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Willow Tree 04:08
Damp water marks down the wall It makes a real picture for me And the music and food and the talks that we had Are the kind that draw five pig faced people together Still we stayed for a while So we swing On the big willow tree We all glide through the air On the branches that hang We all know just where we want to be Sitting on the roof Oh the things we could see The fine clock on the town hall The tree on the hill And old Lucy next door Hosing down her front footpath God knows why she thought That it had to be clean So we swing On the big willow tree We all glide through the air On the branches that hang We all know just where we want to be It’s all because of the big willow tree Oh the memories I have Of that rambling backyard Are the ways I wouldn’t mind These days to be So we swing through the air Over Bob’s little garden The sheds aren’t real upright, I think they’ll fall down And four years ago seems like miles from here The floor boards all leaked In the best house in town So we swing On the big willow tree We all glide through the air On the branches that hang We all know just where we want to be
Well I can hear the fishing trawlers off the shore And I can see unshaven men They smell of fish and yet they’ve hardly begun The waves wash the cork on the dim lit shore Yes, I’ve been tumbled and sorted And I’ve been turned inside out By all this colour and movement And everything is how it should be Well, I can hear the women washing in their tubs And I can hear them sing their songs They wipe their sweat and then they splash The water round and round Slap each other on the back
Wobble 03:48
Thomastown 04:07
On stinking hot days When the ground burns your feet You stare at the ceiling The trains break your sleep The roads have got pot holes And your car falls apart And the milk bar attendant Would like to sell up And our neighbours hold on to The things they know best They sweep out verandahs And cry for their kids The primary school children On the gravel school yard They’ve got grins that start one side And go all around Happy as they play make-believe games With themselves for a while And it’s the older Greek women Who are the ones dressed in black Not new wave guitarists With cows on their backs And the Thistle Hotel is a dream on its own And every pool table has blood on the cloth The motor car workshop has dogs chained and tied to the fence for the night and the further you travel the longer it takes Your car takes a beating, the roads aren’t the best And I don’t think the Colbys have been out to Thomastown Somehow I doubt that they will Somehow I doubt that they will
Maroon Rust 04:01
Palau 05:34
Up on Palau they watch their TV shows A golden fortune spin the game show wheel The village boys stare at the Rambo man Deep water harbour brings the warships in And when I look over the village fields There’s a caterpillar tractor, there’s an aeroplane shed Poverty is when I’m sitting next to your place Saying bless O Lord and these American gifts And in the damp and in the tropical sun The summer rains will last a long long, long time They never told this story years ago And the giant painted turtle never fought like this Keep passing baskets up the pyramid line Pass the baskets up the pyramid line Pass the baskets up the pyramid line The summer rain will last a long, long time The tidal river twists and turns itself It folds around the mangroves swamp The shots were heard amongst the copra palms Bikini Atoll with a different sea You cannot do much when your house is next Caterpillar tractors by banana trees In the savannah by the island reefs They wash their hair with the buckets from the deep sunk well Up on Palau they watch their TV sets Right in the middle of the Sulu sea Little beads of worry, little beads of sweat Walking though the puddle gutter, got their shoes all wet keep passing baskets up the pyramid line Pass the baskets up the pyramid line Pass the baskets up the pyramid line The summer rain will last a long long time
Yellow Earth 04:52
The daughter works over ploughed hills Not much grows there The wind pelts the earth And the sound Is the sound of her hopes and her dreams Tied to the seasons’ heartless rounhds And her house built into the hill The millet stone she pushes slowly round in time Yellow river that she’s walked from hours away to wash the old man’s feet, sleep and hope for a change to come just wait for a change to come There’re no tears now as she walks over the earth the man arranged for her to wed the ancient ways a and she leaves, out there the river is the hardest thing to cross when you’re gone when you try to walk away just trying to walk away Peacock flies over the river River runs over the land The land it works the village And makes them tame
Sweat 05:47
He travels the long track He walks two thousand miles of desert sand A path they wandered down years ago Years ago They made their…Terra Nullius His story is old As bold and right as the earth he walks It don’t move, it just bides its time It always stays The story was told Terra Nullius Shame the legends crack the paint upon his face His knees at dance and they fly And they sing The poet woman has changed her name in shame Cool river bed it masks the bones Of those who died before our time Made their claim before Terra Nullius
Claim 04:55


Special thanks to: Mark Bishop, Penny Hewson, David Scarfe, Stuart Miller, Brian Carr, Chris Coe, Peter Schultz, Una, Karnie, Ross Giles, Phillip Bridie, Dennis O’Brian, Philip Greenwood, John French, Dave Ettelson, Michael Hall, Moira, Andrew Massi, Rosie Westbrook

Still no thanks to the person who pinched my bike!

2008 thanks to: Philip Mortlock, Chris Gough, Bernard Galbally, Jon Casimir, Rachel Connor, Peter Blight, Warren, Paul and all the gang at Liberation, John and Joe from Crystal Mastering, Bob Chettle, Dennis O’Brien, Karen Walker, Karin Berg, Rik Nicholson, Ed Gamble, Jaime Murcia, Philip Greenwood, Lynne, Winnie and Stella, Ross and Rosemary, Kerry, Elizabeth, Hanna, Oliver and Miles, Emily, Roland, Aster and Imogen, Michael, Jackson and Alice, Jane, Lewis, Eadie, Lauren and Wesley, Karen, Debra, Semina, Dan C, Anna and everyone who supported us along the way.

art and design: Russel Bradley, thehivedesign.com.au
Photography: Philip Greenwood, bigtrousers.com.au

All music by not drowning, waving Lyrics by David Bridie

This project was originally assisted by the music board of the Australia Council

visit: www.notdrowningwaving.com

2008 mastering note: We have sought to maintain the integrity of the original 1990 release, using Don Bartley’s master with minimal digital processing (slight noise reduction throughout and high pass filtering on tracks 4 & 5).

This is also why we haven’t included any bonus tracks.

Perfect as is!


released October 10, 1989

Recorded at Sing Sing studios
Engineered by Tim Cole
Mixed at Fast Forward Studios by Tim Cole except:
1. mixed and co-produced by Paul Kosky and
2, 3 & 8 mixed and co-produced by John French

Produced by Not Drowning, Waving


all rights reserved



Not Drowning, Waving Melbourne, Australia

NDW's music was haunting, evocative, brooding, sensuous and a million other words that excite people who type for a living. In record stores, you could usually find NDW filed under ambient or art-rock, ill-fitting labels if ever there were. Though they were often minimalist, they never made background music. Arty by comparison to other acts of the era, but they knocked out some glorious pop tunes. ... more

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