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Midnight Oil — Tone Poem
Album: Capricornia
Avg rating:
6.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1167









Released: 2002
Length: 4:48
Plays (last 30 days): 3
like a heat wave breaking as you smell warm rain
we can fade away or start over again
in a high five season in a cut-price land
the southern cross don't shine on that invisible hand

where will you live when the fields are falling?
where will you live when the feedlots calling?
everybody standing in the treetops saying
where will you live? where will you live?
everyone dosen't have to beg or borrow
were going to move into a new tomarrow
where will you live? where will you live?

invisable hand clutching at the throat
statistical sham an emperor's rags its sad its so sad
because equality's the only plea green fields are burning
the reefs on fire and bellies are swollen they're hurting
a willing victims I don''t think so
we won't be pinned agains't the wall
there is no slogan that can feed you

where will you live when the fields are falling?
where will you live when the feedlots calling?
everybody standing in the treetops saying
where will you live? where will you live?
tearing up your ticket for the new titanic
heat haze refugee no-one panic

where will you live when the water comes over?
where will you live? where will you live?
take a deep breath don't have to drown in sorrow
take a deep breath for a new tomarrow

the bow will break the cradle fall
we won't be jammed against your wall
Comments (182)add comment
I've seen Midnight Oil twice in concert and they were and remain excellent. I saw them in San Francisco when they were really popular and was so impressed by the wall of sound that they created. At a time when I seeing a lot of fantastic live shows they really stood out in a way that surprised me at the time. I saw them on their most recent tour and again, they were fantastic. 
I have to disagree with Bill that these guys were ahead of times with the message in this song. The data-based confirmation of the decades-old human-caused climate change theory was first widely reported in the 1980s. By the 1990s, the news was there for anyone who wanted to bother to listen. Unfortunately, both left and right largely ignored the ever-increasing drum beat.
 dmiley wrote:

Wake up from what exactly? The fantasy that humans have any hope of stopping the rhythms of this planet at any cost? You mean that one? 
 
When we humans caused most of the problem, hell yes, WAKE UP!!!!!
 dmiley wrote:

Wake up from what exactly? The fantasy that humans have any hope of stopping the rhythms of this planet at any cost? You mean that one? 
 
Says another ignorant asshat that knows nothing of the science of climate change.
 DBCinCA wrote:
So many negative comments below... I guess everyone's entitled to their opinion, but for the record: 1. Peter Garrett is not solely responsible for the politics and lyrics of the band. Guitarist Jim Moginie is the band member credited (alone or as co-writer) on every song on "Capricornia," while Garrett has songwriting credits on only a third of the songs (including this one). Drummer Martin Rotsey also writes quite a bit (and has written a book about the band on tour), and is quite articulate about the band's vision. Agree or disagree with them, but I think you have to respect a group that rocked out for a quarter of a century and stayed consistent in terms of personnel and messages while never standing still musically. And by the way, some of their lyrics are quite positive: "Forgotten Years," "Outbreak of Love," and "Golden Age" come to mind. 2. It's so intellectually lazy to slap a label on something you don't like rather than state your disagreement. Again, believe what you will, but instead of the label "leftist" or "socialist," maybe some of you could state which of the following ideas you disagree with (issues taken from a long time frame of Oils' songs): - nuclear weapons are dangerous - indigenous peoples were robbed by colonial powers - corporations should value human life above profit - industrialization and globalization may have negative impacts on some people - pollution poses a threat to the environment, and by extension, to our health and future - regardless of borders and ideologies, humans have a lot in common with each other - governments and corporations should be viewed critically rather than trusted blindly So, yeah, call me a liberal. You could counter that I over-simplified their views - I concede that I simplified them. But their lyrics are more artful than explicitly political, so I haven't simplified the lyrics by much. They're not detailed manifestoes. The songs just raise the issues. 3. Don't like his voice? Fine. I get so tired of that knock against good music. Who among us doesn't like some singer with a questionable voice? Dylan, Springsteen, Jagger, Vedder, Stipe, Cobain, Joplin... Tom Waits, Richard Butler, Billy Bragg, John Hiatt... You like or dislike based on more than the voice, no? 4. If you think their songs all sound alike, blame a lack exposure to their music. They've got the rock anthem down, sure, but also the danceable songs, the hard core industrial sound, the moody atmospheric piano and acoustic guitar, twangy psychedelic, the brass and woodwind ooom-pah instrumental, and the use of the didgeridoo (sp?) in a rock song... I would say that most of their albums have a distinctive character that can't be appreciated if you only know a few songs from different albums.
 

