple, yet so evocative.
    rfson May 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJimmy Little covered this song and I love his version, but the original is great.
    rozzleon December 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWedding Present covered this song on 'Hit Parade 1'
    morboton December 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is about the Holocaust in the 40's. 'A rain of falling cinders' makes me think of when they burned the bodies at the death camps and the ashes would fall from the sky. 'His father's watch, he left it in the showers' could refer to the 'showers' they said they were giving Jews before they burned them, they would confiscate Jews' belongings before the 'showers'; hence his watch got confiscated before he went into the gas chamber. Also where he sings 'the railroad takes him home' could be referring to the trains they used to take Jews to concentration camps and such, maybe the war had just ended and they were taking him home by train.
    quinnmeisteron March 16, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is about how memories feel so real and powerful to us, even though some should have no relevance, as said in the lyrics, "memory-wastes". "His father's watch, he left it in the shower" seems like a very strange thing to remember, but to the person with the memory it is very important.
    Shroomyjoeon March 31, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the "waste" refers to the narrator's sadness over what he feels he's wasted during his life.. wasted time, wasted youth, even the waste of his father's watch..
    stormvilleon October 11, 2016   Link
  • -4
    General CommentFantastic lyrics, crappy monotone tune. Put it to a decent tune & it would be an all-time great.
    tsarzanon March 17, 2006   Link

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