James Hickey blends heartbreak folk with up-beat, alt-country blues topped with a dash of pop. If the song is not about love, it’s about a suburb or a night that never ended. Allow yourself some sweet indulgence and enter the perpetuity that is James Hickey.
After the rain I am at ease. Like sheep I am happy. Only yesterday the creek crossing was dry, Water in pools stagnating, Fires raging, Smoke billowing against prevailing winds, Temperature inversions the bane of my existence, The world scraping me off the crowded planet into an ocean seething with CO2, C2H4 and bubbling with genocidal intentions, But after the rain she is my friend, The sheep are delighted, Or are they now concerned the sky is falling? Do they wonder what new terror awaits them with the new day? No. They are happy as they chew wet grass. Tomorrow’s blades they know will be sweeter still. I surrender to contentment. Even the rabbits scurrying as I approach are no longer invasive pests but crotchets and quavers staccatoing across a most pleasant stave. Life is apolitical after the rain.
After battling traffic in Sydney and ‘enjoying’ the sounds of traffic over breakfast this morning I penned this parody to Dorothea MacKellar’s “My Country”. No disrespect meant to that beautiful piece, but romanticism must meet satire once romance has left the building.
I love your sprawled-out cities A land of metro-plains Of enraged private drivers Of traffic and seldom trains I love her far-flung carparks I love her dual-carriaged streets The roaring of the engines The wide-tarred land for me!
The love of bicycle riders Who use so little space Of bike lanes well constructed Disappearing without a trace Strong love of these two-wheelers Who breathe sweet monoxide While within each motorist’s heart Inspire hatred as they ride.
A stark land of forgotten corner stores All tragically closed down The widened roads pass by them As commuters rush crosstown Green islands lie at impasse Where coils of cars stream oft Where pedestrians are a nuisance Skin fair and bones so soft
Core of progress, my country! Her pointless urban expanse Where children are endangered By the four-wheeled metal dance Each time they wish to venture Over street from safe foot path They offer up tiny lives To the gods of fender’s wrath!
Core of progress, my country! Land of street-lights gold For incense burnt in worship For another land parcel sold Over paddocks once so fruitful Watch rooftops glitter bright They send your sweet rain seawards Our oceans pay the price
A petroleum-hearted country A once unique brown land All terrors bestowed upon her Great wonder nature doth stand! Though your splendours once were many And your people very few Your land is now black, not brown As your skin colour once was too.