 danfl75 wrote:


I'm not a fan of preaching either, but he's right and this is the most important issue of our generation. The Aussies are well acquainted with the horrors that Climate Change is bringing. Big storms and drowning cities are the least of it. We should all be worried about low precipitation and unprecedented droughts leading to food and water shortages leading to mass migrations and wars. It's past time for everyone to wake up. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

Yes, that was an annoying comment from me, but right on target. We should be screaming this from the trees. It's also a good song, love the guitar. Fight the good fight brother!
 
Wake up from what exactly? The fantasy that humans have any hope of stopping the rhythms of this planet at any cost? You mean that one? 
I had the pleasure of working briefly with Bones Hillman as an impromptu roadie lugging his 95 pound Ampeg SVT tube amp from the stage to the van. Mercifully we didn't drop it ...;-}

Truly a stand up guy. Love you brother.
A rocking experience was had by all at their 2017 tour. They opened with Redneck Wonderland, what more can you say?  Just WOW. This song is ok, a bit laid back, like the album overall. 
The chorus sounds a bit too consciously based on The Big Hit.
Never heard this. I like!
 Bert7 wrote:
Never thought to much about this band until I saw them live last year. I have been converted...
 
WOW!  I'm glad to hear they are touring again.  Hope they make it to Chicago.  We saw them several times in the 80's and they were amazing.  What energy.  
 drife wrote:
Couldn't agree more.

 
Businessgypsy wrote:
Preachy barking sucks; be it from Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton, Osama bin Laden or these tone deaf zealots.
Some people get pleasure from enemas. Go figure. Your results may vary.
 

 

I'm not a fan of preaching either, but he's right and this is the most important issue of our generation. The Aussies are well acquainted with the horrors that Climate Change is bringing. Big storms and drowning cities are the least of it. We should all be worried about low precipitation and unprecedented droughts leading to food and water shortages leading to mass migrations and wars. It's past time for everyone to wake up. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

