Jumping Fences

The Music Shift - The Hat Factory

   
     

Mountcastles is a smaller workplace, located at the time of the project in the Brisbane suburb of Fairfield, engaged in making a wide variety of hats, including fashion, uniform and protective hats.

The workers are members of the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia. They, like many others in manufacturing face the dilemma that while we are told that there is economic growth and that things are good, people feel that their real situation is deteriorating. This untold story is the basis of our song 'Keep It Under Your Hat'

Keep it under your hat

by Lachlan Hurse and Sue Monk

I saw a man in a hat walking down the street
He pulled the brim way down and kept his eyes low
As if there’s something that he didn’t want me to know
Keep it under your hat, don’t you let it show
It’s not the story I want everyone to know

I saw a room full of hats, all the latest styles
I had to try on a few, did they suit me
I checked the mirror to find what I couldn’t see
Keep it under your hat, don’t you let it show
It’s not the story I want everyone to know

Sometimes you can sing what you cannot say
You can’t always buy back what you give away
In every stitch and piece of braid there’s a human touch
In every seam the secrets of someone’s life

I saw a pile of old hats no-one wears anymore
They made me open my eyes, think of years ago
They were telling me things few people care to know
So keep it under your hat, don’t you let it show
It’s not the story I want everyone to know

I felt the cold winds of change tingle down my back
I had to pull down my cap, keep my head low
I was facing things I didn’t want to know
Keep your ear to the ground, and keep your head down
It’s not the sort of thing I want going ’round

Sometimes you can sing what you cannot say
You can’t always buy back what you give away
In every stitch and piece of braid there’s a human touch
In every seam the secrets of someone’s life

copyright Lachlan Hurse and Sue Monk, 1999.
first performed 24 February, 1999 at Mountcastles, Fairfield, Brisbane.

 

 

   

This page was edited last on the 16/05/2008