I Am Australian

Amongst the teasing, defensiveness, new friends, awkward questions, young prejudice and lack of know-how (the gentle kind that made you blink in sudden surprise) I somehow got through my first year living in Tasmania as an 11-year-old.

From that fumbling time in my baby days, I remember the song 'I Am Australian' from assemblies in Junior School. We wouldn't sing the National Anthem as much (I did know it though) - but this one was printed in our homework diaries, and lovingly visited. We would open to the correct page dutifully and I would stand on my tiptoes, excited to launch into the song. I loved that 'the girls part' meant we got to climb over the lyrics and sing a higher harmony at "on a dry and barren run" while the boys peeled the words apart down low. I adored the imagery of the orange sands, the big billowing ships and the cracked, wizened trees. I joyfully walked the old earth beside the characters of each verse as we rumbled through the melody. 

Mostly, I would swell with pride that I belonged to a school which belonged to a country who cared to sing about diversity - and trusted us little ones with the words of such an important lesson. I would ring out loudly "we are one, but we are many, and from all the lands on earth we come" and think louder still, 'this song has me in it! I'm in this song!' The bullying then felt fickle and I knew the childish stings were fodder amongst the bigger picture my peers and teachers were imparting on me. This song was the start of the Australian part of my identity.

I Am Australian

I came from the dreamtime
From the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart
The keeper of the flames
I Stood upon the rocky shore
I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I've been the first Australian

I came upon the prison ships
Bound down by iron chains
I fought the land
Endured the lash
And waited for the rains
I'm a settler
I'm a farmers wife
On a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man
I became Australian

I'm a daughter of a digger
Who sought the mother load
The girl became
a women
On the long and dusty road
I'm a child of the depression
I saw the good time come
I'm a
bushy I'm a battler
I am Australian

We are one
But we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian

I'm a teller of stories
I'm a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira
And I paint the ghostly gums
I'm Clancy on his horse
I'm Ned Kelly on the run
I'm the one who waltzed matilda
I am Australian

I'm the hot wind from the desert
I'm the black soil of the plain
I'm the mountains and the valleys
I'm the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock
I am the sky
The rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land
I am Australian

We are one
But we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian

We are one
But we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are
We are Australian

I am, you are
We are Australian

- The Seekers

You can listen to the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSoGJQkKDYk

The Real Folk Blues

The Real Folk Blues

The Tune of Soviet Tuesdays

The Tune of Soviet Tuesdays