Chains, a book of songs by John Tomlinson and Ian Hills


To see book of songs, click on the ChainsPDF2 file above.

Publisher’s note to the 2019 reprinting

Reproducing this songbook from two rather battered and incomplete original copies has taken an immense amount of work, most of which has been carried out by Penny Harrington. We are immensely grateful for the way in which Penny has taken on this project. Without her dedication and hard work the 2019 reprint of ‘Chains’ would probably not have seen the light of day.

We have attempted to produce an historically accurate document by using the same layout, illustrations, lyrics and music that appeared in the original, resulting in a document that has the feel and appearance of the self published nineteen sixties book of protest songs.

For the same reason a pamphlet distributed by the Aboriginal and Torres Islanders Advancement League is included in this reprint. This pamphlet was included in the 1963 edition as background to several songs about the closure and destruction of the Mapoon settlement and at that time was the only printed source material we had available. There are now several thousand sites on the Internet with commentary on this tragic event.

Production values are not the only things that have changed since the sixties. The use of ‘man’ and ‘mankind’ to refer to ‘people’, the terms ‘black man’ and ‘white man’, and a white person writing from the perspective of an Aborigine, passed without comment in the sixties, but are much less acceptable in 2019. For the sake of historical authenticity, with apologies to modern readers, the original lyrics have been retained and not revised to reflect modern usage.