Beyond Ourselves

by Te Kooti Brotherhood

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credits

released 30 August 2012

Recorded by Mike Smith
Mixed and Mastered by Pete Wood
Music and Lyrics by Christian Parker and Te Kooti Brotherhood
Photography by Melody Cooper and Nick Jamieson
Design by Nick Jamieson

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about

Te Kooti Brotherhood Auckland, New Zealand

Some nonconforming 'hardcore' dudes having fun jams and stickin' it to the man.

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Track Name: Lights
The sun sets over the Waitaks
A deep orange paints the sky
The sun fades; the night comes
The lights around me reflect houses, reflecting people,
Reflecting lives quietly moving
Behind doors of which I’ll never know
The ever-changing sense of ebb and flow
From joy to pain; rage to praise; grace to blame

We all move in ebbs and flows
These hills look down on us, a quiet mist
Reminding of a time when these lights didn’t exist
What stood before them; a land of peace
Before these lights revealed our brokenness
Before these lights revealed our transience

These clouds always bring rain
I hope one day they’ll wash these streets to look brand new
And give this land the peace it once held to
Cos’ I don’t wanna keep bleeding our frustrations

But this sunset still sets how it always did
Framing us within the constant and the good
Our reflection of goodness and beauty is not our own
For this mirror was never a mirror but a window
Track Name: Moving Beyond Ourselves (Gorilla Biscuits)
This colonial mindset is feeding my warped perception
of seeing everything as either threat or potential possession
there is no neutrality here

Let me hear love's language in the midst of this
let me not twist this hearing away; otherwise
everything will sound with only the petty, shrill clamour of my own cravings and fears

My worth is tied to this
How is my name spoken? How is my name heard?
Let me hear love's language
In the midst of this; in the midst of this

It's time I move beyond myself
and I believe there is a dying and rising that speaks to this
If I give up my rights and step into a new paradigm
that reorients conformity
Track Name: Make Me Fearless
A young man declares, “I love you”
Yet in his heart he whispers, “What is love?”
Love has become such an empty word
What does it mean? What does it mean?

He opens to a picture of a woman
Someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s mother
And he whispers in his heart, “I lust you”
I don’t know you yet I choose to covet you

And deep in his being... he knows
That when he objects her... he shows
A true state of the depth of our distortion
And something within him screams

“Make me fearless, make me fearless, make me fearless
It is this fear that chokes real relationship
Make me fearless, make me fearless
It is my fear that is choking my love”
Track Name: A New Kind of Freedom
There is no love in this so-called freedom

Where commitment has become a thing of the past
and all that matters is if you're having fun
'Cos as quick as those feelings can walk through that door
they turn around and leave you hungry for more

the next fling, the next high,
the next girl to tell you you're the right guy
Boredom pervades our fickle living
where we seek newness as if the old held no meaning

Freedom has become the loosing of all restraints
with the disclaimer that my actions affect no one.
Yet this freedom has unleashed a monster that inflicts the wounds
of a thousand self-gratified encounters

Love is a commitment
to something greater than myself

Love is a commitment
to something greater than myself
and this something releases me
to inhabit hope

Love is a commitment
to someone other than myself
and this other releases me
to receive love…

to receive love…
to move past just a nameless face
to someone, who in all their deepest insecurities…, is known
Track Name: Whanau
There's no more you against me
Can't you see; can't you see
We're all whanau

There's no more slave or free
Can't you see; can't you see
We're all whanau

So don't discriminate and don't segregate
And don't forget to listen
So don't dehumanize and don't objectify
And don't forget to listen

For when we listen then we hear
And when we hear we no longer just see a face; we see a story
We see a picture of ourselves
Presented in a different context but with the same blood

So don't discriminate and don't segregate
And don't forget to listen
So don't dehumanize and don't objectify
And don't forget to listen

We are one...Whanau
We are one...Whanau
We are one...Whanau
We are one...Whanau

He iwi tahi tatou (we are one people)

So don't discriminate and don't segregate
And don't forget to listen
So don't dehumanize and don't objectify
And don't forget to listen
Track Name: Cowboys and Indians
Girls and boys grow up to be ladies and gentlemen
Grow up to be respectable citizens
Grow up to be scared in their skins

We dressed up in our parents’ clothes. We soaked up every word they told us
Someday we’d have the nice picket fence with a clothes line to keep things clean and neat

Girls and boys play cowboys and Indians
Play goodies and baddies
Where the goodies always win in the minds of our children
Just a game, or so we’re taught… or so we’re taught… or so we’re taught…

We dressed up in our parents’ clothes. We soaked up every word they told us
“You’re not an Indian, after all – you’re the good one.”

