Songs sung by Jack Charles

hi everyone!

i just thought i’d post a video of my favorite recording i’ve found of Jack Charles singing Son of Mine (the song i brought up in class a while back) which he performs in Jack Charles v The Crown.

i’m also going to provide the link to buy the cd with the music from the play. just in case any of you, like me, really loved the music and want to be able to listen all the time!

the poem for the song Son of Mine (below) is transcribed under the video. the poet who wrote the words Jack is singing is called Oodgeroo Noonuccal and she is also Aboriginal Australian. enjoy!


My son, your troubled eyes search mine                                               Puzzled and hurt by colour line.                                                                 Your black skin soft as velvet shine;                                                         What will I tell you, son of mine?

Well, I could tell you of heartache, hatred blind,                                              I could tell you of crimes that shame mankind,                                            Of brutal wrongs and deeds malign,                                                              Of rape and murder, son of mine.

But I’ll tell instead of brave and fine,                                                      When lives of black and white entwine,                                                        And men in brotherhood combine,                                                              This will I tell you, son of mine.

3 thoughts on “Songs sung by Jack Charles”

  1. Thanks for posting the lyrics! It is interesting to think about whether or not it is important to talk about the harmful effects of colonization or if it is better to “tell instead of brave and fine, when lives of black and white entwine”? As a white settler, I do not know if it is my place to discuss what is the best way to decolonize, but I feel like being aware of the harmful effects is important. What do you think?

  2. In regards to Meggan’s post. I was also considering the lyrics and I feel as though the poet is discussing the issues but ending it in an optimistic way. When Jack sings the song half of the lyrics are of the troubles Indigenous people face but then the latter half provides hope for the son (who I believe the poet is speaking too). There is a future where there is peace and equality but first it is important to learn of the past and how the relationships that are present today were made, in order to move forward. The focus is on improving relationships in my opinion but still having all parties informed of the issues.

  3. Meggan, I think more than anything the lyrics speak to the frustration that parents have with the knowledge that they have have to prepare their children for the effects of colonial violence. Many scholars, poets, activists and artists speak to this frustration and disgust of the way that colonialism unfairly matures racialized children making them more highly subjected to sexual and state perpetrated violence. I agree with Danielle in that I think the author of the poem is using the space to address to both the violent past and imagined future: she is saying to him that she could tell him of the rape and murder and theft that have been occurring for generations in detail, but she can also tell him of the re-Indigenization and de-colonization of the land when settler and non-Native allies can join together to stop the machine of colonialism and white supremacy.

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