Yes, that was an annoying comment from me, but right on target. We should be screaming this from the trees. It's also a good song, love the guitar. Fight the good fight brother!
RP- once again you've perked my ears with a hidden gem...Midnight Oil one of the most under-rated bands in music.Someone who is afraid to play something other than "Deadheart" or "Beds are Burning" Congrats on my #1 daily stream...RadioRon
 DBCinCA wrote:
So many negative comments below... I guess everyone's entitled to their opinion, but for the record: 1. Peter Garrett is not solely responsible for the politics and lyrics of the band. Guitarist Jim Moginie is the band member credited (alone or as co-writer) on every song on "Capricornia," while Garrett has songwriting credits on only a third of the songs (including this one). Drummer Martin Rotsey also writes quite a bit (and has written a book about the band on tour), and is quite articulate about the band's vision. Agree or disagree with them, but I think you have to respect a group that rocked out for a quarter of a century and stayed consistent in terms of personnel and messages while never standing still musically. And by the way, some of their lyrics are quite positive: "Forgotten Years," "Outbreak of Love," and "Golden Age" come to mind. 2. It's so intellectually lazy to slap a label on something you don't like rather than state your disagreement. Again, believe what you will, but instead of the label "leftist" or "socialist," maybe some of you could state which of the following ideas you disagree with (issues taken from a long time frame of Oils' songs): - nuclear weapons are dangerous - indigenous peoples were robbed by colonial powers - corporations should value human life above profit - industrialization and globalization may have negative impacts on some people - pollution poses a threat to the environment, and by extension, to our health and future - regardless of borders and ideologies, humans have a lot in common with each other - governments and corporations should be viewed critically rather than trusted blindly So, yeah, call me a liberal. You could counter that I over-simplified their views - I concede that I simplified them. But their lyrics are more artful than explicitly political, so I haven't simplified the lyrics by much. They're not detailed manifestoes. The songs just raise the issues. 3. Don't like his voice? Fine. I get so tired of that knock against good music. Who among us doesn't like some singer with a questionable voice? Dylan, Springsteen, Jagger, Vedder, Stipe, Cobain, Joplin... Tom Waits, Richard Butler, Billy Bragg, John Hiatt... You like or dislike based on more than the voice, no? 4. If you think their songs all sound alike, blame a lack exposure to their music. They've got the rock anthem down, sure, but also the danceable songs, the hard core industrial sound, the moody atmospheric piano and acoustic guitar, twangy psychedelic, the brass and woodwind ooom-pah instrumental, and the use of the didgeridoo (sp?) in a rock song... I would say that most of their albums have a distinctive character that can't be appreciated if you only know a few songs from different albums.
 

Never thought to much about this band until I saw them live last year. I have been converted...
 Wrong. 2002.

macmarine wrote:

Yet it came out in the early 90s … I remember driving through the Australian outback alone for a couple of days while listening to this song on FM radio over and over b/c the Aussies were so proud of this band making a big splash all over the world. Good times …
 

Great lyrics and guitar on this one - 9!
 
Nuthin' wrong with the vocals, either!
 DeemerDave wrote:

There is nothing I like about this song...

Or this band for that matter. 1 from me.



 
Preach on brother. It's a shitty derivative of Beds are Burning which was ok, but this is horribly mediocre. 

There is nothing I like about this song...

Or this band for that matter. 1 from me.


 MirageRF wrote:
All the witches in my circle love to dance in the moonlight to this song!  So 70's.!  Woo hoo!

 
Yet it came out in the early 90s … I remember driving through the Australian outback alone for a couple of days while listening to this song on FM radio over and over b/c the Aussies were so proud of this band making a big splash all over the world. Good times …
 Davidos wrote:
Geeze, this guy's voice is annoying.

 

Yep. There is bad singing which I can take, sometimes even like.  I love Waits, Dylan and Cohen who obviously cannot sing and that is one thing, but this guys voice is just straight up annoying and irritating to an unlistenable level.{#Arghhh} 
Geeze, this guy's voice is annoying.
In spite of any quality of sentiment, this is just frickin' bad rock.  I agree w/ the dude below who downgraded it to "1".  Just genuinely awful and anti-entertaining.
I love the line, "There is no slogan that can feed you," and I've always liked how Midnight Oil jams crucial politics into their music; why not?
Having hid PSD twice to skip this tune I have dropped it down to a "1".

Shazam!  Love it!  Amen!

 
Please, never again.
All the witches in my circle love to dance in the moonlight to this song!  So 70's.!  Woo hoo!

Everybody in my church loves this song...  we be dancing...
 
horrible
terrible
can't stand it
boy you said it
not bad though
pretty good
i like it 
They do love them some post-apocalyptic song.  give us a break, guys.  A 3 at best.
Capricornia can be considered as a summary of what the Oils made in their career.
I can do without the vocals, but the music kicks ass.
{#Cheers}
 Stingray wrote:

Why we never-ever hear of
"3 Doors Down" here...?
Any reason?
 
Same reason we don't hear Nickleback, I suppose.  (they both suck)
 romeotuma wrote:
This song is soooo good for the ears...
 
Melted all the wax out of mine.


