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Midnight Oil — Blue Sky Mine
Album: Blue Sky Mining
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1788









Released: 1990
Length: 4:11
Plays (last 30 days): 1
(spoken)
An Exxon oil tanker (CSR Company faced tough questioning at the company's annual)
From Geelong (payouts to workers affected by asbestos)

Hey, hey, hey, hey
(There'll be food on the table tonight)
Hey, hey, hey
(There'll be pay in your pocket tonight)

My gut is wrenched out, it is crunched up and broken
My life that is lived is no more than a token
Who'll strike the flint upon the stone and tell me why?

If I yell out at night there's a reply of blue silence
The screen is no comfort, I can't speak my sentence
They blew the lights at heaven's gate and I don't know why

But if I work all day on the blue sky mine
(There'll be food on the table tonight)
Still I walk up and down on the blue sky mine
(There'll be pay in your pocket tonight)

The candy store paupers lie to the shareholders
They're crossing their fingers, they pay the truth makers
The balance sheet is breaking up the sky

So I'm caught at the junction, still waiting for medicine
The sweat of my brow keeps on feeding the engine
Hope the crumbs in my pocket can keep me for another night

And if the blue sky mining company won't come to my rescue
If the sugar refining company won't save me
Who's gonna save me?
Who's gonna save me?
Who's gonna save me?

But if I work all day on the blue sky mine
(There'll be food on the table tonight)
And if walk up and down on the blue sky mine
(There'll be pay in your pocket tonight)
And some have sailed from a distant shore
(And the company takes what the company wants)
And nothing's as precious as a hole in the ground

Who's gonna save me?
Who's gonna save me?
I pray that sense and reason brings us in
Who's gonna save me?
Who's gonna save me?
We got nothing to fear

In the end the rain comes down
In the end the rain comes down
Washes clean the streets of the blue sky town
Comments (257)add comment
@Bill - can you add Jimmy Sharman's Boxers to the playlist please.
Too much midnight oil on RP lately!
Australia's economy is  built on mining, companies like Rio Tinto have a horrendous human rights, environmental and just basic corruption records. They have even been accused of murder.
Bones Hillman!
Who's gonna shave me?
NICE! ........
I was working in Kalgoorlie when the Oils rocked up to film the video clip to this song - late '89 as I recall.
They encouraged the local population to come out in droves as informal extras during the filming, telling the predominatly mining-oriented residents that the song would give the mining industry a fair go.  When the song was released, there was shock and dismay at the song's lyrics - a betrayal of trust that would never be forgotten.
Fun fact: Filming was called off on the first day of the shoot due to rainy conditions.  The following day was sunny (as most are in Kal), and, lo and behold, the crew revealed a rain machine for the shoot!
30 years old and painfully relevant 
Always a favorite from day one. Kick it bananas!! 
Definitely 90's. Great days!
Feeling this for Song Du Jour. A little early to hand that out (Twitter), but I got stuff to go do today, so gonna go ahead and make it so. 
This album is a cry for a better relationship with mother earth and for social justice. I appeals to me a great deal.
"Love it... one of the best song opening ever{#Dancingbanana_2}"

I agree.  Heard it this morning and cranked it!  {#Smile}
Like the grapes that often reside forgotten in the bottom of my fridge, this has not aged well....
 gregskrtic wrote:
okay, I heard, "Who's gonna shave me?" not once, but twice...

 
He is the barber who shaves all those, and those only, who do not shave themselves. It's an unanswerable question.
{#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2} Man! This song brings back memories!
This is a great album.
 janac13 wrote:
Why has the social conscious left mainstream music. Looking back on the 80's despite some horrific music there was a very active presence of socially aware music.

Could the reason be that social conscience was fashionable back then.  Presumably that generation was aged in their 20's and 30's but we don't hear a loud voice now from the 'elderly' in their 50's and 60''s (or 70's and 80's for that matter).

Nor from their children.


Looking forward to their show in Oakland on May 27th!
Why has the social conscious left mainstream music. Looking back on the 80's despite some horrific music there was a very active presence of socially aware music.
 westslope wrote:
For whatever reason, I ended up looking back through the comments.

It is most interesting how comments that I never made got attributed to me because of clumsy quoting, copying and pasting.  

No biggie.
But I will leave you with the thought that self-styled liberals and 'progressives' have no idea how their policies have hurt indigenous peoples and other poor peoples over the decades.

