Kevin [songman] Carmody

Kevin Carmody was born in Cairns, Queensland, in 1946 to an Irish-Australian father and Aboriginal mother. His maternal heritage is the Bundjalung country in New South Wales, the Ballina/Cabbage Tree Island.  This is where I live now where I know many of the Elders although I’ve never met Carmody his words resonate deeply.

Uncle Kev found a damp book in the rubbish, he dried it out by the campfire and that’s how he learnt to play the guitar.  He later went to university, never having been in a library.  Most of his songs are protests or laments.

Kevin calls himself the ‘songman’ and this is his own website for more information and songs … My favourite song is the “From Little Things Big Things Grow”, co-written with another hero of mine – Paul Kelly. Many have adopted this chorus and written their own verses but it marks a turning point in negotiations …

This youtube is his song “Thou Shalt Not Steal”, a song many First Nation Peoples will relate to. He asks if it’s emancipation or incarceration! And a few of the words …


In 1788 down Sydney Cove
The first boat-people land
Said sorry boys our gain’s your loss
We gonna steal your land
And if you break our new British laws
For sure you’re gonna hang
Or work your life like convicts
With chains on your neck and hands

They taught us
Oh Oh Black woman thou shalt not steal
Oh Oh Black man thou shalt not steal
We’re gonna civilize
Your Black barbaric lives
And teach you how to kneel
But your history couldn’t hide
The genocide
The hypocrisy to us was real
’cause your Jesus said
you’re supposed to give the oppressed
a better deal
We say to you yes whiteman thou shalt not steal
Oh ya our land you’d better heal

[two more verses]

You talk of conservation
Keep the forest pristine green
Yet in 200 years your materialism
Has stripped the forests clean
A racist’s a contradiction
That’s understood by none
Mostly their left hand hold a bible
Their right hand holds a gun


  1. Oh, SweeKate! Thank you for sharing Kevin Carmody with us today! His voice is beautiful…his messages are so so SO important. What an encouragement he is to the world. This song you shared brings tears to my eyes.
    (((HUGS))) ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • and I have no idea how invaders can be so arrogant … stealing their land then the genocide and slavery of the original occupants! It’s so wrong 😦


  2. Sadly there seems to be a similar history everywhere. Native people have been exploited in heartbreaking ways. Thank you, Kate, for posting this story and video. Kevin Carmody is a fine writer and performer with a meaningful message. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, his song reminds me of our own history. We were invaded too and was under the colonization of the 3 biggest countries…and now they said we are free….but personaly, i dont think we are…

    Thank you kate for sharing this

    Liked by 1 person

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