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from Drifter by Ian Bland

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one of the last old Fitzroy hotels
he was propped at the bar on a stool
drinking alone quietly sipping a beer
and watching the kids playing pool
while the six o’clock news
pumped out fashion and famine
to a room that neither listened or cared
he spoke through his beer, in almost a whisper
i guess some things can never be shared

he said i came from a place down near Maffra
the family'd always been on the land
when the banks were throwing round money
they all but forced it into my hand
but when things blew up in the eighties
the banks withdrew credit and charm
all i asked was a season
but those bastards they sold up the farm

scraped a living doing odd jobs for neighbours
it was a kindness they couldn't afford
when that dried up with the rivers and dams
it was time i severed the cord
so i drifted from township to township
hell i don’t even know half by name
while every farm has a soul of its own
to me every town feels the same

i worked loading trucks and down ditches
and factories where you struggled to breathe
each job fueled a burning ambition
just to make enough money to leave
but drifters are viewed with suspicion
and perhaps i was brought up too proud
so i made my way to the city
where i could lose myself in the crowd

i never quite got round to marriage
i doubt there’s a woman that brave
but to stand in a field at sunset alone
is all the company i've ever craved
now home is a rundown old bed sit
with a window looking onto a wall
and the only thing green comes from a can
graffiti the kid’s round here scrawl

but god knows i can feel their frustration
when the people with power turn their backs
politicians buy votes in the places that count
while kids round here fall through the cracks
they’ve never smelt air without petrol
or seen the sky littered with stars
and water is something that comes from a tap
and you use it for washing your cars

i’ve never got used to the city
still in a way it’s treated me kind
now country life’s just a memory
but it's one i can’t quite leave behind
sometimes when i listen to thunder
and the wind through the wire sings it's song
it touches my heart like a mother’s caress
and reminds me of where i come from

he went for a leak, so i bought him a beer
guess i should have checked with him first
he said whatever your reason
to buy a drink for a stranger
pity i swear is the worst
cause not every drifter is lonely
not every heart needs a home
not everybody is searching for friendship
you’re born and you die on your own
i’m happy just drinking alone

still he sculled down that beer
then put on his coat
and glanced down at my watch
said it’s time i was gone
but i’ll be here next week
and i might let you buy me a scotch
and the six o’clock news
promised a perfect weekend
blue skies and no rain about
he turned and he said god just one hour away
they’re losing their farms to the drought


from Drifter, released April 1, 2007

Ian Bland - Vocals & Guitars
Mark Stanley - Drums & Percussion
Russell McKenzie - Bass
Greg Hunt - Mandolin & Violin
Peter Anderson - Button Accordion & Tin Whistle


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Ian Bland Melbourne, Australia

Ian Bland - Melbourne based singer songwriter - musical influences include country, celtic, and folk with stories drawn from rural and urban Australia

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