The Forgotten Years

Album: Blue Sky Mining (1990)
Charted: 97
  • Midnight Oil vocalist Peter Garrett told The Washington Post this anthem about the painful consequences of war "credits those who served, remembering that at times it was folly, as in Vietnam, and that at times it was survival, which is what World War II was."

    Oils drummer Rob Hirst wrote the lyrics, basing them on his family's experiences during World War II, and the band's keyboardist/guitarist Pete Moginie added the music.
  • Moginie explained to Blurt Magazine how the song came together: "'Forgotten Years' started as a song called 'Jacob's Ladder' which then underwent a substantial lyric rewrite with Peter involved (I think) and a few chord alterations as well, so now he could hook into it lyrically. Win!

    Rob's experience with his relatives that had fought in WW2, which inspired the song, was not unique amongst our baby boomer generation: my uncle, who had fought in France and Papua New Guinea and worked tirelessly for Legacy told me when he heard it and saw the video, it really summed up how he felt about the war and the sacrifice so many made. So I love that song."
  • The music video was shot in the World War I cemeteries in Verdun, France.
  • The Killers covered this in 2017 at the AFL Grand Final pre-game show in Melbourne.
  • This was the album's second single. It peaked at #1 on the Modern Rock chart and #11 on the Mainstream Rock tally.

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