Australians in Europe

Lyrics

 

MES: So what if it goes all right, er, say... say it works out real good, would you be up to doing something, say, around like March, April? We could get it... I'd like to take it around to Liverpool, Manchester and places like that, y'know. Trevor Stuart: Yeah, you can have me until April the 20th. MES: Yeah, you got work on from there? TS: Yeah, going to Australia to do a show. MES: Right, OK. ​ (1)

Australians in Europe
Never ever breathe
Australians in Europe
Get a whiff of that antipodean breeze (2)
Australians in Europe
Higher! Australians in Europe

THINK.
Why did the Great Grandad leave?
Australians in Europe never see.
He was consigned to a boat, after using a huge great cleaver. (3)

Australians in Europe never ever....
Breathe...
Australians your biggest things invented  (4)
I have ever seen.
Because the boys use a map and they live in Berlin.
Your like a pair of dogs loose in McGregor's kiln, (5)
you know shit.
Australians in Europe
Wake up and suss the scene.
You'd better leave them parents, and try Hamburg to Berlin.
Your just a bloody Twister, so who do you think your foolin.
Australians in Europe

Notes

1. The song begins with MES talking with Trevor Stuart, who played Luciani/John Paul I in MES's stage play, "Hey Luciani" (thanks to Reformation for this information).

^

2. Antipodes are any two places on earth exactly opposite to each other on the globe (i.e., if one were to bore straight through the earth from one, one would wind up at the other). This is roughly true of England and Australia and New Zealand, so these are often referred to as "the antipodes" in England (the actual antipode of England is located somewhat south of New Zealand). 

^

3. From 1780 to 1848, Great Britain transported prisoners to Australia, particularly to New South Wales which was established as a penal colony.

^

4. According to Rich:

"We Australians are very proud of our big things eg Big Pineapple, Big Sheep, Big Lobster, Big Ned Kelly. They usually have gift shops attached. I personally climbed to the top of the Big Pineapple in the 70's (for you Brits a pineapple is what you would refer to as an 'aubergine,' not to be confused with a 'courgette' which of course is a watermelon.)"

Now that's weird--an aubergine is an eggplant. I have not been able to confirm this, but Rich ought to know (unless he's mistaken about what an "aubergine" is).

^

 

5. There seems to be a kind of electic kiln--used to fire pottery--called "Mcgregor's." Thanks to superjudge on the Fall online forum, who speculates MES may be saying something akin to "a bull in a China shop." And Danny points out that a pair of andirons with a grill between them is called a "firedog."

^

Comments (11)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 20/03/2014
These dogs might be described as "loose" in a kiln:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andiron
Rich
  • 2. Rich | 22/02/2016
"Australians your biggest things rejected"
We Australians are very proud of our big things eg Big Pineapple, Big Sheep, Big Lobster, Big Ned Kelly. They usually have gift shops attached. I personally climbed to the top of the Big Pineapple in the 70's (for you Brits a pineapple is what you would refer to as an 'aubergine,' not to be confused with a 'courgette' which of course is a watermelon.)
Mark
  • 3. Mark | 20/07/2016
The conversation at the start between MES and Trevor Stuart:

[inaudible]
MES: So what if it goes all right, er, say... say it works out real good, would you be up to doing something, say, around like March, April? We could get it... I'd like to take it round to Liverpool, Manchester and places like that, y'know.
TS: Yeah, you can have me until April the 20th.
MES: Yeah, you got work on from there?
Trev: Yeah, going to Australia to do a show.
MES: Right, OK.
bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 23/07/2016
Thank you, Mark. I just listened to the single version and that is all quite audible, just as you have it, so I don't know why I did not have it.

It initially said:

Conversation with Ham A. Circa: Post House Motel.

I looked at that and thought, what the hell is that? I checked the lyrics books and there is no text for this song. Then I thought to check the Lyrics Parade and sure enough, that phrase is there.

I don't know if I ever knew why it was there--there is a good chance I just copied and pasted this from the LP. Does anyone know what the hell that is?
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 11/10/2016
"Conversation with Ham" comes from the "Sinister Times" promo newspaper:

Image
T.L.B.
  • 6. T.L.B. | 13/12/2017
I've always heard the first line as "Australians in Europe never ever breed", rather than "breathe". It makes more sense to me in the context of the rest of the lyric, ie: putting down Australians. Breed is obviously a word usually used to describe animal behaviour. You also get the sense of the Australians being an alien race, which I guess he wants to convey. If you listen to the first time he sings the line, the last drawn out syllable seems tobea 'd' rather than an 'e'.
I also think the "biggest things rejected" line later on is actually "biggest things invented" It's to do with the size of things in Australia, the vast distances, huge indigenous spiders etc.

I also think the line later on is "biggest things invented rather
bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt (link) | 23/12/2017
TLB, I think, rightly or wrongly, I hear "Thh" the first line.

Does anyone else want to give it a go and see if we get some kind of consensus--"th," "d," or "indiscernible/undecidable"? No lyrics book version on this one, by the way.

With "rejected," to me it seems very clear he says "invented," so I am changing that unless anyone objects.
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt (link) | 23/12/2017
Dan, what is Sinister Times exactly --put out of the Cog Sinister office as, as you say, a promo thing? Are they lyrics?

Do we know who wrote/edited it? Is there a version where one can see what it says under "Australians in Europe" or discern the "Ham" line? I get nothing useful from Google.
bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt (link) | 23/12/2017
And cannot blow up the thing you posted.
dannyno
  • 10. dannyno | 29/12/2017
Sinister Times was "official", c.1988ish I think but on sale for a couple of years. It was produced by MES-associate Dave Luff who was also responsible for both lyrics books. It has the same problems as the books when it comes to whether the lyrics therein are derived from paperwork obtained from MES or are based on what Luff could himself hear - or on fan transcriptions.
jensotto
  • 11. jensotto | 06/01/2018
Australians i Berlin: Nick Cave moved to Berlin and the Bad Seeds stayed there 1985-89. The Triffids were also playing in the same period.

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