Union Songs

Friends Won't Let You Down

Words by Denis Kevans©Denis Kevans 1999
Tune by Denis Rice©Denis Rice 2007

- [play]

"Your friends will never forget you", the fluttering leaflet said,
"Your friends will never forget you", and then oer the valley spread,
The wide sky cowed in sorrow, and the eyes of the angels wept,
For a promise made by the soldiers that their leaders never kept.

For soldiers are there when you need them, they're there to suffer and die,
And to make the eyes of the angels weep in the depths of the tropical sky,
And the soldiers are there to laugh it off, and shoulder their blistering gun,
And fight anew in the mud like glue, and the sweat of the tropical sun.

And soldiers were there, and their mates were there, their mates the East Timorese,
Who fought and died beside them in the night of the jungle trees,
Who bled and fought and suffered, so Australia might still be free,
And the Aussies cried, when their leaders lied, and poisoned the Timor Sea.

"Your friends will never forget you", the fluttering leaflet said,
Dropped from the biscuit bomber, and then oer the valley spread,
The wide sky cowed in sorrow, and the eyes of the angels wept,
For a promise made by the soldiers that their leaders never kept.

Notes

Many thanks to Denis Kevans and Denis Rice for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.

Why Australia owes a lot to East Timor
During World War Two in 1942, Timorese villagers assisted the Australian soldiers who were fighting the Japanese Imperial Army. More than 40,000 Timorese were killed by the Japanese in reprisal for their support of the Australians.

Upon withdrawal of the Australian troops from Timor, hundreds of leaflets were dropped by air over the villages in Timor that read "YOUR FRIENDS WILL NEVER FORGET YOU". This initial declaration of friendship has led to friendship agreements between Australian and Timorese communities.