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Blow Up The Pokies Lyrics

Artist: The Whitlams
Album: Love This City

There was the stage, two red lights and a dodgy P.A.
You trod the planks way back then
And it's strange that you're here again, here again

And I wish I, wish I knew the right words
To make you feel better, walk out of this place
and Defeat them in your secret battle
Show them you can be your own man again

Don't, don't explain
Lots of little victories take on the pain
It takes so long to earn
You can double up or you can burn, you can burn

And I wish I, wish I knew the right words
To make you feel better, walk out of this place
and Defeat them in your secret battle
Show them you can be your own man again

And I wish I, wish I knew the right words
To blow up the pokies and drag them away
'Cause they're taking the food off your table
So they can say that the trains run on time

Flashing lights, it's a real show
And your wife? I wouldn't go home
The little bundles need care
And you can't be a father there, father there

And I wish I, wish I knew the right words
To make you feel better, walk out of this place
and Defeat them in your secret battle
Show them you can be your own man again, show them you can be your own man again..

And I wish I, wish I knew the right words
To blow up the pokies and drag them away
'Cause they're taking the food off your table
So they can say that the trains run on time

~Another man there was made the trains run on time


by bob on 5/12/2008 1:55am
very sad with lot of meaning to it
by Birdie on 5/15/2008 5:47am
Very sad, i played it at my boyfriends funeral last month, he was only 14 but he was hell troubled. he hanged himself and left a note saying no one understodd except me. when i was told that i was handed the note afterwards and all that i could think of was this song, wierd.

But a wonderful song. Love it heaps.

luv Birdie

and remember no life is bad enough to give up on, you can always try a little harder to make it better. Help is never as far away as you think, sometimes its right next to you on the couch, smiling back at you.
by George Washington on 6/3/2008 5:27am
by Shelley on 7/1/2008 8:17am
I wish we could BLOW UP THE POKIES! They ruin so many lives, not just the addicted, but their families and friends...
by Lucas on 7/22/2008 11:48am
Great song, haven't listened to this for a long time, but its got so much meaning.
Birdie that is some very wise advice from someone who hasn't had nearly as much life as most other people, but has had to deal with more than many others ever had to. All the very best, take care.
by KISSKISS on 7/31/2008 6:42am
I Only Heard About This Song When it Was Shown On Today Tonight And I Was Like I Know That Song From Some Where And I Looked It Up And Now I Cant Stop Playing It,,
by Aristocrat on 8/1/2008 6:24pm
I work for the leading company in gaming (pokies) Aristocrat, Go figure i love this song! wish i could blow them up! but hey... then i'd be out of a job!
by Brayden on 8/12/2008 5:03am
LOVE THIS SONG it has so much meaning and if i could blow up anything..... it would be the pokies
by meee on 9/7/2008 1:43am
i love this song. but i dont understand the last bit about trains? can someone explain it??
by Warl0cK on 9/9/2008 9:20pm
Tim Freedman is one of the best song writers around. He is brilliant. Seen The Whitlams live twice now and I love em.
by Bob on 9/16/2008 10:48pm
The trains is just an example on where the money gathered from pokies revenue goes. So, they are "taking the food off the table" to provide transport. It could be the lyricist is having a go at the fact the government does such a poor job, it needs to feed off the addiction of it citizens to provide a service.
by Shnunk on 10/3/2008 2:07am
This is such a great song! I heard it a few months ago and I love it now! It's played non-stop on my iPod!
by Markus on 10/26/2008 4:50am
Good try, but you could have gone a "tiny" bit deeper in to the topic instead of scratching the surface. Many artists do achieve this.
by james on 10/31/2008 3:39am
this is an amazing song but its also annoying because its heaps hypocritical, considering tim freedman is a massive alcoholic
by ily on 11/7/2008 11:26pm
good song
by Reedy on 11/10/2008 4:24am
Hearing The Whitlams perform this song live was moving. The passion and emotion in Tim Freedman's voice and the way the band played was amazing.
by Ren on 12/4/2008 8:37pm
birdie that is so sad. i really dont know what to say... except that im glad that you able to glean something true from the tragedy i guess.

