Homeland and The Year Of Meaningless Jingoism... 

It was January 1988 and I was propping up a pillar at the Collendina Hotel, Ocean Grove, watching Mick Thomas and Weddings Parties Anything show us how it was done. I had two heroes at the time, Mick Thomas and Shane Howard. Both had shown that you could get out of Geelong and cut it in "the big smoke" and both were (and still are in my opinion) fantastic songwriters and performers. Anyway, it was a Sunday evening and Mick was waxing lyrical about the hoopla that was coming with the bicentennial celebrations for 1988. I'll never forget him calling it "the year of meaningless jingoism". It has stuck with me ever since. 
Around the same time Fiddlestix was pushing hard trying to follow the path of our heroes , the Weddoes and Goanna. It was an era of politicized folk rock, of young men and women saying how it ought to be through boozy, smoke filled rooms in pubs throughout the land. You see things very clearly when you're in your early twenties and wondering how you'll pay next week's rent. You see an injustice, call it an injustice, and have another beer. Maybe you could write a song about it.....
'Homeland' was my attempt to hose down some of the meaningless jingoism of the day by pointing out that there was another side to the story. This land was not "our land", we had "acquired" it from the original inhabitants and treated them appallingly in the process. I guess most of us accept this as truth these days but this chapter of Australian history was (I think) often deliberately and conveniently overlooked until very recently. Maybe it still is when the interests of material wealth and culture collide. Shane Howard says it best in 'Heart Of My Country" with the lines:
 
"You look into the heart of the land and you have to choose, 
Whether the wealth you gain is worth the wealth you lose".

For Fiddlestix, 'Homeland' was our big statement. We wanted to make our point and at over six minutes long I think the point is well and truly made. More mature or experienced heads might have pulled the song back to three minutes or so (I was tempted to tonight actually) but we were young and not bothered about wearing out our welcome.
So, here it is, all the way from 1988, the full, unabridged version, "Homeland"! I hope you enjoy it..

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