by John Ellis

A LUTA CONTINUA Big man in a big suit in a big car full of bad loot he’s a Vice President, CEO, he’s a four-star general on patrol Fled to Russia in the struggle, learned in China how to hustle Years waiting, learned patience, beady eyes on the big pay-off A luta continua! You eat yourself, Azania A luta continua! New government, no rules there is so much to steal and no time to lose He’s a big predator on the loose; there’s no crime if there’s no proof Famine is a fundraiser prime minister’s a fund-chaser Donations rotting on the docks big man is taking stock Big man in a poor nation; the sickness of the population One Party, three-piece suit; liberation’s prostitute Words and music: John Ellis Published by Jellisongs/ Admin. by HereWeAreMusic © John Ellis 2010 © Broken Records
RIGHTS ALL WRONG Forty years of struggle ended on an April day Every man and woman lined up to have their say All together for the first time – who can forget? in that autumn sky a rainbow made by military jets So explain – I dare you How come we got here from there? With our human rights all wrong And our dreams all up for sale Can no-one keep a promise these days? So what’s happened to our freedom – we’d like to know? How come Chief Luthuli’s country is Stalin’s now? After every revolution it starts again Every hero is a tyrant stealing oxygen It’s so wrong – it’s shameful How can you look your people in the eye? With our human rights… Hey people – what happened? We shouldn’t be here after all that we’ve been through Hey people – wake up You don’t have to live this way forever
GOVERNMENT SONG There’s a man who invented a machine To make dirty water clean And it works, it could really change the world But there’s a man Who’s in charge Who would like a luxury car And that’s what it’s going to take to bring clean water to the people Is this the country we prayed for? The land our heroes have betrayed Whatever happened to the struggle? Maybe it’s time to start again There’s a girl who lives with a disease That keeps her on her knees All she needs is a fucking loaf of bread But there’s a man in a uniform Sunglasses, crocodile shoes Puts a gun in her hand and sends her out to kill her next-door neighbour And if you listen you will hear Luthuli turning in his grave O Spear of the Nation! When did you become a slave?
COME HOME** 03:53
COME HOME You remember how it used to be Those days when none of us were truly free Things changed and everybody feared the worst And you escaped before the bubble burst But some afternoons there’s a scent in the air Of mountains and thunderstorms and you can hear it: “Come home – come home where did you go? Come home. You’re not yourself until you’re here with me Please stop running like a refugee Come home…” Sure – we could all be better off These days every push has come to shove But things change ‘cos everybody wants the best And she who lives under curse will be blessed You are a child of this earth, you belong To the Southern Cross, to these fields of sunlight
REBELS* 05:31
REBELS The rebels just took the city They’re pissing on the constitution The president’s in the basement They only left his shoes on Refugees in the bushes Watch the city hall explode Democracy’s a whorehouse Everyone gets a turn Run the home-made flag up Set fire to the embassy No more foreign interference Now that everything’s for free Rename all the freeways After the Glorious Revolution Clean the blood out of the Mercedes Let’s go meet the fans Wandering ones – bewildered people A swollen river with no sea From shore to shore, land-locked and gun-shy When will the victims of ‘Freedom’ be free? No such thing as stand-off The strongest always wins Government’s like clothing And it’s time to change again Curfew for the masses Buffet for the king Let’s re-write that anthem It’s time to make them sing Wandering ones… Where’s that ammunition? Someone’s at the gate …ungrateful traitors… Time to escape
WE ARE NOT A NATION YET This is not a nation yet, how could it be? When most of cross our fingers while the past still lingers Still segregated – this is not a nation When “Transformation” is just another word For getting your revenge on those you still depend on What are you celebrating? This is NOT a nation! We are not a nation yet, how could we be? We replaced a great dictator with another great dictator We’re still suffocating – we are not a nation This is not a nation, this is Monarchy A hungry Kingdom of Frustration while the king is renovating We are all still waiting – we are not a nation We are not a nation yet, we’re still not free We have watched the Revolution become an Institution Where’s our liberation? We are not a nation Cry, beloved country, shed your tears A land still overrun by the tyranny of guns Fear dominating – this is not a nation We are not a nation, we all want to escape We’re all lined up at the station for evacuation We are emigrating – we are not a nation We are not a nation yet, how could we be? With most of us still hostile, longing for a fair trial Or retaliation! We are not a nation We are not a nation yet but we could be If you believe it, put your hand up You want to see it you’ve got to stand up We could be a nation – we could be a nation So don’t sing your anthem or raise your flag up
RANT* 02:18
RANT All you rabble all you rank and file If you feel like something’s gone wrong, you’re right Are you really getting what you paid for? Tell the powers that be: STAND DOWN! Tell the fake authority: STAND DOWN! Tell that public enemy: STAND DOWN! You better… Look at all these champagne revolutionaries Wielding power like they won the lottery Getting everything we paid for! Tell…
WONDERFUL PLACE For better or for worse we all ended up right here Tangled up in mountains hills and oceans Our ancestries shared destiny that brought us to this land Now here we are together: what are we gonna do? We all belong here – we all grew strong here What a wonderful place to call home What a wonderful place to call home What a wonderful place to come home to What a wonderful place to call home Golden hills and green savannah, rivers full of rain Thunderstorms that promise new beginnings On any dusty road a smiling face a helping hand Can you believe we live here? Do you realize… We all… So stop complaining, stop your crying, the past is over now We can turn our struggle into dancing Put your shoulder to the plough just like your fathers did The worst is behind us – the best is yet to come! We all…
SOON THERE WILL BE MORE OF US Did you hear that? Thunder rolling From the gold mines To the coast Sleeping giant Had a bad dream Wakes up tied to a Whipping post One by one, rebellious Soon there will be more of us We can only take so much You have gone to war with us Once I turned my Back on the ocean Before I knew it Swept away Running water Always seeps through Your finger won’t keep The flood at bay One by one… And we won’t stop Until we get what we want And we won’t stop Until we get what we came for Till it’s clean Until it’s shining again Just like it was When we first gave it all to you


