A Long Way Down the Track ...

Years ago I recorded a few songs. It was in the pre-digital era, and I was only able to release them on cassette tape. Now that it's possible to digitise things I thought I'd make some available.

They Didn't Leave Home

Over a number of years round the early 1980's I was involved in a youth service offering various kinds of help to homeless and/or unemployed youth. It was following a period when orphanages were being closed and some of the young people thereby displaced were in need of extra help. I recorded this song later, reflecting some of my feelings about that time.

© J. Mackinnon 1991

1. I saw her walk across the street in liberated jeans
Five-finger discount, like life, come apart at the seams
Going to bed down somewhere as long as it's not alone
She might've been going nowhere but she wasn't going home

She didn't leave home, home left her, packed up and moved away
She didn't leave love, love left her, turned its face away

2. I met him in between times, just out of Etna Creek (*Prison)
From a refuge to a crisis, through the courts by the end of the week
Last time I saw him he dropped in to use the phone
He might've been calling somewhere but he wasn't calling home

He didn't leave home, home left him, packed up and moved away
He didn't leave love, love left him, turned its face away

3. They did the refuge circuit, saw the whole East coast
Knew every social worker and knew more tricks than most
Gathering scars like trophies, something to call their own
They might be going nowhere but they won't be going home

They didn't leave home, home left them, left in no one's care
They didn't choose the street, the street chose them, 'cause no one else was there

[download mp3 file]

No More Fishing

These next two songs are my attempt to put myself in the place of some of Jesus' apostles.

© J. Mackinnon 1985

1. My name is Simon, I'm a fisherman
With Andrew, James, John and Zebedee
We work the boats to keep ourselves afloat
In business on the Sea of Galilee
But now my world's been turned upside down
By a fellow who changes people's names
I'd only known him a while when he said with a smile
From now on nothing's gunna be the same

Chorus: From now on the fishing you'll be doing
Won't be fishing in the sea
You must leave your nets without regrets
From now on you'll be following me

2. He said to us, "Come and follow me
And I'll make you fishers of men."
Alright, I thought, I don't suppose it could hurt;
Little did I know back then
It all started with Cana at the wedding feast
When he changed the water into wine
We all got more than we bargained for
When we left our nets behind

3. And the walking on the water episode
I made a fool of myself that time
As a matter of fact I got in on the act;
It seemed the thing to do at the time
But I can tell you the others were just as scared
Sitting there paralysed
And later on when we were alone
Hey, just who is this guy?

4. And the time when he fed five thousand strong
All with a couple of loaves
There was a mountain of scraps, the crowd was rapt
He could've been king if he chose
But he turned his back and walked away
Just when we were getting on top
He didn't want the power, the crowd went sour
We wondered - where's it gunna stop?

[download mp3 file]

Apostle's Lament

© J.Mackinnon 1980 (Tune traditional)

1. I was a simple working man till the Master called my name
And I followed his path to Jerusalem where the crowds chanted and sang
Hosannah! Hosannah! We shouted for joy that day
But I sent my saviour out to die on Calvary today

2. When he first looked in my eyes I knew what must be done
I went and sold all the things I had and left my work undone
All my life, yes all my life I will follow the Master's way
But I sent my saviour out to die on Calvary today

3. When we were with him last night he looked into my eyes
And he said, 'Before the dawn has come, I will be denied.'
'Not me!' I said, 'Surely not me!' but then he turned away
Yes I sent my saviour out to die on Calvary today

4. Still my eyes are red with tears and still my heart's in pain
And still I can hear that lonely voice crying out in vain
'My God! Why have you abandoned me?' and I, I turned away
When I sent my saviour out to die on Calvary today.

[download mp3 file]