TJ

From TheAlmightyGuru
Jump to: navigation, search

TJ is a indie rock protest song by Youth Group composed by Toby Martin, Danny Lee Allen, Cameron Emerson-Elliott, and Patrick Matthews. It was released as track 9 on Casino Twilight Dogs on 2006-07-20.

In an interview with Epitaph records, Toby described the song:

This was written after TJ Hickey's death in Redfern. TJ was a kid who died after falling off his bike while two cops were chasing him. At the time there was a lot of talk about whose fault it was - TJ's or the police. I wanted to write something about how it felt to live so close to where something like that happened. And how it was so easy to forget it happened at all. And how it was easy to pretend I wasn't involved. But we are involved in what happens in Redfern. Sometimes taking sides and laying blame is a way of negating our involvement.[1]

T.J. Hickey was a 17-year-old Australian Aboriginal boy from Redfern, New South Wales, who died while fleeing from the police. The police report stated that Hickey crashed his bicycle on a gutter and was flung onto and impaled on a metal fence. However, eyewitnesses claim the police clipped Hickey with their squad car causing him to crash and be impaled on the fence. Officers claim they pulled the boy off the fence and administered first aid until an ambulance took him to the hospital where he died the next day. But Hickey's family said the police violated their own protocol by moving the injured boy, and that the police in charge even sent away the initial rescue vehicle. During an investigation, the police officer refused to answer any questions about the boy's death for fear it might incriminate him, and he was cleared of any wrong-doing in 2004. [2]

I first heard this song after downloading a copy of the album. Initially, I knew nothing about the story behind the song, and just liked it based on its sound. The lonely whine of the steel guitar mixed with the rhythm guitar and Toby's mellow vocals create a forlorn feeling. I also like the call and response of the keyboard in the chorus. The crescendo of the final verse is very powerful.

Lyrics

Down in the valley, the industrial estate.
He slaloms round beer cans in his escape.
He never got nothing, in death even less.
What'd you say?
I bless.

Do what we like.
Go where we like.
Happy to see it says nothing about us.
Drive by the scene.
Holding our breath.
Relieved to see it says nothing about us.

Down in the chambers of law there's a blueprint,
To make sadness invisible, suffering a figment.
Rehabilitate some and just hide the rest.
Now who's guilty?
Confess.

Do what we like.
Go about our lives.
Happy to see it says nothing about us.
Read in the news.
Just shake our heads.
Happy to see it says nothing about us.

He was alone.
Fell with a silence.
His mother did separate the whites from the violence.
Love on your own.
Reap what you've sown.
I can't believe that our trains didn't even slow down.

Videos

Links

Link-SongMeanings.png