Maralinga Blue

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I found him hiding in the desert, in Camp 200X
Where you can tell how quickly everyone shot through
Food still in the cupboards, keys still in the trucks
Four years of eerie dust in every room

Some secrets never let you go Absent Without Leave
We were told, with him, to use whatever means
He said, I am Bluey Williams, they can stick their 20 shillings
I'm renouncing all allegiance to the Queen

Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the sand
Rule Britannia, down to every last man

Bluey said, I knew a sailor who saw the first bomb
So hot it turned the beaches into glass
Fields of fish with eyes imploring were floating on the water
The crew that day had such an easy catch

Then they shipped me inland and I saw my first one too
A light just like the coming of the Lord
The Brits were over-dressed, of course, like spacemen for the show
And we were just in singlets and our shorts

Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the cloud
Fists in your eyes, men, and turn to face about

Now everyone in country knows of the black mist
That killed the trees and made the children sick
Bluey said we used to trade with fellas camped out in the craters
That sure as hell made all our counters tick

But the officers would tell you there's nothing here of value
Just empty miles of nowhere else to go
And warn, you never saw those blacks, we're trying to fight the Reds
For the Empire of the white man, Blue

Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the dirt
Rule Britannia, and everyone must serve

Bluey said he wasn't coming back to base with me
Let my prison be to walk this poison land
So I said I never saw him, but I see him every night
Fallen teeth and weeping sores upon his skin

And I wonder about my daughter, still-born and whisked away
And son, who'll never walk nor ever speak
You know, for all their testing, the doctors never let me
Know the single, simple answer that I seek

Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the world
Rule Britannia, down to every boy and girl
Rule Britannia, Britannia rules us all
Rule Britannia, we can't ever let her fall.

~ Brendan Bonsack

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