I would also guess that many Democratic voters heap most of the blame for the Da'esh scourge on Republican voters when in reality Democratic voters are the just as much the Godparents of Da'esh.  

The USA and to some Canada too are among the few places in the world where self-styled progressives and secular humanists can advocate the ethnic-cleansing of the Holy Lands, minimize the potential for blow back and feel really good about it all. 

 
Was that you on Richards last Saturday afternoon?
 Jannne wrote:
...........gotta love the oils - this one's a classic......{#Dancingbanana_2}

 
Still Rockin to this great classic!
AAAAAGH! Midnight Oil again!!!!

How about some Lester Butler instead?
 Catecaneverall wrote:
who's gonna shave me?  {#Eh}

 
{#Cheesygrin}{#Bananapiano}
Looking at the singer, he got help with that
So-so song (and album) from a great band. Nowhere near as good as Diesel and Dust.
As much as I like Midnight Oil, you guys have been playing them TOOO MUCH lately. How 'bout some other goodies from the same era?
Do you ever play Jack Green? 
For whatever reason, I ended up looking back through the comments.

It is most interesting how comments that I never made got attributed to me because of clumsy quoting, copying and pasting.  

No biggie.
But I will leave you with the thought that self-styled liberals and 'progressives' have no idea how their policies have hurt indigenous peoples and other poor peoples over the decades.

I would also guess that many Democratic voters heap most of the blame for the Da'esh scourge on Republican voters when in reality Democratic voters are the just as much the Godparents of Da'esh.  

The USA and to some Canada too are among the few places in the world where self-styled progressives and secular humanists can advocate the ethnic-cleansing of the Holy Lands, minimize the potential for blow back and feel really good about it all. 
The oils always awesome.  Now he's a Poli down Camberra.
Great music
 
This used to be one of my favorite songs for some time. Now I still recognize it as a very good song, many years later, with smashing message as usually with the Oils. A unique music (and cultural) group
One of the best live shows you'll ever see....well.....was one of the best live shows....
 

 BikeCoachDave wrote:
Still rocks, 21 years later.

 
Midnight Oil had a few decent singles, BUT THIS ONE WAS THE BEST ONE!
...........gotta love the oils - this one's a classic......{#Dancingbanana_2}
okay, I heard, "Who's gonna shave me?" not once, but twice...
Thanks to all the "shave" comments, that's all I hear now{#Angel}
who's gonna shave me?  {#Eh}
 rdo wrote:
I know who will save us. Marx will!
 

Zeppo ?
please save me ....from this song-- this guy absolutely can't sing a note
 Groucho?

rdo wrote:
I know who will save us. Marx will!
 


Love it... one of the best song opening ever{#Dancingbanana_2}
Iconic song from the 'Oils.
I saw Peter Garrett, MP just this morning at the ANZ autoteller in Maroubra Junction.


I know who will save us. Marx will!
just drive she said
 rdo wrote:
10 - Love the song, hate the ideas behind it. 

Yes, lets put an end to companies and follow the environmental examples of real Socialist countries like China and the USSR. Now THERE'S a great idea! 
 
Your comment is as dated as your idealism. The USSR isn't here any longer...as the man said below, do try to keep up. No one wants to "put an end to companies" they want the companies to behave humanely and ethically, like a person might (They do so want to be people these days, after all). As for governments being responsible for the messes being created by multinational corporations, well...same goes for them, really.

Your argument is just nothing but anger, unless you are actually advocating unsafe, unfair and unsustainable environmental assaults and the erosion of human rights...but that would be nuts, wouldn't it?
 RKeaton wrote:
I confess that once upon a time I went through a Midnight Oil phase.  {#Yes}
 
I confess I never got out of my Midnight oil phase {#Notworthy}
I'm always glad to hear Australian music on RP! Always good choices, too - Midnight Oil, The Cruel Sea, Xavier Rudd. Keep up the good work, Bill! :)
I confess that once upon a time I went through a Midnight Oil phase.  {#Yes}
 rdo wrote:
10 - Love the song, hate the ideas behind it. 

Yes, lets put an end to companies and follow the environmental examples of real Socialist countries like China and the USSR. Now THERE'S a great idea! 
 
Trite and pointless remark. Environmental exploitation is a function of power and wealth. Governments and corporations are alike in that regard. To the poor sods getting the rough end of the pineapple the result is the same - their environment is trashed and their health f*cked.

And in case you've not heard the news, the USSR collapsed in 1991. Do keep up.