This song is soooo dang good it puts a spring in my step this winter day...
 
 olivertwist wrote:

Sure is. I love the guitar sound in this tune. Another hidden gem unearthed by RP. Not many people here seem to appreciate it, though.
 


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
Excuse me: But it's a great song!
All Oil songs wrapped into one.Cool..#7
 romeotuma wrote:


This song is soooo good for the ears...

 
 
Sure is. I love the guitar sound in this tune. Another hidden gem unearthed by RP. Not many people here seem to appreciate it, though.



This song is soooo good for the ears...

 
 tobyontour wrote:
Let's be positive about stuff eh? Encourage what we like - more carrot than stick. 

There's not a stick big enough for this tuneless dreck.  The carrots are useful as earplugs though.

I think we've started to stray from talking about music. I like Midnight Oil and so felt like commenting but wouldn't comment on a Coldplay track as I don't like them and baiting their fans is something to leave to others.

Let's be positive about stuff eh? Encourage what we like - more carrot than stick.

 
drife wrote:
You've neatly summarized our point.

 
Stingray wrote:


BULLSHIT!!!
 
 


You've neatly summarized our point.

 
Stingray wrote:


BULLSHIT!!!
 


 drife wrote:
Couldn't agree more.

 
Businessgypsy wrote:
Preachy barking sucks; .
 

 

BULLSHIT!!!
Couldn't agree more.

 
Businessgypsy wrote:
Preachy barking sucks; be it from Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton, Osama bin Laden or these tone deaf zealots.
Some people get pleasure from enemas. Go figure. Your results may vary.

 

I'm sure there'll be love song along for you in a minute with a 'shoo-be-doo' in the chorus.

 
Businessgypsy wrote:
Preachy barking sucks; be it from Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton, Osama bin Laden or these tone deaf zealots.
Some people get pleasure from enemas. Go figure. Your results may vary.
 


REM made a career with 5 songs!
Midnight Oil with just 2...!

No, this is none of them!
PS
Out of context - but just thinking...
Why we never-ever hear of
"3 Doors Down" here...?
Any reason?


Very nice!
Preachy barking sucks; be it from Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton, Osama bin Laden or these tone deaf zealots.
Some people get pleasure from enemas. Go figure. Your results may vary.

 romeotuma wrote:


This song is soooo very groovy...  we be dancing...


 
 I hear dat !



This is one cool poem to dance to—

Like a heat wave breaking as you smell warm rain,
We can fade away or start over again.
In a high five season in a cut-price land
The southern cross don't shine on that invisible hand.

Where will you live when the fields are falling?
Where will you live when the feedlot's calling?
Everybody standing in the treetops saying
Where will you live? Where will you live?
Everyone doesn't have to beg or borrow—
We're going to move into a new tomorrow.
Where will you live? Where will you live?

Invisible hand clutching at the throat—
Statistical sham an emperor's rags— it's sad— it's so sad.
Because equality's the only plea green fields are burning.
The reef's on fire and bellies are swollen— they're hurting.
A willing victim's— I don''t think so.
We won't be pinned against the wall.
There is no slogan that can feed you.

Where will you live when the fields are falling?
Where will you live when the feedlot's calling?
Everybody standing in the treetops saying
Where will you live? Where will you live?
Tearing up your ticket for the new Titanic
Heat haze refugee no-one panic?

Where will you live when the water comes over?
Where will you live? Where will you live?
Take a deep breath— don't have to drown in sorrow.
Take a deep breath for a new tomorrow.

The bow will break the cradle fall.
We won't be jammed against your wall.





This song is soooo very groovy...  we be dancing...


omg!... they sound just like Foreigner! I love it!
 Shimmer wrote:
Parts of this are merely boring, and the rest is really, really bad.
 
amen
 romeotuma wrote:


This song is marvelous...  love it...  such a diamond...


 

OK, OK, OK - I love 'em, too! OK, already?!?
I hate to hate a midnight oil song but this sucks.


