Russell Crowe Video

Andrew is in Russell Crowe’s video!

Land of the second chance by Russell Crowe and The Ordinary Fear of God  from the album My hand, my heart – view it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3k4jt4Vzrs

 

Russell Crowe and AndrewWhat does this have to do with Catahoulas?  Nothing really.  But it does have everything to do with Andrew and our sugar cane farm.

 

Back in 2006 Russell Crowe and his band The Ordinary Fear of God came to our farm to film the video clip to their song “The land of the second chance”.  It was a long day and they filmed some stuff of Andrew and lots of the farm.  Russell was gracious enough to chat with Andrew and pose for a photo and talk about the meaning of the song.  But we never heard anything back from them after that day.  Since then we have checked the internet to see if we could find the video with no success until now.

 

Russell filmingWe found the video clip and it is great.  The song is so beautiful and catchy and the clip does so much justice to the cane farmers who did the hard yards in previous years long before mechanical harvesters were created and everything was cut by hand.

 

Almost all of the cane footage, shed and track are from our farm and Andrew portrays the cane cutter in the first half of the video.  You dont get to see his face but you can see him cutting the cane and walking around as well as footage of his  bum and also his hands.  A separate cane cutter with facial shots is featured later in the video.

 

The story behing the song

Courtesy of My Hand, My Heart at http://www.myhandmyheart.com/content/substories.htm

Filming on the farmRussell writes:

There is a painting by Charles Blackman called “Dream Of The Canecutter – The Passing Angels”. It is a beautifully poetic piece. I started to talk to Alan about it. He was intrigued – “What is a canecutter?” was the first question.

In the oddest confluence of events, we had begun to exchange notes on the possibility of writing a song on the subject, referencing the painting by email, and we already had a chorus about the canecutter’s life, inspired by the painting. A day or two later l went to Bill & Toni’s on Stanley Street and ordered coffee. There were no free tables outside, so l asked a table of old men if l could join them and they kindly acquiesced.

Russell behind the scenesI sat next to Mario; he came from Luka, outside Florence, emigrated in 1952. He’d just come from the dentist. He’d had a new denture fitted. I talked to Mario for three lattes and two plates of Vegemite on Turkish bread. Probably because I kept prompting him, l got to hear his whole fascinating life story.

It took me a couple of weeks to realize that Mario was my canecutter.

The verses came out in one night – every time I thought I’d finished, another part of his story came to mind. The one thing I know now, that I didn’t know then, was that apart from his being rejected by a Spanish girl, Mario also married a Spanish girl.

 

 

Lyrics

Land of the Second Chance (Crowe/Doyle 2005)

Courtesy of My Hand, My Heart at http://www.myhandmyheart.com/content/sublyrics.htm


He didn’t say her name; he described her with a tear
In 1952 he left that girl and made his way down here
And the ocean raged around him, cleansed his soul and sharpened his aim
He was coming down to Queensland to cut the Sugarcane

 

Chorus

Burning Field
Bow my head and bend my back and I will kneel
I’ll give the angels thanks
For bringing me here and guiding my hand in this land
The Land of the Second Chance

 

 In ’53 he bought a car with the proceeds of the season
He travelled three States, coast and bush wandering without a reason
He was driving away her memory, driving himself insane
Then he drove back up to Queensland to cut the Sugarcane

 

Chorus

Burning Field
Bow my head and bend my back and I will kneel
I’ll give the angels thanks
For bringing me here and guiding my hand in this land
The Land of the Second Chance

 

 Troppo is not tropical it’s Italian for crazy in the heat
He got arranged to a Spanish girl but she didn’t like his canecutter’s teeth
That season he tripled his workload to prove he was worthy of her hand
When he got back up to Rockhampton, she’d taken off with a handsome man
Five or six years on a gambler’s drunk, he woke up in Sydney one morning
A thousand miles south of his last night out so he took it as the angels warning
That car got him a job fitting aluminium window frames
Floating above the big city, far away from the Sugarcane

 

Chorus

Burning Field
Bow my head and bend my back and I will kneel
I’ll give the angels thanks
For bringing me here and guiding my hand in this land
The Land of the Second Chance

 

Bridge

 

Forty-five years of married life,
Children and children’s children
He can still point to where he fitted the glass
And smiles when you recognise the buildings

Most of his mates have seen the pearly gates but there’s a few that have survived.
They sit here and drink espresso
Like it’s Florence – “Firenze, prima della guerra” (Florence, before the war)

Back in 1935
On a front table at Bill and Toni’s he told me his story on Stanley Street
A little hard to understand that day Mario got brand new teeth
Fifty-three years he’s been here and he says he’s never looked back
A fortunate find for a lucky guy
The Land of the Second Chance

 

Chorus

Burning Field
Bow my head and bend my back and I will kneel
I’ll give the angels thanks
For bringing me here and guiding my hand in this land
The Land of the Second Chance
The Land of the Second Chance
The Land of the Second Chance