Neil Murray

Neil Murray

BandPopAdult Contemporary

Neil Murray is one of Australia's most original and respected singer songwriters with a career dating from the early 1980's. He is both an intuitive and insightful wordsmith and a compelling performer. He would sit comfortably with roots, folk, country, rock and world music genres.

Biography

Neil Murray was one of the founding members of legendary Australian indigenous rock outfit the Warumpi Band which stormed out of the outback in the early 80's and lit up the Australian music scene with authentic true songs of indigenous experience. Rock songs in indigenous language had never been heard in the maintstream before. The Warumpi's released 3 albums and toured nationally and internationally over 2 decades, blazing a trail for other indigenous bands to follow and were an influence on established rock bands Midnight Oil and Powderfinger.
Neil Murray began a solo career in 1989 and has since released 10 albums the latest being "OWitness" thru ABC Music. In 1995 he won the APRA song of the year award for "My Island Home" - a song originally written for the Warumpi Band and re-recorded by Christine Anu.
His influences are varied and many but among them he would equally include well known names such as Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson with lesser known songwriter performers such as John Martyn, Patti Griffen, Don Walker, David McComb and Youngie Doug.
Neil Murray has also published a novel "Sing for me Countryman", a book of poetry "One man tribe", a collection of his song lyrics "Native Born" and has had one play produced "King for this place"
He performs regularly at festivals both in Australia and overseas.

Lyrics

Lights of Hay

Written By: Neil Murray

LIGHTS OF HAY
(Neil Murray)

I’m driving tonight out on the plains
Tryin’ to put some distance on a bad day
My high beam’s broke
And it’s hard to see just where the road is leading me
But I see the lights of Hay
Couldn’t be more than forty k’s
My tank’s on empty but I don’t slow down
Whatever goes wrong, goes wrong anyhow

To all the places I’ve ever been
To all the back roads and cheap hotels
I did my best work in your lonely rooms
Far away from loved ones, beneath a cold moon

I see the lights of Hay
Shouldn’t be too far away
I once had dreams, more than I could manage
Now all I need is a coffee and a sandwich

It’s easy to get trapped in a travellin’ zoo
You get to watch all the warnings you ever heard, turn true
It’s too late when you’re nowhere, with nothing
Not even sure what it was you wanted

Who can say when, who can say how?
A man’ll pay for his mistakes, somehow
Just when you think you got yourself in the clear
You can find out you’re paying someone else’s arrears

I see the lights of Hay
Couldn’t be more than thirty k’s
If I done wrong, then bring it on now
Let me in, or let me out

Warm breeze blows through my open window
Dark country out there, can hide dangers you don’t know
Some kind of judgement comes to us all
Don’t have to be a scientist to see the writing’s on the wall
When they’re raping the land, sellin’ out the farm
Carving up the mountains, helping ‘emselves to the heart
Stealin’ all our water, Foulin’ up the air
Is it any wonder the weather’s gone mad?

I see the lights of Hay
Couldn’t be more than twenty k’s
“Do you think we’ll make it?” I said to myself
Well if we don’t, let those lights go out

You'll have to follow

Written By: Neil Murray


YOU’LL HAVE TO FOLLOW
(Neil Murray)

My father stands at the back of the house
His hands are shaking as he went out
The night was dark
But he knew where he was
With the pain ever growing inside him

In the morning I’d yell out to his van
Hoping he’d hear, hoping he can
“Are you alive?” I’d shout
He’d reply with a groan
And we’d all be relieved he was moaning

And my father said there’ll be no sorrow
When I’m dead, you’ll have to follow
Let the music play sweet memories
Of the old time days, when he was king

My father worked the land with his hands
He didn’t have the schoolin’ to make other plans
He’d tackle any job
And jobs loved him
He was first to start and never quit

When he found he had cancer
We hoped he’d have time
But his body was stricken
His life was on the line
He said, “I didn’t want to end up like this but that’s the card you get dealt”

So I went with him to pay for his funeral
He did it with a grin, like it was business as usual
Let the music play sweet memories
Of the old time days, when he was king

Well my father’s hand is held in mine
On his hospital bed, my tears drip like wine
He’d refused all treatment
Couldn’t take any more
He just wanted it to end
Still he signalled to me to give him a hand
To help him get up
To help him to stand
And I wished that I could have kept him alive
But you got to let go when it’s over

Well my father’s dead, but I still hear him talking
Sometimes round the shed, I feel that he’s walking
He says, “Stick to your principles, it’s the only way to be”
If you wanna get anywhere
Be happy
And my father said there’ll be no sorrow
When I’m dead, you’ll have to follow

Let the music play sweet memories
Of the old time days, when he was king
Yes, he always said there’ll be no sorrow
When I’m dead, you’ll follow

Where my people go

Written By: Neil Murray

WHERE MY PEOPLE GO
(Neil Murray)

Walkin’ in the fram forest
Walkin’ on a road where my people go
Walkin’ in the rain
Walkin’ in the cold where my people go
Pushin’ through bracken
Fern trees and scrub
Glimpse a waterhole glow
Stealing through wire
Climbing over posts where my people go

Making fire, making heat
Cooking on the coals where my people go
From ridgeline to valley and distant mountain peak
Where my people go
In the middle of the day
Two eagles fly away
I wonder what they know
In the shade of a Blackwood I rest my weary bones
Where my people go

Trackin’ stars overnight
Risin’ with the sun where my people go
Crossing a swamp
Studying the swans where my people go
Just a dot out on a great trackless plain
Thinking I was home
Walking all day with the wind in my face
Where my people go

Walkin’ on Kirrae
Walkin’ on Tjapwurrung
Where my people go
Following a river
Following a song
Where my people go
Scars on ancient redgums
Secrets all their own
I wonder what they know
In the deep of the night I hear a mopoke cry
Where my people go

Discography

LP's-Calm & Crystal Clear ( 1989)
These Hands ( 1993)
Dust (1996)
The Wondering Kind (1999)
Going The Distance ( 2003)
About Time ( 2005)
2 Songmen - Neil Murray & Shane Howard Live ( 2006)
Spoken -2006
Overnighter- 2007.
Witness- 2010
See www.myspace.com/neilmurraymusic