Don’t Let It Go

When this happened I was bugged out that we were putting our big naval fleet up against asylum seekers in small boats. The language was militaristic, the information was tightly controlled: it seemed bloody obvious we were being taken for a ride at a hefty price. Even though offshore detention has been loudly criticised, I’m not sure a lot of people comprehended just how bad it could be. One centre is in Nauru, described as effectively a dictatorship. Another is Manus Island, with a population a bit smaller than Wagga Wagga. I don’t need to repeat what’s been written elsewhere but suffice to say that prospects for both asylum seekers and locals give little cause for hope.

I started writing to Jaytee’s remix of Sietta’s Let It Go without telling them, settling on a 16 bar verse and 16 bar chant-chorus. Then Manus Island happened and I scrapped the chant and wrote a second 16 bar verse, adding bridge/outro ideas.

I called my brother Matt for advice on getting a video done and we both brought up Dan Ilic’s name. Although I’ve never worked with Dan before, he was instantly on board and had access to footage he shot in Afghanistan. I asked him to drop by the studio where I was recording, partly to get him energised to actually follow through but little did I know he’d already done the bulk of the editing. He rocked up with a camera and jumped in the booth to record as I was putting down vocals. In the end he turned the whole thing around in little more than 48 hours. For free. Legend.

A little over 10 years ago The Herd released 77%, written by Ozi Batla. Nothing has changed. We’re riddled with xenophobia and it’s crippling our ability to produce a humane and sustainable policy around the arrival of people seeking asylum.

Follow Asher Wolf for the most bullshit free insight into what’s going on.

Lyrics

Treated like soft invading hordes
Part of a descending force
Nothing that the navy can’t sort
We don’t want to know about the
men and the women and the children on board
Don’t fix it block it that’s the logic
We watch with our hands in our pockets
Drop the access, stop the facts, get Morrison
To come in with a chopping axe head
That’s in our name now
Even though it’s really more of the same now
Here we are again don’t you think it’s funny how
What these ministers about when they choose to go the same route
Not our problem like fuck you world you solve em
International security is what we told em
The big grey warship towered the little boat
Big spend for the big vote yoyo
Put em on a one way trip to Manus
Throw a billion on the boatloads make em vanish
Wash the blood off our hands that inflict the damage
We can pretend we care when our hearts are savage
If they react and they riot
Even if they’re attacked in the dead of the night
Either way they’re the villain we don’t want em in sight
Too bad look the loss of a life
You’ll be sent nowhere and you might die
We don’t care about your back story don’t try
77% of us abide by being more brutal
We get what you want with a roaring approval
Act like that doesn’t leave a stain
What is being done in our name is inhumane
Says a lot about us and Australia’s shame
Fuck you if you don’t feel the same

This is how we let it go just turn your back
This is how we let it go when we don’t have your back

We’ve got a problem with some refugees
Better bring the military in
Operational, we can’t tell a soul
We’ve got a problem with some xenophobic fucks
Shake em down, wake em up
Take em down, pull em up