Melbourne muso replies to Hockey

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Melbourne musician Les Thomas has written the first musical response to Joe Hockey's cruel budget.

“Budget Reply (Hey Joe)” is Australia’s first musical response to Joe Hockey’s deeply unpopular 2014 budget. Written by Les Thomas, the song is a protest against cuts targeting the young, unemployed, elderly, Indigenous programs, Medicare, education, science and the environment.

Thomas has already performed the song at a number of rallies and events in Melbourne.

Backing musicians include Justin Bernasconi (from The Stillsons) on lead guitar, Mandy Connell on backing vocals, Barnaby Gold on drums, Tony Bonnici (from The Prairie Oysters) on bass and Sam Melamed on Hammond organ.

Previous releases from Les Thomas include last year's single “Song for Selva” and debut album Survivor’s Tale. Visit to download the track.

Once production costs are met, 50% of proceeds from the track will be donated to the Bust the Budget campaign and possibly more depending on the track's success.


Budget Reply (Hey Joe)

Someone switch on the lights and butt out those cigars
Cos it’s like we’ve been hit and we’re still seeing stars
Saw the train coming but the wreck’s still a shock
Instead of looking to the future here they turn back the clock

So the age of entitlement’s come to an end
Unless you’re one of their billionaire friends
Too bad if you’re sick, or too old or too young
When the age of cruelty’s just begun

What kind of future do they offer round here
When the most in need have the most to fear?
They punish the weak to reward the strong
And they’re blind to the difference ‘tween right and the wrong

Without a safety net for the unemployed
A higher rate of crime will be hard to avoid
Maybe that’s a feature of your plan
More money for the prison man

Hey Joe, don’t you know?
You’re gonna hear our budget reply

My doctor took an oath to do no harm
So why do you insist they take a leg and an arm?
Truth be told, they’d rather let us bleed
An emergency indeed

Don’t tell me white Australia’s a thing of the past
When it’s plain they still put first people last
With no respect for the sacred ground
Their ‘sorry’ leaves a hollow sound

You say a windmill offends you, what the hell are you smoking?
Must be all that cheap coal in the stogie you’re toking
Fact is, there’s just one world to spare
And if you trash it we’ll be going nowhere

With knowledge and science both under attack
How many centuries will you send us back?
Not all of us were born with a silver spoon
So we’d better speak loud and soon

Hey Joe, don’t you know?
You’re gonna hear our budget reply

From GLW issue 1015