Always love to hear this — came out right before I went on my first of three spekky Oz walkabouts...and made a very special soundtrack to my discoveries!
Great song.  

Peter Robert Garrett, AM, MP (born 16 April 1953), is an Australian musician, environmentalist, activist and politician.

Garrett was lead singer of the Australian rock band Midnight Oil from 1973 until its disbanding in 2002. He served as President of the Australian Conservation Foundation for a total of ten years, and in 2003 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his contribution to the environment and music industry.

He has been an Australian Labor Party member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Kingsford Smith, New South Wales, since October 2004. After the Labor Party won in the November 2007 election, Garrett was appointed Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. On 8 March 2010, his portfolio title was changed to Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts.He continued in this role in Julia Gillard's first Ministry. He was re-elected at the 2010 election and was appointed Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He was sworn into this portfolio on 14 September 2010 as a member of the Second Gillard Ministry. In 2009, the French Government appointed Garrett an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2010, WWF Australia and International presented him with their Leaders for a Living Planet award.




 rdo wrote:
10 - Love the song, hate the ideas behind it. 

Yes, lets put an end to companies and follow the environmental examples of real Socialist countries like China and the USSR. Now THERE'S a great idea! 
 
If those countries were actually socialist in anything other than name anymore, your argument would have more force.
 shmuelman wrote:
westslope wrote:

Watched Avatar the other day. Good portrait of colonialism. Except companies don't harass indigenous people nowadays. Governments do.

Anyone who believes that private companies are not involved in the direct killing of indigenous people, as well as the funding of civil wars, should look at Shell's involvement in Nigeria. I know it is now cool to hate government and love corporations, but at least there is some democratic process in place to change or influence your government, whereas there is no process to mitigate the activities of private power.

 
Hmmm. Looking at the current new government of Italy. . . all unelected. That's democracy for you. 

At least with some corporates one can remove your right to buy their product and have a small chance to do something.  

10 - Love the song, hate the ideas behind it. 

Yes, lets put an end to companies and follow the environmental examples of real Socialist countries like China and the USSR. Now THERE'S a great idea! 
One of the three good MO songs!
Relatively good, at least (this one)!

6
Is it only me that feels that the bass player is playing flat in the chorus part?
It all sounds fine then it all goes "blaaart blaaarrt" in dissonance with the rest of the band.
Great song that my band used to play.  Can't remember what we did for the harmonica since nobody played that.  Some cheesy keyboard sound, probably.

So...who IS gonna shave me?

 aelfheld wrote:

You do realise that the lead singer, Peter Garrett, was appointed Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, right?

And that he was removed from that office because of his incompetence administering a home insulation program which was linked to four deaths, over 100 house fires, and questions of fraud, right?

Can't sing.  Can't dance.  Can't seem to do much of anything right.

BTW, the song sucks.
 

I love your post.
Still rocks, 21 years later.
shmuelman wrote:
westslope wrote:...there is no process to mitigate the activities of private power.
Ever buy anything?

 aelfheld wrote:

You do realise that the lead singer, Peter Garrett, was appointed Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, right?

And that he was removed from that office because of his incompetence administering a home insulation program which was linked to four deaths, over 100 house fires, and questions of fraud, right?

Can't sing.  Can't dance.  Can't seem to do much of anything right.

BTW, the song sucks.
 
You do realize that Garrett wrote to Kevin Rudd on four occasions to raise safety concerns, right? Gary Gray has stated in an interview:
The majority of caucus felt he had been badly treated. For Rudd and his office to position Garrett as the fall guy was disgraceful, weak, sneaky, unprincipled and just plain wrong. All along, Peter properly put his objections to the administration of the program on the record. How can you have a situation where Rudd executes complete and total influence, micromanages everything, yet not the home insulation program? The shape and execution of the program was certainly designed by the prime minister's office, if not the prime minister himself."




westslope wrote:

Watched Avatar the other day. Good portrait of colonialism. Except companies don't harass indigenous people nowadays. Governments do.

Anyone who believes that private companies are not involved in the direct killing of indigenous people, as well as the funding of civil wars, should look at Shell's involvement in Nigeria. I know it is now cool to hate government and love corporations, but at least there is some democratic process in place to change or influence your government, whereas there is no process to mitigate the activities of private power.

 bronorb wrote:


What's the difference?

 


 westslope wrote:

Watched Avatar the other day.  Good portrait of colonialism.  Except companies don't harass indigenous people nowadays.  Governments do.



