We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Poem first read on January 26th 2011 at the Sydney Opera House

from Signs of Life by Neil Gaiman & FourPlay String Quartet

/
  • Digital Track
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $2 AUD  or more

    You own this

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Currently Bandcamp merch is only shipping within Australia!
    Visit neilandfourplay.lnk.to/signsoflife/ for many more options.

    Cover art by Shaun Tan. Design by Andrew Nelson.

    Grab yourself a first edition pressing of the vinyl record while stocks last! Bandcamp purchases will be shipped within 3 days of release date, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Deluxe two-pocket, thick card stock, double gatefold with 8-page booklet, featuring illustrations by Shaun Tan.

    NOTE: The Australian colour is translucent purple, not patterned as per the image.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Signs of Life via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $50 AUD or more 

    You own this  

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Currently Bandcamp merch is only shipping within Australia!
    Visit neilandfourplay.lnk.to/signsoflife/ for many more options.

    Cover art by Shaun Tan. Design by Andrew Nelson.

    Grab yourself a first edition pressing of the vinyl record while stocks last! Bandcamp purchases will be shipped within 3 days of release date, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Deluxe two-pocket, thick card stock, double gatefold with 8-page booklet, featuring illustrations by Shaun Tan.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Signs of Life via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $45 AUD or more 

    You own this  

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Currently Bandcamp merch is only shipping within Australia!
    Visit neilandfourplay.lnk.to/signsoflife/ for many more options.

    Cover art by Shaun Tan. Design by Andrew Nelson.

    Hardbound case-wrapped CD book, with 16 page booklet, featuring illustrations by Shaun Tan.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Signs of Life via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $30 AUD or more 

    You own this  

     

  • Full Digital Discography Full Digital Discography

    Get all 12 FourPlay String Quartet releases available on Bandcamp and save 30%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Signs of Life, Wish, Bound, This Machine, Fourthcoming, Now To The Future, 3" eps part 2, 3" eps part 1, and 4 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      $87.50 AUD or more (30% OFF)

    You own this

     

lyrics

We killed them all when we came here.
The people came and burned their land
The forests where they used to feed
We burned the trees that gave them shade
And burned to bush, to scrub, to heath
We made it easier to hunt.
We changed the land, and they were gone.

Today our beasts and dreams are small
As species fall to time and us
But back before the black folk came
Before the white folk’s fleet arrived
Before we built our cities here
Before the casual genocide,
This was the land where nightmares loped
And hopped and ran and crawled and slid.
And then we did the things we did,
And thus we died the things we died.

We have not seen Diprotodon
A wombat bigger than a room
Or run from Dromornithidae
Gigantic demon ducks of doom
All motor legs and ripping beaks
A flock of geese from hell’s dark maw
We’ve lost carnivorous kangaroo
A bouncy furrier T Rex
And Thylacoleo Carnifex
the rat-king-devil-lion-thing
the dropbear fantasy made flesh.
Quinkana, the land crocodile
Five metres long and fast as fright
Wonambi, the enormous snake
Who waited by the water-holes
and took the ones who came to drink
who were not watchful, clever, bright.
Our Thylacines were tiger-wolves
until we drove them off the map
Then Megalania: seven meters
of venomous enormous lizard...
and more, and more. The ones whose bones
we’ve never seen. The megafauna haunt our dreams.
This was their land before mankind
Just fifty thousand years ago.

Time is a beast that eats and eats
gives nothing back but ash and bones
And one day someone else will come
to excavate a heap of stones
And wonder, What were people like?
Their teeth weren’t sharp. Their feet were slow.
They walked Australia long ago
before Time took them into tales

We’re transients. The land remains.
Until its outlines wash away.
While night falls down like dropbears don’t
to swallow up Australia Day.

credits

from Signs of Life, released April 28, 2023
Words by Neil Gaiman, Music by FourPlay String Quartet

Produced by Lara Goodridge, Tony Buchen and FourPlay

Recorded by Matt Wiggins at The Church Studios, London

Mixed by Tony Buchen at Studio Le Pavois

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

FourPlay String Quartet Sydney, Australia

FourPlay is an indie rock band that just happen to be a string quartet.

contact / help

Contact FourPlay String Quartet

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this track or account