Midnight Oil

Australian band

Midnight Oil (known informally as "The Oils") are an Australian rock band composed of Peter Garrett (vocals, harmonica), Rob Hirst (drums), Jim Moginie (guitar, keyboard), Martin Rotsey (guitar) and Bones Hillman (bass guitar). The group was formed in Sydney in 1972 by Hirst, Moginie and original bassist Andrew James as Farm: they enlisted Garrett the following year, changed their name in 1976, and hired Rotsey a year later. Peter Gifford served as bass player from 1980–1987.

The Australian rock band Midnight Oil in concert at the Royal theatre, Canberra, 2009
Midnight Oil in concert lors du festival des vieilles charrues 2017.

Song lyrics


Note: All songs written by Garrett, Hirst, Moginie, except as noted.

  • There's a shit storm a'coming,
    I feel it coming soon.
    There's a time and a place,
    And a moment in space
    When the fat boys call the tune.
    There's a bubble a bouncing
    And it's bouncing my way.
    There's two sticks in the powderworks,
    I think it's gonna blow today.
    • "Powderworks", written by Hirst, James, Moginie, Rotsey
  • The rich get richer,
    The poor get the picture.
    The bombs never hit you when you're down so low.

    Some got pollution,
    Some revolution.
    There must be some solution but I just don't know.

  • Sing me songs of no denying,
    Seems to me too many trying,
    Waiting for the next big thing.

    Will you know it when you see it?
    High risk children, dogs of war.

  • People wasting away
    In paradise.
    Going backwards, once in a while,
    Taking your time, give it a try.
    What do you believe, what do you believe?
    What do you believe is true?
    Nothing they say makes a difference this way,
    Nothing they say will do.
  • Breaking me down - lunatic noises.
    Breaking me down - desperate voices.
    Breaking me down - phone is blistering.
    Breaking me down - death by listening.
  • Everybody say god is a good man.
    Ah, clock on the world,
    Driving a dump truck up to the sun,
    A sigh in the human heart.

    I look at the clock on the wall,
    It says three minutes to midnight.
    Faith is blind when we're so near.

  • The time has come to say fair's fair,
    To pay the rent, to pay our share.
    The time has come, a fact's a fact.
    It belongs to them, let's give it back.

    How can we dance when our earth is turning?
    How do we sleep while our beds are burning?
    How can we dance when our earth is turning?
    How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

  • And if we think about it,
    And if we talk about it,
    And if the skies go dark with rain,
    Can you tell me, does our freedom remain?
  • Put down that weapon or we'll all be gone,
    You can't hide nowhere with the torchlight on.
    And it happens to be an emergency.
    Some things aren't meant to be,
    Some things don't come for free.
    • "Put Down That Weapon"
  • Sign says honeymoon to rent,
    Cloudland into dreamland turns.
    The sun comes up and we all learn
    Those wheels must turn.
  • We don't serve your country,
    Don't serve your king.
    Know your custom, don't speak your tongue.
    White man came took everyone.
  • 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.

    • "Blue Sky Mine", written by Garrett, Hillman, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey
  • Few of the sins of the father
    Are visited upon the son.
    Hearts have been hard,
    Hands have been clenched in a fist too long.

    Our sons need never be soldiers,
    Our daughters will never need guns.
    These are the years between,
    These are the years that were hard fought and won.

    • "Forgotten Years", written by Hirst, Moginie
  • The backbone of this country's broken;
    The land is cracked and the land is sore.
    Farmers are hanging on by their fingertips.
    We cursed and stumbled across that shore.
    What for?
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