 

What's the difference?

 westslope wrote:
Watched Avatar the other day.  Good portrait of colonialism.  Except companies don't harass indigenous people nowadays.  Governments do.
 
Governments usually oppress people in support of "economic development," which is often suggested by for-profit entities.  That theme has been the source of music for centuries: blues, punk/revolt, even gospel tunes.
Trying to think of any preachy, assumes-my-consciousness-needs-raising songs I like.

Nope, I'm stumped.

 Stingray wrote:
POLITIC ROCKS OUTBACK!

One of the two good songs they accomplished
in a 40 year career!
GREAT SONG

F**k POLITICS AND POLITICIANS (though),
even in AUSSIE-LAND!
 
You do realise that the lead singer, Peter Garrett, was appointed Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, right?

And that he was removed from that office because of his incompetence administering a home insulation program which was linked to four deaths, over 100 house fires, and questions of fraud, right?

Can't sing.  Can't dance.  Can't seem to do much of anything right.

BTW, the song sucks.



. . . but if I work all day at the blue sky mine there'll be food on the table tonight. . .

 westslope wrote:
Watched Avatar the other day.  Good portrait of colonialism.  Except companies don't harass indigenous people nowadays.  Governments do.

 
If the indigenous people are not in the way of those companies, they are not harrassed. But what about shell in Nigeria? Sweat shops in Asia and Honduras? Coca-Cola in Columbia? I have to admit the companies won't talk in their adds about such matters.


 joshtime wrote:
somebody shave this guy already...
 
He must be the barber who only shaves the men who did not shave themselves.
This group sucks, I ain't even gonna front!  This song is ok in it of itself, but yea, elevator music (not going to say supermarket, cause a lot of supermarkets play unusually good music, I hear Spoon and BTS at my grocery store all the time!{#Lol}) indeed!{#Eek}
 Oregon_Steve wrote:
Man, hearing songs like this is why I love listening to RP over broadcast radio so much.  Thanks!
 

That is your only reason?
SUPERMARKETS and ELEVATORS can serve you too - then!

SR
POLITIC ROCKS OUTBACK!

One of the two good songs they accomplished
in a 40 year career!
GREAT SONG

F**k POLITICS AND POLITICIANS (though),
even in AUSSIE-LAND!
They'll be payin' your parking toniggght...  A San Franciscan's dream  {#Dancingbanana_2}

Who's gonna shave me? 

Indiana rain comes down...


I was in Sydney Austalia two weeks ago and asked if Peter Garret still was doing his thing with Midnight Oil. I was told on special occasions the band would get together, but for the most part no. He has had some political set backs as of late
Midnight Oil preceded by Built to Spill - a subliminal message {#Whisper} ?

Man, hearing songs like this is why I love listening to RP over broadcast radio so much.  Thanks!
 black321 wrote:
this is one of those songs/albums/bands where I would never buy any of their music, sit down and purposely listen...but I dont exactly object to hearing them on the radio/RP from time-to-time. 
 
Agreed - the lyric I excerpted below just suddenly struck me, and the meaning of the song became more clear. . . not to sound like a tired boomer, but if you're looking to the big corporation for a life saving event - you're setting yourself up for failure. . .

{#Meditate}

i always hear the stones version of "goin to a go go" in this intro....

this is one of those songs/albums/bands where I would never buy any of their music, sit down and purposely listen...but I dont exactly object to hearing them on the radio/RP from time-to-time. 

And if the blue sky mining company won't come to my rescue
If the sugar refining company won't save me
Who's gonna save me?


What an intro, what a song! This intro makes for a superb ringtone -it always gets compliments/enquiries!{#Bananajam}
"Who's gonna save me?"

I like this song.  Blue Sky mine is a good name because the odds of mining exploration turning into a commercially successful mine are extremely low.

 

That said, work at a modern mine run by a serious multi-national mining company can be one of the best jobs in the country.  Modern mining codes are leaps ahead of what existed in past decades.  Nothing goes forward without the approval of locals, particularly aboriginals.  Mining has come a long ways.

 

Watched Avatar the other day.  Good portrait of colonialism.  Except companies don't harass indigenous people nowadays.  Governments do.



There's a pattern developing here - Social Distortion followed by Midnight Oil. What's up with that, Bill?
 Stingray wrote:
possibly one of the best "intro's" in (Australian) rock-history!

And then....? Mostly "hot air"....

