My Father’s People

This song was inspired by my childhood years growing up on a farm in the South Waikato and reflects on the changes in our lives since those simpler times of the 1950s. The title of the song ” My father’s people” refers to the Swedish and Danish settlers who literally did clear entire forests to make viable farms.

My family did pack a big truck and move to the city – and several times since then I’ve used a similar truck to move my belongings and my life to the next phase. This photo was taken at one of those times – moving our belongings to temporary storage at my brother’s house in Putaruru, back close to the farm where I grew up.

My father’s people cleared a forest
Drained all the swamps, broke in the farms
By the Old Taupo Road we baled in summer
Fed out in winter and hand-fed the calves

Sundays down at the hall
Mrs Mac played “The Sweet Bye and Bye”
And Old Pop Findlay was still waiting on the Lord
To lift him up to his home in the sky.

Time came, we moved to the city
Packed a big truck, drove over the hill
But deep down inside we were sons of the forest
I guess in my heart I’m living there still

Mrs Mac, hair in a bun
Upright as her old piano
I hear her daughter is living in Sydney
Last week, her grandson emailed from Rio

Those barefoot days are shadows now
That walk so short in the high-noon garden
But later today I swear they did lengthen
As the sun was setting west of Eden

There’s a place I go, you can’t map it on Google
A place I go, you can’t get there by car
A place I go, I might find my brother
The place I go, it’s a place in my heart.

Copyright Niels Gedge, February 2008
Niels Gedge lead vocals, guitar
Amanda O’Connor, vocals
Marian Price-Carter, vocals
Helen Dorothy, pump organ

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