Archie Roach wrote…

… these words – which of course – became this song:

Took the Children Away.

This story’s right, this story’s true
I would not tell lies to you
Like the promises they did not keep
And how they fenced us in like sheep.
Said to us come take our hand
Sent us off to mission land.
Taught us to read, to write and pray
Then they took the children away,
Took the children away,
The children away.
Snatched from their mother’s breast
Said it was for the best
Took them away.
The welfare and the policeman
Said you’ve got to understand
We’ll give them what you can’t give
Teach them how to really live.
Teach them how to live they said
Humiliated them instead
Taught them that and taught them this
And others taught them prejudice.
You took the children away
The children away
Breaking their mothers heart
Tearing us all apart
Took them away
One dark day of Framingham
Come and didn’t give a damn
My mother cried go get their dad
He came running, fighting mad
Mother’s tears were falling down
Dad shaped up and stood his ground.
He said you touch my kids and you fight me
And they took us from our family.
Took us away
They took us away
Snatched from our mother’s breast
Said this was for the best
Took us away.
Told us what to do and say
Told us all the white man’s ways
Then they split us up again
And gave us gifts to ease the pain
Sent us off to foster homes
As we grew up we felt alone
Cause we were acting white
Yet feeling black
One sweet day all the children came back
The children come back
The children come back
Back where their hearts grow strong
Back where they all belong
The children came back
Said the children come back
The children come back
Back where they understand
Back to their mother’s land
The children come back
Back to their mother
Back to their father
Back to their sister
Back to their brother
Back to their people
Back to their land
All the children come back
The children come back
The children come back
Yes I came back.

If you’ve gotten this far – then go and read what’s been said on it by SITTINGTALL at: Views from Western Australia.

Archie Roach is an amazing performing artist and Man for our peoples. This song resonates deep inside of most Aboriginal peoples in this country, in ways that most people here couldn’t begin to understand.

I think back on my mother often when I hear this. I think on her mother.  Her sisters and brothers. Their mothers – and all their kidnapped lives! In many ways it breaks my heart – each and every time. In others – I’m immensely proud: I’m part of a people that have survived such things – and it never ceases to amaze me. What is done, can’t be undone – but we can still grow from such things.

Or so I hope…

Belongum – Out!

About Belongum

People bring 'things' to me. Not necessarily PHYSICAL things as such - mostly just the loose bits and pieces floating around in their 'brain-box'. Sometimes, they also bring themselves - and THAT isn't anywhere near as simple as it sounds. I come here to pass some of this 'brain-box business' on to the ether world, and to empty my head. Besides folks - I love a good yarn - so come and join me!
This entry was posted in 1905 Act, Aboriginal, adversity, Archie Roach, Australia, Blackfellas, Broome, culture, fear, Indigenous, Islander, life, Took the Children Away, Torres Strait Islander, Western Australia, Western Australian, Whitefellas, yarn and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Archie Roach wrote…

  1. CW says:

    Thanks for posting this. It breaks my heart too, but I choose to believe that yes we can grow from such experiences. (I wish we were going faster and doing more on reconciliation as a country, but still.)

    And I hope Archie is doing okay since the loss of Ruby Hunter. It must be very hard 😦


    • belongum says:

      Thank Sittingtall – he started it! Yes… that was some of the saddest news I’ve heard this year CW. I hope he’s doing ok too – poor fella! Thanks for dropping by mate.


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