Words and Music: Ruth Hazleton


A song acknowledging the horror of Australia’s frontier wars and the continued act of colonisation implied when we refuse to embrace ‘truth-telling’ about our colonial history. The song recognises storytelling, retelling and remembering as powerful forms of protest and healing.
I thank Patrick Davies from Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia, for his guidance in writing about this topic from a white perspective.
Patrick is a Waanyi defendant and descendant and a celebrated songwriter.
This track was sponsored by Pam Pemberton.


The Killing Times
Blood is thicker than water
On the wattle it was shed
The empire’s ‘fairest daughter’ stole country
And nobody counted the dead
This Southern land of silence
This broken history of pain
A frontier born of violence
The truth of white man’s shame
These tainted shores call for mercy
The rise and fall
To recognise the killing times
And tell the story over and over again
Do we dare to beg forgiveness?
And face the sins of yesterday?
To the dark work of man bear witness?
To the thousands of fallen; our dues and honours pay
The time has come for listening
Time to break apart the stone
To repair the broken heart of this country
And a people who never should have been left to grieve alone.


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