Blue Sky Mine

Album: Blue Sky Mining (1990)
Charted: 66 47
Play Video
  • Hey, hey-hey hey
    There'll be food on the table tonight
    Hey, hey, hey hey
    There'll be pay in your pocket tonight

    My gut is wrenched out it is crunched up and broken
    A life that is led is no more than a token
    Who'll strike the flint upon the stone and tell me why
    If I yell out at night there's a reply of bruised silence
    The screen is no comfort I can't speak my sentence
    They blew the lights at heaven's gate and I don't know why

    But if I work all day at the blue sky mine
    (There'll be food on the table tonight)
    Still I walk up and down on the blue sky mine
    (There'll be pay in your pocket tonight)

    The candy store paupers lie to the share holders
    They're crossing their fingers they pay the truth makers
    The balance sheet is breaking up the sky
    So I'm caught at the junction still waiting for medicine
    The sweat of my brow keeps on feeding the engine
    Hope the crumbs in my pocket can keep me for another night
    And if the blue sky mining company won't come to my rescue
    If the sugar refining company won't save me
    Who's gonna save me?

    But if I work all day

    And some have sailed from a distant shore
    And the company takes what the company wants
    And nothing's as precious, as a hole in the ground

    Who's gonna save me?
    I pray that sense and reason brings us in
    Who's gonna save me?
    We've got nothing to fear

    In the end the rain comes down
    Washes clean, the streets of a blue sky town

Comments: 11

  • Carl from PerthMy father contracted mesothelioma from working at Wittenoom in the 50's, he told me that they knew of the health impacts but kept it quiet. Bastards have short changed my father's life for greed. No return from the blue sky mining company, it angers me that these men were sent to a future death sentence.
  • Rnmorton from West Chester PaAwesome song, my favorite of Midnight Oil's work. I had no idea what it was about until recently but always enjoyed it, it had such drive.
  • Jonnyeclectic from WannerooIf you look closely, Graeme "Grayballs" Green can be seen carrying the bands equipment off a train in the filmclip. Midnight Oil's frontman, Peter Garrett, remarked "Green is an Aussie legend that shines brighter than any gem", a reference to Green's opal prospecting days in Coober Pedy where the clip was shot.
  • Esteban Erik Stipnieks from UnicoIf you look at the head stone in the video Freeze it at 1:42 you see the place of birth Yugoslavia on the Facebook page for the band they indicate that this was a Deliberate choice on their part since many immigrants to Australia who had been Displaced Persons were given the choice to work the mine as part of becoming permanent Australian residents. I liked the song but did not realize the significance of it till I visited my late Uncle Gints Stipnieks (he is mentioned in a book about the former chief of Australia's national library!) and my Uncle pointed out he was given a choice between working the Blue Sky Mine or being a lumber jack. He chose to be a lumberjack. Midnight Oil needs to be saluted for high lighting in the video the other part of the tradgedy.
  • Leo from Westminster 1, MdDefinitely and Defiant! Blue Sky Mining is nothing less than an absolute horror story about the tragedy of Wittenoom
    -a dark moment in Australia's history. In the title song to their best album, Midnight Oil speak out again environmental rape. The tragedy of Wittenoom is such that Aussie rock scribe Toby Creswell called Wittenoom "One of the greatest and most despicable acts of corporate bastardry the 20th Century had ever seen or witnessed. In this shocker of an Oils rocker, Peter Garret screams and writes in an Aussie rage "Who's gonna save me?" Peter gets the sad news that asbestos has claimed the lives
    of the miners. Peter takes action. So he takes the mining company to Aussie Court. Across the Outback back east to Canberra, the Desert Mine is found guilty of murder by asbestos. In Parliament at Canberra, Peter wins his case and he rages in his thick Brit-Aussie Voice as he wails the Harp "Never Again! The Case Is Closed! You Will Pay for What You've Done!
  • Phoenix from Warrnambool, AustraliaChina Jim, The song is about how a huge Australian Company screwed over it's worker's by not telling them of the danger's of asbestos and until resently took no responsability for their actions. This company owned the Asbestos mines "and" the australian sugar refineries. Cold Chisel's song Taipan - "C.S.R is the sugar-cane king"
  • Marcos from Orlando, FlIn America, a similar environmental disaster happened in Libby-Montana, where hundreds of residents have died from Asbestos-related diseases due to the mining operations in the Zonolite company (later acquired by W.R. Grace). A great book by Andrew Schneider and David McCumber, named "An Air That Kills", tells the whole story.
  • Dave from Sydney, AustraliaThis song has beautiful melodic verse and chorus and is sung with such power and emotion its almost scary!
  • Max from Karratha, AustraliaApparently, Blue Sky Mining was based on a book called Blue Murder, written by a sufferer of asbestos illness. Even today, the people incharge of the company and the mine are holding back compensation and support for the miners who are suffering from the blue asbestos. Hence the lines "The balance sheet is breaking up the sky" (the company is making a huge profit) while the miners are "caught at the junction, still waiting for medicine".

    I've lived up north in the Pilbara all my life. I've traveled all over Australia, and very few places match the areas beauty.
  • Jim from Qinhuangdao, ChinaI always thought this was a song of profound sadness. The narrator sounds like he's completely helpless to save himself. "And if the Blue Sky Mining Company won't come to my rescue/ And if the sugar refining company won't save me/ Who's gonna save me" Those two places are the last two places he'll get help.
  • Frank from Western Australia, WaIndeed this song is about Wittenoom. Situated now as a ghost town, or perhaps a town torn down, it is surrounded by the most beautiful country on earth but has the most horrible past. Many Australians still die from asbestosis from working these mines. Cool waterholes amongst a spectacular rocky country, spinifex and aboriginal rock carvings, kangaroos tamed by tourists...........Time stands still******
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Amy Lee of Evanescence

Amy Lee of EvanescenceSongwriter Interviews

The Evanescence frontwoman on the songs that have shifted meaning and her foray into kids' music.

Boz Scaggs

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Michelle Branch

Michelle BranchSongwriter Interviews

Michelle Branch talks about "Everywhere," "The Game Of Love," and her run-in with a Christian broadcasting network.

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The Devil

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The DevilSong Writing

Just how much did these monsters of rock dabble in the occult?