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The Kiap Song

from Tabaran by Not Drowning, Waving

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A KIAP was a term for an expatriate Australian patrol officer in pre-independance days (1975). but is now still used to refer to "expats" in some form of authority. ie: Government Officers, plantation owners and businessmen.


The Strong Chimbu man looks straight ahead.
He hears his masta's voice, he's lost his nerve again.
The kiap shouts, the big buffoon
he yells his orders through the coffee trees.

That's the way it's done up here yeah,
the boss, the boys, the fight up here
that's the way it's done up here.

The hot nights roll on endlessly.
His face is crushed from twenty years of drink.
And the Townsville men all own plantations here.
They drink at the club with their Philipino brides.

That's the life they have up here,
the labour's cheap and strong up here, that's the way it's done up here.

And the coffee bean stench fills the air.
The heat falls off his brow.
And they've worked the fire since morning time.
For a lousy three kina a day, well that's all . (tasol)

That's the way they're paid up here,
The boss, the boys, the fight up here,
that's the way it's done up here.


from Tabaran, released October 10, 1990
Russel Bradley : drums, percussion ,
David Bridie : piano, keyboards, vocals
Rowan McKinnon : bass
John Phillips : acoustic guitar
James Southall : congas, percussion

Penny Hewson : vocals


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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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