The Forgotten Years

Album: Blue Sky Mining (1990)
Charted: 97
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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.
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillianSong Writing

A Soul Train dancer takes us through a day on the show, and explains what you had to do to get camera time.

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and Glam Metal go together from the Stryper frontman.

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.