Category Archives: song lyrics

Before the War and other songs live on Radio

Back in December 2017 Luke did this live session at Radio NZ

Around the 9:22 mark there is a song called “Before the War” It has not been released anywhere yet but one day we hope it will be. Starts at 9:40 mark. Based on a poem by an Iranian poet called Ardeshir.

Lyrics below

Before the War
Wish you could imagine
Wish you could believe
Some time ago I had a peaceful life

Just like you
Before the war
Just like you

Before the war
I go to work in the morning
I would come home in the evening

You maybe don’t believe that
I belong to some people
Some people belong to me

Just like you
Before the war
I could run, ..could hide

I could do anything
Always felt so happy
I had the deepest feeling of happiness

My eyes were shining believe me
I could see all the colour
Before the war

Just like you
Before the war
Never ever let it happen again

To anybody around the world
Let the people have their peaceful lives
Health, home, family and a love

A feeling of belonging
Is their dream
Just like me

Before the war
Just like me

I wish you could imagine
Wish you could believe
Some time ago I had a peaceful life

To Be Perfectly Honest

Honesty is an elusive quality is it not?

“You don’t make money telling the truth”

So what do you do? Confess  to anyone who will listen?


I like the third option. My life in music has been one of a denial of reality in one sense and a keen awareness of it in another. It’s like there are two Lukes. The one who made Make Room and the one who made High Risk.  Working on the new album I discover a hybrid of the two.

The song – Honesty off the Reha album lyrics are below

Well I see you’re pretty young
And you’ve got a fine degree
And you look so beautiful
That you’d make the blind man see

When I saw you – I just knew
That you would be a friend to me
And I would be a friend to you
We could share some honest company

Honesty (honesty) means a lot to me
Honesty (honesty) means a lot to me

Cause a man could fall in love with you
If you gave him half a chance
But I wonder if this love is true
Or is it just romance

Just romance
Just romance

Honesty means a lot to me
Honesty, honesty means a lot to me

Honesty, honestly means a lot to me
Honesty, honestly means a lot to us – yes it does

Yes it does.

I wrote this song in the days when I visited Auckland to get a break from Dunedin. In those days no one busked. One day I was busking in Vulcan Lane  one very quiet mid afternoon in summer. When I say quiet…it was dead and I was playing at the High St end near the hot potato and yoghurt ice cream shop (a very popular lunch spot but it went broke on account of cash being extorted from the business on a daily basis).
A wonderful elderly gentleman was dancing to the music I played one very quiet mid afternoon in summer. When I say quiet…it was dead.

To give you an idea of how conservative Auckland was in those days way back in the mid 80s….The lady in the hot spud shop called the cops and had him arrested. The bottle he had been holding  was confiscated and left with her. She put it in my guitar case probably assuming it was a bottle of turps or something.Taking it out of its brown paper bag I discovered a brand new unopened bottle of Napoleon brandy.

Thank God things have changed. Nowadays you could dance naked  in Vulcan Lane and no one would complain
There was a girl who would often passed by  walking her dog .She was always friendly and appreciated the music. Few there were who did .So  bedazzled was I….and imagined her to be closer to an angel than a human. Young men worship beautiful women and this sometimes inhibits their ability to strike up a meaningful dialogue. Romance was out of the question….her being so perfect and unreachable.Just as well. Probably would hve been big trouble!

In the years since its dawned on me that society rewards  dishonesty. “You don’t make money telling the truth”…and commerce thrives on war.

But I wasn’t to know that then and still feel more drawn to the light than to the darkness but I’m just as much a creature of the night as the next guy…which leads to another song in another blog coming up soon


“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”
Virginia Woolf

“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. “One word of truth outweighs the world.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Be safe and please respond if you have a thought for this little guy

Human good will

Recently i returned to Countdown. This is what i saw.




So there it is. More like a correction centre than a shop. If someone wants to share music with customers surely that is a human right? The ownership of the land and building surely does not give the owner authority to prohibit human activity that is encouraging human goodwill.

Check out the parking contract. It’s absurd.


Check out the (The Sound) video Simon Raby directed which was shot in this same shop when it was called Foodtown The girl played by Zippora Seven has a shopping list of valuable, abstract things she needs to find.

Why in Gods name don’t the operators of these places offer some scope for human goodwill?

Why are mega shops only interested in the customers money and void of interest in the customer as a living breathing human soul?

