by John Ellis

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jim tata Lots of power and emotion....without trying to be. its the best music I've downloaded in a long time. Favorite track: COME HOME**.


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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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

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

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?
Track Name: 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
Track Name: 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

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
Track Name: 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!


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…

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