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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GerryM Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (987* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 20 Dec 20

Dark-eyed Daughter
Phyl Lobl

Mother may I go out to swim?
Yes my dark-eyed daughter,
Mother I would go out to swim.
but at the pool I can't get in,
Because of the colour of my skin,
because I'm your dark-eyed daughter.

Mother may I go to the show?
Yes my dark-eyed daughter,
Mother tell me do you know.
which side of the theatre I should go?
Go where the colour of your skin won't show,
my darling dark-eyed daughter.

Mother will I go to school?
Yes my dark-eyed daughter,
Mother when I go to school.
will the children treat me cruel?
Children follow their parents' rule,
my darling dark-eyed daughter.

Mother will I go to work?
Yes my dark-eyed daughter .
You will go to work one day,
But only get half of your pay.
The other half will go the way
Of somebody's dark-eyed daughter.

Mother when will all this end?
I don't know my daughter,
Maybe it will end the day.
when heaven and earth will pass away,
And we will hear a great voice say,
you're welcome here …… my daughter.


Sandra has mentioned this song a couple of times, but I think the lyrics have not been posted to this thread. I quote from Phyl Lobl's website:

My first recorded song, almost my first song, was sparked by media coverage of the student bus ride led by Charles Perkins and University students in 1965.
An old traditional rhyme gave a frame for the song.

'Mother may I go out to swim?'
'Yes my darling daughter.
Hang your clothes on a Hickory limb,
But don’t go near the water.'

The last verse of the song was born not from a belief, but from realisation and dismay that many of those who did profess to believe could also hold racist views.

‘The 1967 referendum in which 90% of the Australian Community voted in favour of deleting sections of the Constitution discriminating against Aborigines showed goodwill. To enable Aborigines to become independent, self-reliant people this goodwill must be translated into active and positive attitudes. Together we must build a nation where dark and white live in harmony with growing understanding and respect for one another, mutually contributing to the enrichment of our Commonwealth. This is the challenge of these songs and of the present day Aboriginal advancement movement.’

This is still the challenge but now many aboriginal people show us the value of their culture, they show us the meaning of resilience, they show us the way ahead, they show us how to forgive, they show us their worth.

However, the journey for too many of our First People is still hard and slow. When I see the positive stories that do emerge I feel vindicated but humbled by their willingness to accept and continue the struggle. In this new era of recognition, there is still a need for deeper more positive acceptance of responsibility by us all to give value to their existence and to be of assistance. I ask if anyone finds the material on this site to be useful, and are grateful, that they make a donation to an Australian indigenous project or organization.

Access the Phyl Lobl recording here.

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