I raised these points with the managers and they told me “You win” Limited Liability is a fantasy. We cannot keep giving human rights to money machines. “Man does not live by bread alone”

This is the age of the civilised robot

I wrote a song called “Shadow Of The Factory”
At that time I was working at a slaughterhouse
Hosing down beef carcasses and listening to Hamlet on my sony walkman…

Here is that song. BTW – my Best of Album is now on bandcamp

The headphone speakers were installed inside ear muffs
I was pleased with my innovation
My dayjob was merely theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Company performed Hamlet with me in my little world of slaughter

All day long I would ride up and down on my pneumatic platform high pressure hosing down the bodies swaying on their hooks
I had the cleanest job on the line until………

One day I was shown another job ..this time in the offal department separating entrails.
The guy who showed me this job was-I thought- just being friendly and letting me see another side of the work being done in our house of horrors

I told him I was very happy I didn’t have to work in his department and thanks for showing me another side of the works.

He told me to wait a minute while he had a chat to his boss When he returned he announced cheerfully “Guess what your new job is?”

In my spare time I used to get wasted in The Tai Pei owned by Eddy Chin. He didn’t book me too often cause I wasn’t a BAND. One act he booked called COOL BANANAS didn’t turn up. His response was “They not Cool Banana..they rotten banana”

I felt like a rotten banana myself in those days. I was writing my best stuff but the venues paid nothing for original acts (they still don’t) Furthermore no one knew what I was on about

I wrote the Shadow Of The Factory to unburden myself of the sense of meaninglessness I was feeling in my work. I invented a factory and a disgruntled worker and put them in a song

“I worked for years and your factory
You say there’s no more work for me
For what its worth I’d work for free
For what its worth in your plastic money
You phase me out
You phase me out
I live in fear
Cold as ice
Just as clear
That you only be so strong
While the power is on
When the big fuse blows
Gonna have to go
Digital watch don’t tick or tock
This is the age of the civilised robot
Profit for the big think man
Do you fit that big think plan?”

A disgruntled factory employee is laid off by the factory boss who later re-employs him as a golf caddy
First opportunity the factory gets to automate what he’s doing
And he’s gone
All done with “plastic money” by masters of high finance

The last verse has our disgruntled working class hero playing his part in the leisure industry
His boss makes him an offer he can’t refuse
He reflects thus
“Pretty soon you gonna say
I can work as you play
Hey Louie be my caddie today
36 holes and I plainly see
36 holes in the shadow
Of the factory”

So he gets a new job working on the golfcourse next to the factory he used to work in
Same boss lower pay the shadow of the old world cast across the new

I am told that the NSA is known as the shadow factory
I had no way of knowing this then of course
I will have to sue the NSA for stealing my phrase
Ha ha

“This is the age of the civilised robot”

We can survive but do we have to dump heart and soul to do it?

“Not worth to do that” as Eddy Chin would say. What do you think?

Duvalier – Haiti Revisited

Haiti has been the news lately because the big quake there was a year ago.
The Duvalier song (on Reha album) was written about Haitian history. Jean Claude

“The former ruler left Haiti in 1986 after a 15-year rule plagued by corruption and a crumbling economy.” After the quake Duvalier bizarrely pledged $8 million to the Red Cross.

He now lives in Paris and best estimates of his fortune are in the hundreds of millions – all suspected of being dishonestly obtained from the nation. Song lyrics for Duvalier are below with a player so you can listen to this song.

You took the money from my people
You took the bell from the steeple
You took my only hope away
Jean Claude Duvalier

And if greed were a virtue
I know that nothing would hurt you
If corruption were quaint
You’d be some kind of living saint

Duvalier Duvalier
you took the money and you ran away
Duvalier Duvalier
you took the money and you ran

Who was that beautiful lady
The one by your side
The one O so well dressed
The one you had to hide

Who was that beautiful lady
The queen of every shopping spree
Live a life of luxury back in gay Paree

Duvalier Duvalier
you took the money and you ran away
Duvalier Duvalier
You took it back to France

Now that suffering has come to you
And you’re scraping for a franc or two
When you know just what to do
I guess you’ll turn around

You took the money from my people
You took the bell from the steeple
You took my only hope away
Jean Claude Duvalier

Jean Claude Duvalier
Jean Claude Duvalier

For more see link below.

Update: Duvalier died in 2014.