Crazy, Beautiful World

by Nerida Cuddy

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A bunch of songs written for festivals and folk clubs: this live album, Crazy Beautiful World, has received airplay on ABC Central West and HHH Community Radio in Sydney. The material covers a broad range of themes - western culture, love stories, being a mother, even op-shopping! Musically, there is also great variety - from finger-picking blue-grass to acapella.


released September 25, 2008

Nerida's live recording was added to by some brilliant Melbourne musos: Liz Frencham, Phil Butson, Dave Gleeson, & Candy Edwards.



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Nerida Cuddy Canowindra, Australia

Nerida has been described as “a composer & musician with not only an ear for music, but a social conscience & a sense of humour” (ABC Central West). A story teller and poet, she shows great sensitivity to a range of human experiences, often drawing on the imagery of the Australian bush where she has lived for over 20 years. ... more

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Track Name: Canowindra
Where the Lachlan and Belubula meet,
there’s a fertile stretch of ground,
gold canola, green grassy hills
and the blue mountains reaching the sky.

Moved here, such a different world,
just to be with my love;
slowly found my tapestry changing to
make this place feel like my…

that’s where we are,
we’re making this our home…

Seems to me like vitality streams
from the earth around this place;
bursting out, in colour and sound,
as the birds announce the day.

From the vines come the red and the white
that are bringing growth and change;
hope that we have a future here
far away from the city’s madness…

Art and music, food and friendship build community.
History and innovation in these old streets meet.
Welcoming the stranger and the needy to our midst,
makes the town a place where we can taste
what life was meant to be…
Track Name: One of those love stories
My little girl’s watching me get ready
for a big date with her Dad.
They say that love always grows cold
but this is the best love I’ve ever had…

And maybe things did change for THEM
but I’m willing to bet
that we can still expect to taste
the sweetest love yet…

And maybe just maybe
if all we know is true
I am surely going to live
one of those great love stories with you…

We had a lot of years apart
just getting ready to meet;
and I believe the long, long wait
has meant that sharing life is oh, so sweet.

To me, you’ll always be THE ONE
that I can never wait to see;
and you are bringing out the best
that there could ever be in me…
Track Name: Retail Therapy
I was feeling down the other day,
couldn’t get myself out of it, you know,
found myself wandering,
in a place of comfort with climate control…

CH: Soft music to soothe me,
sights to capture my imagination, oh…

Rescue me from retail therapy,
don’t let me think that what I buy will make me whole, Oh,
Rescue me from retail therapy,
all of this stuff chokes the life from my soul…

If you’re feeling limited,
disappointments getting you down,
there’s a world of opportunity,
swipe your credit card & hope will be found..

It’s not just the ads around me,
not the lure of a half-price sale,
there’s something decrepit inside me
that hungers for just one more thing for myself…

Rescue me from mega-superstores, super-sellout-sales, and blind accumulation,
Rescue me from “bigger one next year”, up-grading, super-sizing, ego-inflation,
Rescue me from advertising’s lure, the hunger to be cool, and buying for the label,
Rescue me from consumer cathedrals, western excess, and self-gratification.
Rescue me from retail therapy…
Track Name: nerida - guitar, vocals phil butson - lead guitar - For Iris
Seeing you lying there while I stroke your hair
such burning love for you I can hardly bear.
And oh, what a tangle I feel; joy bursting out,
but fears gnaw away inside and fill me with doubt…

But I’m learning to let go of my cherished control
and dive, though the risks are so high
Coz there might be pain, but there’s so much more to gain
in loving you, loving you…

Feeling your clumsy kisses over my face
Chunky arms pressing in for lightning embraces.
I’ve never known such a sweetness in life
in being your mother and being your Dad’s wife…

Dreaming of days ahead when the tricky journey’s past,
weathered those stormy years, friend to friend at last.
Well that’s what I long for and it moves me to tears,
to beg the Father of Fathers to carry all my fears…
Track Name: Emperor's New Clothes
Anyone with eyes can see we’re not where we need to be,
when families are falling down and cannot seem to rise…
And from the rubble, kids survive and they do so well with what’s inside,
but there’s brokenness that they can’t hide, no solid place to stand…

And sometimes I feel like the little child
who saw through the pretence and cried
that the emperor’s new clothes were just a sham.
Cause we’re told that this philosophy we’re living by has set us free
but chains are all that I can see all around me.

We’re told that we have grown beyond the shackles of right and wrong,
that if it is the thing you want, then take of it freely.
We’re never told that we could live our days in total slavery,
with a habit that refuses to be satisfied.

I have a friend who hurt so much, he tried to end it with a cut,
and later on he just kept running from his reality.
And I wonder how he can break free, he’s been crushed so long,
he just can’t see that he was made himself to be of infinite value…
Track Name: Don't go West!
Oh you proud, proud land,
How far can you fall?
Instead of standing for justice,
you’re warring for oil.
Those poor founding fathers
must turn in their graves;
now you’re ‘Godless consumers’
and ‘morally depraved’.

Don’t ‘go West, young man’ don’t go West!
Though we bask in our luxury
& act like we’re the best.
There’s nothing sweet in an apple that’s
rotten at the heart.
It won’t take very long, just watch the
West fall apart!

Oh we all dance to the tune of the great US of A,
in our policies, our movies, even in the words we say.
Our soldiers go to war, our politicians sell our soul:
bland homogenisation the ultimate goal.

