Ballad of Lachlan Macquarie

from Say Their Names by David Rovics

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Statues have been coming down all over the place in 2020. In Sydney, Australia, Stephen Langford was arrested for using craft glue to attach the words of the first governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, to a statue of the very same man.

lyrics

Ballad of Lachlan Macquarie

Lachlan Macquarie was a Scotsman who
Signed up to serve the British crown
He traveled round the world to America
Not long after that he headed down
To his post in New South Wales to be the governor
To expand colonial rule
Half of Sydney was named after him
Everybody learns his name in school

Just don't put Macquarie's words beneath his statue
If you do, his defenders might arrest you

Lachlan Macquarie was a governor
Who opened schools and hospitals
His aim was to civilize a nation
In the interests of himself and capital
He was a raging alcoholic and a bad businessman
But you could say he did his best
To broaden the global dominion of
A project they call the Christian west

Chorus

Lachlan Macquarie stole children from
Their parents, and never gave them back
And when Gundagarra and Dharrawal people resisted
He ordered his soldiers to attack
He said make the Aborigines your prisoners
Shoot them and hang them from the trees
So as to strike fear in the surviving Natives
In order to bring them to their knees

Chorus

Repeat first verse

credits

from Say Their Names, released October 3, 2020

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
Ian McMillan, BBC

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