This song is marvelous...  love it...  such a diamond...






This song is soooo cooool...  love it...


More Midnight Oil!


Absolutely awesome...  love it...


A much better band then their handful of U.S. hits would suggest. Nobody wants their music to be political anymore - at least not without running the risk of alienating someone or sounding sanctimonious.  These guys were guilty of neither!




Yeah...  love it...




This song is groovy...


c'mon peple it's a great song
makes me wnat to go to melbourne and be a bohemian
I really don't like these folks' music.
I miss the Oilers{#Dancingbanana}
 jagdriver wrote:
How do we sleep when our beds are burning.....

{#Stop}

 
I almost went there until I read your post! lmao. Works as an instrumental, though.



cool...


I love it when this song is playing on my iPod while running...you just keep going faster. Energy {#Bananajumprope}

Parts of this are merely boring, and the rest is really, really bad.
I can't think of any other group whose music I find simultaneously irritating yet enjoyable.  This is especially true of Garrett's voice.

kickass guitar riff
the lyrics finally click
i give it a 12

i'm so easy

How do we sleep when our beds are burning.....

{#Stop}

Tone Problem

This is hideous.
E_A_D_G wrote:
SoCal psychedelia riff. Good stuff.
Yeah, they cut their teeth on the northern beaches of Sydney in the 70's.
reason06 wrote:
tired of being preached at by midnight oil. some is okay.
At least they are not whiney like Neal Young!
I was in the middle of a survey of a three-disc set of Tone Poems by Jean Sibelius when I decided I'd check what was on RP. Hmm...a Tone Poem by Midnight Oil. I love those funny occurances in life. I like this song, too.
tired of being preached at by midnight oil. some is okay.
What is this, a buffet line? Both vocals and riffs make this song groove. Can't have your Oils with one and not the other.
rocco1207 wrote:
thumbs way up on the guitar riff.... and way down on the lead vocals, as per usual for MO
Exactly.
Really a bad song. :puke:
SoCal psychedelia riff. Good stuff.
thumbs way up on the guitar riff.... and way down on the lead vocals, as per usual for MO
I know, despite my snark, I did appreciate PG's consistency as a curmudgeon. And he was much more inventive than, say, Tex below, who is pathetically off-base about Peter Garrett. Garrett's now Minister of the Environment in Oz. Nothing contrived about that. And what have YOU done lately, Tex?! robco1 wrote:
:lol: :roflol: :lol: Still you gotta admit, ol' Physicsgenius made quite an impression. Maybe an itching and burning impression, but still... :wink:
Great band, great politics, powerful lyrics, and I like the song even though it's not one of my faves. Great album, too, however Capricornia probably ranks behind Earth and Sun and Moon / Diesel and Dust / Blue Sky Mining in terms of its greatness.
xkolibuul wrote:
Yeah, charming like hemorrhoids.
:lol: :roflol: :lol: Still you gotta admit, ol' Physicsgenius made quite an impression. Maybe an itching and burning impression, but still... :wink:
Cool intro riff. Country Joe & The Fish - Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine.
Contrived babble...I can't stand this guys voice either.
Yeah, charming like hemorrhoids. robadr wrote:
You know, when you read a lot of his posts together, he has a certain cantankerous charm :)
robco1 wrote:
Choked to death on his own negative bile and self-satisfaction, most likely. Although I do kind of miss the bast... uh, gentleman. "Where have all the good trolls gone?"
You know, when you read a lot of his posts together, he has a certain cantankerous charm :)
25demayo wrote:
BTW, what ever happened to Physics Genius? Anybody know?
Choked to death on his own negative bile and self-satisfaction, most likely. Although I do kind of miss the bast... uh, gentleman. "Where have all the good trolls gone?"
jagdriver wrote:
One trick pony, these guys.
huh?
horstman wrote:
Wow, another physicsgenius wannabe! :clap:
BTW, what ever happened to Physics Genius? Anybody know?