Oh we’ve ridden this planet within an inch of its life;
but we still over-consume like there’s no end in sight.
Don’t tell me about sustainable, it just doesn’t sell,
it’s our coal-powered train & we’ll ride it to hell…

There’s some thoughts in the old book that we’d do well to hear,
about how pride precedes a fall, & the hidden all comes clear;
and if we’re merciless to needy ones & just care for our own,
we will answer for it one day, yes we’ll reap what we’ve sown…
Track Name: Colours
Every day, I’ll make my heart a place where you can stay,
every moment, I hope I don’t forget that I belong to you,
and even the commonplace is touched with meaning by the vows I’ve made to you,
cause I’ve chosen you to be the colours of my world.

All my hopes, all my ambitions I lay down before you,
all I have, all that I am is now shared between us,
and even my sorrows, and all my griefs are now buried in your love,
cause I’ve chosen you to be the colours of my world.

But even my purest thoughts seem darkened sometimes,
my best intentions fall weakly away;
seems we need a love beyond ourselves,
a love to lift our deepest motives.

Oh why, why do we have these dreams
to stir our hearts?
Have these hopes of a much higher way?
Could there be a love more radiant,
a lover who will show us the way…
show us the way of love…
every day, every day…
Track Name: Sorry
Well even my little girl knows that when a wrong’s been done,
you need to own up to it, to try to make it right.
And even if it was yesterday, if someone is still hurt,
you don’t pretend it’s all OK, or look the other way…

And Blind Freddy can see here, the history is plain,
Australia’s prosperity was born of other’s pain,
and it wasn’t all that long ago, shameful things have happened,
that we cannot ignore or make go away…

So I’ll say SORRY - it’s a simple word, but it humbles us all,
Yes I’ll say sorry - knowing that it’s just a start,
but it’s a start, so I’ll say… [SORRY]

If land could tell a story, if blood could cry aloud,
we might see a lot more clearly, we might not be so proud.
Cause tho it wasn’t our choice, and tho’ we weren’t around,
we still live off the benefit, we’re building on that ground…

Even down the road here, just 80 years ago,
they say there was a slaughter, over 20 strung on trees….
Track Name: Healing
This August wind plays its music in the treetops,
breathing refreshment, making the leaves dance & sway,
may it catch up the shattered pieces you bear,
whisper a hint of a song,
cooling, soothing, repairing the discord…

This ancient ridge glows red in the sunlight,
massive with age, speaking its wisdom in stillness,
May it slow the frantic chaos of your thoughts,
promise time’s healing,
warming, waiting, strong enough to hold you.

I’ve watched you walk such a long and lonely road,
bearing your wounds, such a burden of brokenness…
May the vast blue speak its peace to you,
may the land bear your burden,
may these blossoms light your way,
and wait with you for the Healer to come…
He will come to you…
Track Name: Nasaali
NASAALI (1994?)

(chant) NASAALI…

You are a child but you live as a woman,
I can see the sadness in your eyes,
cradle your baby, care for his needs,
but who will care for you?

Walking around the mound of fresh earth,
a white wooden cross for your father,
your mother followed 4 days later,
joining a lost generation.

Nasaali do you cry alone in the night?
Nasaali are you still afraid of the dark?
six years hold the pain of a lifetime,
Nasaali what will become of you?

I see a little girl in a white dress,
in a world that is far from my own,
all that you’ve known has crumbled before you,
now you face life on your own…
Track Name: Lay it Down
LAY IT DOWN c. Nerida 2007

There are days when life gets hold of me,
weighing down with responsibility,
focussing on things I might not choose,
a time to serve, a time to give,
time to lay it down, lay it down.

But in my heart a battle sometimes rages,
I made the choice but rebellion surges, cause
every precious thing comes at a cost,
some things gained, some things lost,
some things laid down, laid down.

This is a time for accepting,
a time for patient humility,
this is a time for embracing
the way it is, the life I’m in,
the chance for new things to thrive…

Cause something dies, but from it grows to life,
a sweeter taste, a brighter fire and
if this one small death might then give birth
to clearer truth, to colours deeper,
then I lay it down, I lay it down…

This is a time for accepting…

Cause something dies…
Track Name: The thrill of the hunt!
THE THRILL OF THE HUNT (c. Nerida 2008)

If you’re searching for treasure
don’t have to look far,
just hop on your bike
or jump in the car.
Scour the side streets
or right on the main:
once hooked you will find them again and again.

Sweet smiling ladies with silvery hair,
setting up windows with colour & flair,
laughing while sharing the juiciest goss,
$5 a bag if you don’t tell the boss!

Anyone is welcome here to browse or to buy,
Scan the shelves, search the racks,
the hours will fly!
Helping the needy and making shopping fun,
it’s even environmentally friendly,
the op shop is the one!

In this modern age, well our life’s pretty tame,
mass-produced, made in China,
we all look the same.
But there’s no telling what priceless piece you will find -
it’s the thrill of the hunt once you venture inside!

Well off in the city, you couldn’t envision -
Dalmatian coats & gravy boats
in perfect condition!
Platform shoes, outrageous hues
the best retro gear - just don’t
tell them in Sydney what we pay out here!!
Track Name: Crazy, beautiful world
CRAZY BEAUTIFUL WORLD c. Nerida March 2008
(For Raphael)

I look at you and wonder what your future holds,
your hopeful face, so much that you seem to know and
ah, so many precious times
already in your short life.

I hold you close, knowing there will be a time when
I cannot shield you from all the pain & fear you’ll find
like countless mothers devastated
in other times, in other places…

Beauty & terror, wonder & greed,
Rich fertile forests, deserts of need,
Such bitter sorrow alongside deep joy…
Crazy, beautiful world, crazy beautiful world.

I look around this suffering world we’re in,
a priceless gift, we’ve squandered so much of it
and now, seems everything’s at stake:
is this a climax in eternity’s tale?