Oh social conformity how did you ever take such a rooted hold on me
These stories and dreams so firmly grafted into our history
And I’m so gentle, and I’m so nice and good that I’d never truly know what I stood for
Now that my house and dreams align with the outlines of these city streets

Am I the repetition or the revolution to your power plays?
Am I the repetition or the revolution to your hear says?
Do I swim nice and neatly in the black and white or in the messy grey?
Where the waves blur me yet wash me of my sanitation
Track Name: Becoming Weak
I walked around with an insatiable ego
Wanting to prove my strength through a tough drop D
Like I’m some true version of manliness
With a stoic exterior above the rest

What a lie, what a misguided let down
That I could find some meaning in taking control
My autonomy is idolatry
With the assumption that the answer is inside of me

From cool calm collected to on the edge rejected

This is a downward thrust to a place with rags in my hand offering nothing but a chance to ease the burdens of a busy world distracted in itself

I am a vulnerable man with a heart in his hand
I am a powerless man with a will for inclusion
I am an accepted man with nothing to prove
I am a weak man learning what it means to serve

This is a downward thrust to a place with rags in my hand offering nothing but a chance to ease the burdens of a busy world distracted in itself
Track Name: More than just a Memory
We’re all on par with each other
In this place we’ve taken down the ladder
All that’s left is just a floor
For you and I to respect our differences

Diving kids, face plant in the pit
Thirty people all clamber for the mic
Crafted words through depth of thought
that hope to breed a depth of heart

This was never about idolization
as hearts connect to more than just a melody
as lives reflect something more than just a tragedy
This will always leave more than just a memory
Track Name: A Western Fallacy
Twenty-nine die at Pike River Mine
While over three-fifty are somehow denied
A time to be mourned on our six O-clock news
Their deaths are forgotten amidst our need for
Western precedence

Nearly three thousand died in those towers
whilst malaria kills more in twenty-four hours
Yet these kids - five and younger - are granted no voice
And we sit back and take this as norm

Where is their good Samaritan? Where is our good Samaritan?

The media still reveals a western supremacy
reflecting a racism toward the majority
We've become immune to the state of their reality
And our eyes are turned away

We see the aids epidemic, mass poverty, war
and we trivialize, disassociate and ignore
Have we accepted a hopeless fatalism
or are we just too consumed to notice
...too preoccupied with the daily routines of life

Does our skin colour and cultural difference
blind us from the fact that we are one...
Whanau (whanau)
We share the same blood, we share the same blood.

Where is their good Samaritan? Where is our good Samaritan?

"Until lions have their own historians
Tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter"
Track Name: Approximations
I walked the beach my body cold from the wind
The horizon line leads my eye to the point at which
The world takes a turn to another thousand faces, stories, places
Moving and changing as I contemplate

What do I mean when I say, “this is it?”
And could it be something more than I could fit
In my head for all I know I’m just a boy
Clinging to whats held accustomed and all that goes

Along with my approximations
from words that try to bridge how my mind perceives things
When I feel like everything around me is somehow
Nothing more than a reflection of my thoughts

What do I mean when I say, “this is it?”
And could it be something more than I could fit
In my head for all I know I’m just a boy
Clinging to whats held accustomed and all that goes

…and all that goes

If my words are approximations relative to something
then could all of this and how I perceive it be an approximation to something more
Track Name: Home
I can’t cry; these tears won’t come
So I scream and hope to become
a person held close by arms that don’t wander
clinging me to home

Yet this home seems halfway built; like a halfway house for the halfway hounds
It is my frightful blessing; my beautiful chore

This is our land, this is our story
We are the trophy kids,
groping for truth, groping for a place to call home

for a story that makes sense of our place in this world
This is my home; my frightful blessing; my beautiful chore

We live in a halfway house; halfway built
The ever-changing sense of ebb and flow


We are the tired ones with longing souls for a restful home and we all sing…
With the west glow setting softly; with the west glow setting softly
We are the ugly ones with worn out tongues that led the sums and we all sing…
With the west glow setting softly; with the west glow setting softly
We are the damaged ones with taut lips that learnt recoiling love and we all sing…
With the west glow setting softly; with the west glow setting softly
We are the profaned ones at war with ourselves, in disconnect and we all sing…
With the west glow setting softly; with the west glow setting softly