Song Lyric Sunday Theme: Letters

And when it’s dark he makes the highplains
On his quarter horse, with a canvas sack
And the stars they bleed together like the flames inside a forge
The Earth is molten, time is stretching on a rack
Yet he labours like a shadow across the meadows of the moon
A diver far beneath the breakers on the rocks
There are more bodies in the snow
Than there are things that you can know
But he knows you don’t have to die to walk the netherworld
It is a cinch to reach if you can climb a rock
Then when the air’s too rare to tell and the chill’s clear as a bell
He lights a fire and he settles down to read
He pulls a letter from the sack, makes a pillow of his pack
Then hears a wild dog somewhere yanking on a rabbit trap
Going crazy as it dawns on it
It’s beat
And the mailman reads,
“Oh baby take a moment just to think about me
You leave me living like a spinster while you’re bachelor free
You’re even more of a burden when you ain’t here at home
Please, you can’t leave me here on my own
I won’t find my way
Please, you can’t leave me here on my own.”

The mailman laughs under his breath
And scrutinises the address
Who’s the poor drunk that knocked up the Baroness?
Is it the youth that never talks,
‘Cept out of earshot with his horse
When no one cares less what he thinks or what he says
Or the old drover by the fire
Who quite enjoys the peace and quiet
He’s drifting off somewhere beyond the flames
Is it the stockman grinding beef
Between his horseshoe iron teeth
Until the wild dog in the rabbit trap falls quiet
He takes the rifle leaning up against a tree
And the mailman reads,
“I had to frighten off your girlfriend with a rock-salt gun
Ain’t it enough that I adore you? do you prefer them young?
Is she a schoolgirl or an ostrich? she’s all eyelashes and bones

Please, you can’t leave me here on my own
I won’t find my way
Please, you can’t leave me here on my own.”

In all his years lugging dispatches from the brides of overlanders
There’s been no Dear Johns above 7000 feet
But now here comes a welcome change
He starts to relish the exchange
Until a far-off shot rings brightly through the sleet
Then through the valleys down below, through where
No-one ever goes
Spreading thin across the lowlands before vanishing at sea
And now a subatomic silence settles fog-like
Across the highlands
It’s too cold here now and it’s too quiet to sleep
And the mailman reads,
“I know now why you languish in your doghouse of stone
To leave me withered so by loneliness I welcome you home
And how could any poor boy leave his Mother in the cold?

Please, you can’t leave me here on my own
I won’t find my way
Please, you can’t leave me here on my own.”

Liddiard with his blue heeler in 2010 in the Australian countryside around the time of this song and album!

Highplains Mailman by Gareth Liddiard was the second track on his 2010 debut solo album called Strange Tourist, well his only one ever! But he’s got a new band TFS or Tropical Fuck Storm for long, who I just seen live the other night and even wrote about that gig here on my blog which the first live show post of this year, I’ll link it here, if you want more? Also he’s played in another band called The Drones who have featured in my SLS posts before but this song is just too perfect for this weekend’s theme of “Letters” so he’s a fave songwriter, if you can’t tell yet!

Nice and mellow for Sunday morning listening, maybe a bit bleak, I think? The song describes a mailman who reads the mail he delivers to feel superior to the letter writers and when I seen Gaz playing these song live around the time of the release he described the highplains mailman as an “asshole” too.

It’s a very long track at over eight minutes long but on this album the shortest songs are just five minutes long and then the longest is over 16 minutes long. The music reviewers at the time said it’s like reading a novel but it’s a record or something like that? Plus it’s all just him singing and playing his acoustic guitar on all of the eight songs on this album, you know? This isn’t my fave track on the whole album but I think need to write more about it at some point.

The album Strange Tourist has just been re-printed late last year on vinyl with new album cover were you can see his face and not the back of his head, it’s pretty beautiful listening so yeah, I got it again! Here’s the link to label if you wanna buy it now? You get another photo of that blue heeler dog, if that’s not a selling point I don’t know what is? It’s one album I’ve been going to write about and list in my own personally fave albums which I’ve listed 99, so far and here’s a link if you wanna check that out too?

Anyway hope you or everyone did enjoy this dark song today?

Cheers 🙂


    1. Oh yeah, it’s sad and moody song for Sunday this weekend but I’ll try and do something more upbeat next time!
      It’s a total new project/band but a couple of older songs did get played, everything else was totally new but it was wicked cool gig!
      Cheers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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