Midland Highway: The Musical

by Daniel J Townsend

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    The journey from Hobart to Launceston now has a soundtrack! As heard on ABC Radio Tasmania (Sep-Nov 2020), Midland Highway: The Musical features ten songs about ten towns along this magical stretch of road. (Your car has a CD player, right? Buy this!)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Midland Highway: The Musical via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Get all 6 Daniel J Townsend releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Midland Highway: The Musical, Songs From The Great Pause, The Podcast: A Tale of Two Cities, A Tale of Two Cities, World Until Yesterday, and Iscariot. , and , .

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1.
By the moon's stolen light In the still of the night The spirits descend to the valley Come gather, they say, We'll sail away On the river, way out to sea In the dawn's frozen air The Bridgewater Jerry We come to see you go by Like an unspoken prayer, The Bridgewater Jerry We come to see you go by The hills fade away, Black swan turns to grey, The people awake from their dreaming The worries of night Are now clouds sailing by Silently, way out to sea
2.
Hobart, Saturday, we only wanna get away The traffic moves so slow With the parking meters we can't read And the mountain white with snow Nana's house is 200 ks, if you're flying like the crow But it always takes us half a day We're gonna stop at one red traffic light, The go and stop and go again Up the hill and down until we Reach that riverbend, The bridge, the golden arches, The roundabout and then My mother always used to say, When we get to Brighton we'll be on our way When we get to Brighton we'll be on our way Barely half an hour, but we'll stop there anyway Dad can clean the windscreen while the kids all run and play When we get to Brighton we'll be on our way That BP seems enormous And here's the reason why: The highway used to run straight through But now the place has been passed by The farms are subdivided now And the town it comes to life The families come to stay When we get to Brighton we'll be on our way When we get to Brighton we'll be on our way Barely half an hour, but we'll stop there anyway Dad can clean the windscreen while the kids all run and play When we get to Brighton we'll be on our way They say someone's buried treasure Just outside the town 40,000 summers come and gone into the ground The highway speeds you up But the stories slow you down It's such a pretty place Fifteen million mornings have brought you to today Stop and clean your windscreen so you can see the way Every child ever born just wants to run and play When we get to Brighton we'll be on our way When we get to Brighton we'll be on our way
3.
Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time Hey! Ho! Here we go! Midland Highway, moving slow Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time You can feel the paddocks grow (In your own sweet time) You can hear the cattle low (In your own sweet time) You can feel the paddocks grow You can hear the cattle low You can race the tractors! Oh! Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time Hey! Ho! Here we go! Midland Highway, moving slow Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time Bagdad down the road (In your own sweet time) Wheels are turning slow (In your own sweet time) Bagdad down the road Only seven ks to go That means seven minutes! Oh! Take a breath and let it go Cottages and mansion homes Cruise past Ballyhooly Road Up past Sunnyside and over Constitution Hill. Oh! Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time Hey! Ho! Here we go! Midland Highway, moving slow Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time Lord, Lord, Mangalore, you take your time And that's alright
4.
When the roving party gets here My husband will come home Me and the children will not be alone When the roving party rides into town They're hiding in the mountains They're out on the frontier The townsfolk gather, all wide in fear When the roving party rides into town The nights are filled with footsteps Soldier, magistrate, Undertaker, jailer drags the chain When the roving party rides into town The prison is made of sandstone My house is made of pine My husband is roving. The baby starts to cry When the roving party rides into town When the roving party gets here My husband will come home Me and my children will not be alone Me and my children will not be alone We will not be alone
5.
The Blackman River Bridge was built in the year of The Famine Rebellion, Ireland, 1848, they took a stand For nothing seen could come between the dreamers and the dream The dreamers and the dream All over Europe it was "the springtime of the people" In Germany and Italy and France the people were free An Irishman named Thomas Meagher had seen how it could be: Crossing bridges over waters deep, Walking where the grass is green Thomas Meagher to Paris sailed to see the new republic And he returned with hopeful heart, a new flag in his hands He said, 'Friends, we are divided now by one unholy stream, Unite and fight the ones who drown the dream!' Ireland in 1848, The Famine Rebellion Men who once were enemies, as one beneath the flag Ireland for the Irish! Yes! The English crown be damned! But Thomas Meagher was caught and brought to prison to be hanged Jail walls make some men small, but dreamers can dream alone in a cell 80,000 signatures spoke loudly one demand: 'Spare the life of Thomas Meagher, for good men must walk free' And the judge agreed He said, 'Where I am sending you are men of your rebellion And you must keep your distance from any Irish man. Van Diemens Land can be your chance to put away that dream; Autumn leaves upon the stream, Floating out to sea.' The Blackman River Bridge was built the year of that Famine Rebellion And Monday nights Thomas Meagher would hold a meeting there For Irish rebels cast away, planning their escape someday, Crossing bridges over waters deep, Walking where the grass is green, The dreamers and the dream The dreamers and the dream