One trick pony, these guys.
Just don't really dig Midnight Oil. But that's cool, because there is a good chance the next song will be something I like, and, who knows, maybe down the road I get introduced to a song by Midnight Oil that I like. That's what's so great about RP!
horstman wrote:
Wow, another physicsgenius wannabe! :clap:
TheLoneIguana wrote: Nah, he would have bashed the song and the politics. And the lead singer's mother's virtue. Ah, yes TheLoneIguana....you are beginning to walk in the path of The Master. But what is the lesson to be learned from the man who sings the virtue of politics? ~physica eruditus veritatum indegamus~ (by devotion to physics, let us seek the truth) yours in Jenius, oz.
TheLoneIguana wrote:
Nah, he would have bashed the song and the politics. And the lead singer's mother's virtue.
Ah, yes. You are beginning to walk in the path of The Master. But what is the lesson to be learned? <~physica eruditus veritatum indegamus~ (by devotion to physics, let us seek the truth) yours in Jenius, oz.
TheLoneIguana wrote:
Nah, he would have bashed the song and the politics. And the lead singer's mother's virtue.>Ah, yes. You are beginning to walk in the path of The Master. But what is the lesson to be learned? <~physica eruditus veritatum indegamus~ (by devotion to physics, let us seek the truth) yours in Jenius, oz.
siandbeth wrote:
Don't forget to donate to this great station! For every song you don't like there must be 100 you do. I think this is the best station out there myself.
:clap: :clap: :bounce: :yes: :yes:
siandbeth wrote:
Don't forget to donate to this great station! For every song you don't like there must be 100 you do. I think this is the best station out there myself.
... i reckon, i haven't got anythin' less than a five :good-vibes: 's all good mate! :high-five: love oils!
Don't forget to donate to this great station! For every song you don't like there must be 100 you do. I think this is the best station out there myself.
horstman wrote:
Wow, another physicsgenius wannabe! :clap:
Nah, he would have bashed the song and the politics. And the lead singer's mother's virtue.
to quote Bugs Bunny...Aaaaaaahhhh Shaaadup!
Crapricornia. (Too easy, I know, but I couldn't pass it up)
Jamoo2003 wrote:
Er, right. Human rights is such an outlandish idea.
What Moose is referring to is the line in Beds are Burning about giving the land back to indigenous people. So, Australians of European and Asian descent should leave Australia and go back to where they came from, same for all those in North and South America, the Saxons should evacuate Great Britain, along with all those of Norman and Danish heritage, the Turks should leave for Mongolia, the list goes on and on and as far back as recorded time. And the indigenous people of any land aren't so indigenous if you go far enough back. Pretty absurd, I'd say, and having nothing to do with human rights.
ginger wrote:
It sounds like that in the U.S. too. :confused:
That's what it is! I couldn't remember the name of the song.. This song is kinda lame, a solid 3.
:cool:
Midnight Oil tune i was not aware off - ROCKIN'
And you're setting the standard for being taken seriously? :rolleyes: mooseisadick wrote:
Good band, goofball politics.
mooseisadick wrote:
Good band, goofball politics.
Wow, another physicsgenius wannabe! :clap:
tro_73 wrote:
In Spain,when they play Midnight Oil on any radio station now and then,it sounds always "beds are burning". Barcelona,Spain
It sounds like that in the U.S. too. :confused:
mooseisadick wrote:
Good band, goofball politics.
So, mooseisadick, is that your modus operandi -- wait! don't tell me! Your screen name used to be jokes and jokes and jokes
Good band, goofball politics.
In Spain,when they play Midnight Oil on any radio station now and then,it sounds always "beds are burning". Barcelona,Spain
LittleMike wrote:
Why are they not popular here?
Might be because they can't sing
crockydile wrote:
Crocky love heem voice.
Crocky funny. These guys don't get enough cred in the states.
Why are they not popular here?