A compilation of songs about the state of post-Apartheid South Africa and the state of the Rainbow Nation after a quarter-century of democracy. All songs have featured on previous releases.


released December 12, 2013

*From the album "Come Out Fighting"
Released on Broken Records 2010
Produced by John Ellis, Jake Odendaal & Tain Odendaal
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jake Odendaal
Additional recording, editing and engineering by Tain Odendaal
Recorded in Johannesburg and Durban January-May 2010
John Ellis: guitars, singing, keyboards, percussion, bass guitar, programming
Tain Odendaal: drums, percussion
Jake Odendaal: additional bass guitar

**From the album "Rural"
Released on Peace Of Eden 2012
Produced by John Ellis, Barry Van Zyl and Howard Butcher
Recorded by Howard Butcher at Peace of Eden, Knysna, October 2011
Mixed by Neal Snyman
Mastered by Rogan Kelsey
John Ellis: singing and instruments
Barry van Zyl: drums and percussion

***From the EP "Bush Telegraph"
Released by Sony 2013
Produced by John Ellis
Recorded and mixed by Brent Quinton at Hit Record, Durban, March 2013
Mastered by Rogan Kelsey
All instruments and singing: John Ellis
Drum kit: Andy Turrell

Words and music: John Ellis
Published by Jellisongs/ Admin. by HereWeAreMusic
© John Ellis 2010, 2012, 2013


all rights reserved



John Ellis Durban, South Africa

A singer-songwriter from Durban, South Africa, John has played his music all over the world. Following his 2010 solo debut "Come Out Fighting", his second album, an all-acoustic record named "Rural", was released in June 2012. A new song, "Get You", came out on Sony Records in 2012, and was followed in 2013 by a five-track EP, "Bush Telegraph", also on Sony. "Tells" is John's 3rd solo album. ... more


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