 
The opening riff from Highway To Hell would top my list of Aussie intros

What happens with Garrett´s voice ? He had ( in 1990 ), the perfect voice to sing these words, with the perfect dosis of bad taste ( "mala leche" in spanish, I don´t find the best words in english to define it ) in the result of this great song.

I repeat : GREAT SONG. And great voice.

 
somebody shave this guy already...
blech!

I'm with sirdroseph regarding his voice. Otherwise it'd be OK.

I don't really get the hate-on for Peter Garrett's voice — just the right mix of menace and indignation for their choons.  I'd call him a 'manshee'...
And I've always taken a shine to the coda in this song ("In the end the rain comes down...")...
Haha! Did Bill play this one after the Social D tune because of the negative comments about the Oils on that forum?
possibly one of the best "intro's" in (Australian) rock-history!

And then....? Mostly "hot air"....

Ayers ROCK!

GORGEOUS 1-minute intro,
then he sings....

Just another marginal "2-3-good-songs" band from Austrigonees!

OK - this one's not too bad - but the real KICK is lacking!
LAWYERS do not necessarily have great bands,
and why they never play Europe,
instead hiding behind Ayers...

===============

I swear I did not recall I'd written that previously...!


 teapot wrote:
Amazing where Peter Garrett is now. Minister for the Environment in Australia. Shows what focus and commitment will get ya.
 
Yeah, and what a great job he does as minister. {#Rolleyes}
So who's going to shave me?{#Ask}
 sirdroseph wrote:
They were a very creative, unique band but I just can't get by the lead singers voice!{#No}
 
Did you catch them live? PGs' voice was only part of his act..........somehow I reckon he would turn the clock back if he could.

They were a very creative, unique band but I just can't get by the lead singers voice!{#No}
 Mack wrote:
Good ole bald wide-eyed whinging.
 
Great, isn't it?
 1wolfy wrote:
Just Drive She Said...Stan Rideway...resemblance

 
Just Ridgway, he said.

Just Drive She Said...Stan Ridgway...resemblance


 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
Sorry to correct you both: LP Blue Sky Mining, Song Blue Sky Mine. AMG Entry
 
hows this workin' for ya?
2002

one of my hands-down, all-time favourite Midnight Oil songs
All Right!!! When I heard this song I sat bolt upright, jumped out of my seat and danced a jig....just like this{#Bananasplit} 
Hey, is it a new year in Ausiland now?  is that what this set is about?
Awesome! I love this song. 10!
Good ole bald wide-eyed whinging.
What a GREAT rockin' tune.  CRANK IT UP!{#Dancingbanana_2}
 1wolfy wrote:
The intro reminds me of a Stan Ridgeway tune...just drive she said!   Hi Westslope {#Wave}

 
Any chance somebody could upload that??

{#Cheers}HEY we share the same B-day.. lemmoth wrote: we are Decembers children
So - they pulled Social Distortion from this list - no problems with that


 


So - they pulled Social Distortion from this list - no problems with that

Nice!


Great follow up to REM.

 That_SOB wrote:

Its' like pizza — keep the middle,toss the crust .. .hey crust is crust, and it's all over the cutting floor.

 
Hey, I love pizza crust!

{#Hungry}

Not a bad song, just that there are a dozen stations where I can get nonstop Midnight Oil / REM / Stone Temple Pilots / etc. But there is only one Radio Paradise.
Frater_Kork wrote:
Who's gonna Shave Me? Someone did! Ah, I see I'm not the only hearing impaired here...
Its' like pizza -- keep the middle,toss the crust .. .hey crust is crust, and it's all over the cutting floor.
Great band. Jim Moginie is a very under-rated guitarist, these guys really turned it on live.
And nothing's as precious as a hole in the ground. Damn.
teapot wrote:
Amazing where Peter Garrett is now. Minister for the Environment in Australia. Shows what focus and commitment will get ya.
Indeed! Makes the loss of the band easier to handle. But man, I miss these guys!!!
:cool:
Who's gonna Shave Me? Ah, I see I'm not the only hearing impaired here...
Amazing where Peter Garrett is now. Minister for the Environment in Australia. Shows what focus and commitment will get ya.
Saw these guys live a couple of times in the 80s. He shore do dance funny! Great concerts though.
CopperTop wrote:
Imagine that, someone in politics who really does believe what they say..
Yeah, it would be nice, but even Peter has backflipped on several issues, such as Tasmanian logging, and nuclear energy.