6.
I'm in the Man O Ross Hotel and I just can't decide If I should order beer from Tassie's north or Tassie's south tonight Halfway up the highway Clock at half past five You can go half crazy You can lose your mind Drinking at the halfway line Drinking at the halfway line Halfway, highway, half past five Glass half full in the Man O Ross tonight I'm half inclined to order wine It's hard to decide on the halfway line There's a brewery on the North Esk River I'm half-thinking of The town that I was born in makes the red cans that I love I sure could do with one or two of Launceston's most fine Halfway, highway, half past five Glass half full in the Man O Ross tonight A can of "red" could go alright It's hard to decide on the halfway line Halfway, highway, half past five Glass half full in the Man O Ross tonight I'm half inclined just to order wine Because it's hard to decide on the halfway line There's a brewery in the southern half and I'm thinking of them too Got a Tassie Tiger on the logo and the lager cans are blue I sure could do with one or two of Hobart Town's most fine Halfway, highway, half past five Glass half full in the Man O Ross tonight Red can? Blue can? My, oh, my! It's hard to decide on the halfway line Halfway, highway, half past five My heart's divided and my throat is dry I'm half inclined to order wine It's hard to decide on the halfway line I think I really ought to order water At the pub on the border at the halfway line
7.
G'day, my name is Mick and I've been all round this land When you're born and raised in Campbell Town, you get out while you can I used to say that people stop here because they need to go (Get it?) But now I'm back here in my childhood home My mothers' side arrived in chains, my fathers' side was free Back when this little village was a scary place to be See the settler with his rifle? See Eumarrah with his spear? You can feel it in the air round here Slow down your wheels See how it feels You can heal in Campbell Town Slow down your wheels See how it feels You can heal in Campbell Town It's a busy little spot in the middle of the day But by sunset all the cars with kids and dogs are far away And in my father's house is where I'm gonna stay And I'll leave it to my son someday Slow down your wheels See how it feels You can heal in Campbell Town Slow down your wheels See how it feels You can heal You can heal I can heal in Campbell Town G'day, my name is Mick and I live in Campbell Town And I sit on my verandah and I watch the wheels go round and round I used to say that folks only stop here when they need to go It's still true, you know Still true
8.
Last night at the bar The men were spinning yarns Downstairs, St Andrew's Inn, Cleveland They spoke about a local ghost Some girl who steals your clothes Well, I drink my spirits, thanks. I'm no believer That's when she caught my eye In her dress so long and white By the fire in the early evening I went to ask her name But I watched her fade away A wisp of smoke, curling to the ceiling The moment it was brief And I'm not sure what I've seen I think I need some sleep I woke without my clothes Pale as a ghost Upstairs, St Andrews Inn, Cleveland Then I found them there Folded on the stairs Lucy, pinch me now. I must be dreaming
9.
This forest is born in the day's dying glow The Devil awakes when the sun's sinking low She's tough as the tarmac, black as this road Little white line around her throat I want to fold up this road like a flag Tie it with fences and walk down the track To a night before these high beams and highways This is Thylacine country, conquered by cars The Devil went down by the fence of a farm Broken and bruised beside the road See the little white line around her throat I want to hold you like my only child I want to run with you into the wild To a night before these high beams and highways I want to fold up this road like a flag Tie it with fences and drag it all back To a night before these high beams and highways and devils who die I want to run with you into the wild My precious child This forest is born in the day's dying glow The Devil awakes when the sun's sinking low
10.
Love is the open road Love is the open road It's a hopeful song playing on the radio Love is the open road Love is a tiny town It's a place you go even though the road goes around With a bakery or a convict bridge or a windmill house Love is a tiny town The highway is a symphony A million little melodies The highway is a simple thing A million little memories Love is my Nana's home Nana's house is 200 ks, if you're flying like the crow It always takes us half a day on the Midland Highway Love is my Nana's home, a tiny town and the open road

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The journey from Hobart to Launceston now has a soundtrack! As heard on ABC Radio Tasmania (Sep-Nov 2020), Midland Highway: The Musical features ten songs about ten towns along this magical stretch of road.

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released November 20, 2020

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Daniel J Townsend TAS, Australia

"A head full of stories, a soul old enough to have lived them, and a heart young enough to believe in their power to move us."

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