Does anybody know what this song is called?  It's apparently inspired by Paul Hester's father and was performed by the Mullanes during the 1985 Coaster to Coaster tour.  There are parts of it that sound like they eventually evolved into "When You Come" but its definitely a completely different song.

 

When the band played it they would start with the sound of wind blowing across the desert and some Australian song birds chirping.  Then the lyrics go:

 

Taking water 'cross the desert to my dad

Taking water 'cross the desert to my world

Drive across in any direction

When I get back I don't even know where I been

 

Drinking water in the desert is so good

I hear nothing, just the sound of my throat

If you find footsteps, you'll find me

When I get back I don't even know where I been

 

And the reasons flow against my will

Well they drag me ashore

I was pulled up heaving from the bottom of the ocean

Their faces show that they won't give in

Now the twelve man jury's hung

I was pulled up heaving from the bottom of the ocean

 

Drinking water in the desert is so good

I hear nothing, just the sound of my throat

If you find footsteps, you'll find me

When I get back I don't even know where I been

 

Taking water 'cross the desert to my dad

Taking water 'cross the desert to my world

Drive across in any direction

When I get back I don't even know where I been

 

And the reasons flow against my will

Well they drag me ashore

I was pulled up heaving from the bottom of the ocean

Their faces show that they won't give in

Now the twelve man jury's hung

I was pulled up heaving from the bottom of the ocean

 

The truth be known

There's so much to drink there

And the stories flow

I could listen forever

 

Out of all the Mullanes songs that never ended up being recorded or released, this one is probably my favorite.  Neil and Paul sing the entire song in harmony, which makes me think it might be a Paul Hester original.  At the very least it's a co-write between Neil and Paul.  It may have been called "Running Water", but I don't have confirmation of that.  I also can't find any mention of this song in the Something So Strong book, though it does mention a lot of other early Mullanes tunes.

Original Post

Reading this old thread I wonder if this song isn't "The Creek Song" co-written by Paul and Neil.  Here's how the song is listed in the BMI database:

 

CREEK SONG (Legal Title) BMI Work #13023765 Songwriter/Composer Current Affiliation CAE/IPI # FINN NEIL MULLANE APRA 60718881 HESTER PAUL NEWELL APRA 200949392 Publishers ROUNDHEAD MUSIC BMI 208721484 Additional Non-BMI Publishers

 

The song doesn't specifically mention creeks, but when getting water for your dad you're going to need a source.  And, while the ocean is mentioned throughout the song, you can't drink the water so it's more likely you'd be getting your water from a creek.

 

 

And while I'm on the topic of The Mullanes, "Oblivion" is actually a much more interesting track than I first gave it credit for.  The lyrics are quite cynical of New Zealand and are almost like a conversation between Neil and someone else about whether to continue to live in New Zealand or move away to some place more relevant.

 

Here are all the lyrics I could pick out of the song.  You can try to figure there out for yourself here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ3v04MuIMk

 

Oblivion

Who said we're from the ….
Who gives a sh*t where I come from
There's sheep, there's hills, there's green
We are out of the way heading for oblivion

?Easy to waste the days,? easy to live in
Like the country I forget about ambition
When the light goes up you'll all want to know us

But when you say you've got to move
I don't know why
When will I find out for myself
I don't know why

…?
…?
… Friday night

You want a quiet place to settle in Dunedin
?In a quite place surrender to their dreaming?
?The men on the move,? there's poets on the corner
Mountains to the sea, one extreme to another

But when you say you've got to move
I don't know why
But when will I find out for myself
I don't know why

 

Who said we're from the ….
Who gives a sh*t where I come from
There's sheep, there's hills, there's green
We are out of the way heading for oblivion

?Easy to waste the days,? easy to live in
Like the country I forget about ambition
When the light goes up you'll all want to know us

But when you say you've got to move
I don't know why
When will I find out for myself
I don't know why

Hi all, reviving this old thread to ask if someone has information on the inspiration behind "Creek Song". I've heard it's about Paul Hester's father, Mulga Mike Hester. All I can find online is that he was a "bush man", whatever that is. Any information is welcomed.

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