thought id let u know im praying for you and wish you all the best
by murchu on 12/6/2008 8:07pm
Heard it sung by Tim freedman on Jenny Brockie's Insight makes it even more poignant if the previous comment about TF alcholic addiction is correct
by tom on 12/12/2008 3:20am
its a good song, i'm 14 and my dad committed suicide due to a pokie addiction and "burning" the money, my mum said she couldn't live without my dad and later committed suicide, this song helped me get through a lot of tough times and what birdie said at the top really helped me out. thanks. it may have saved my life.
by Dominic on 12/22/2008 6:07pm
Good song with alot of meaning
by kizzle on 12/23/2008 12:39am
Song gives me tingles
by Just a Thought on 2/12/2009 4:16am
Its not the person who sings it its the words that he sings so who cares if he is an alcaholic. the words still have great significance. everybody has problems but im sure TF aint proud of his addiction
by Little Ritchie on 7/16/2009 9:43pm
A wonderful song. I believe the last line of the song refers to the previous lines but also plays on an event just under 100 years ago. There was a ruler of Italy who said he would make the trains run on time. This man was Mussolini. I am sure you can fill in the rest.
by Lenti on 9/3/2009 5:38am
mee, as some others have alluded to its refering to the wideheld belief that the legality of pokie machines by state governments is for the large party due to the revenue they raise for the governments.
by Jez on 2/1/2010 2:51am
@ birdy
my god your story touched me
i know this is the internets and its pretty easy to write whatever you want but if true you are a wonderful and brave person, bless you
by Anon on 3/11/2010 7:55am
An old friend killed himself over the pokies. I hate them.
by mons on 5/21/2010 7:17am
@ James...

i used to work for the record company Tim is signed to... you are correct - he is a MASSIVE alcoholic... he would be in the office at 8:30am reeking of booze and had red wine stains around his mouth and you could hear the bottles rattling in his bag...

Still - he is an excellent singer / songerwriter / performer
by maddie.. on 5/26/2010 8:53pm
lyF & f@itH
by ke$ha fo life! on 5/26/2010 8:53pm
TrU3 dat maddie
by KURSTE on 5/26/2010 8:55pm
Very sad saong. LIFE AND FAITH! sorry to hear about your guys story, you are extremely strong, keep it up!!
by J4yD@wGG on 5/26/2010 8:56pm
believe in yourself and you can achieve anything!!!
te hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee!
Mr Ferguss Fo Lifeee
by chac on 5/26/2010 9:00pm
good song means alot
by derFRED on 9/2/2010 1:55pm
Lame-arse song by a wimpy band. Tim is an alky just like Peter Keating in The Fountainhead - because he knows that he's been promoted waaay beyond his meagre talent. And a tough guy too.. poured a glass of wine over Pauline Hanson. That's his idea of "freedom of speech".
by Haywood Jablowme on 9/3/2010 4:35am
@derFRED: Just u wait until shit happens to ur loved one's.. u r so blinded by the fact that alcoholism, amongst many other mental illnesses are just as equal to someone who gets struck down with cancer. it is not their fault that they r sick! I just feel sorry for people like u that lack some common sense...
by Fascist on 9/5/2010 4:45pm
I'm not surprised Tim Freedman is an alcoholic. Two former Whitlams band members (The two other founding members) have ended their own life in one way or another.
by Jason on 9/21/2010 3:07am
I have seen the man perform many times and have several of his cds The man is a genius. Of course he may have problems but we all have our own demons.
by Andrew on 2/3/2011 3:39am
Could I just say, As far as I know this was actually written about one of Tim Freedman's friends who had an addiction to the pokies so Although you are lambasting Freedman's Alcoholic tendencies he wrote this as a eulogy for his friend.
by Ben on 2/16/2011 8:49pm
Great song with alot of meaning. Really wish we could all blow up the pokies, the only good they provide are a bit of fun to lonely old ladies otherwise just take money from disadvantaged people who dream of a better life. But again, great song!
by Brooke on 3/11/2011 8:22pm
This is an amazing song. It has a lot of meaning and represents so much. It's one of my favourite songs ever. My dads favourite band, he died when I was three. A great song, one.
by LisSy on 3/11/2011 8:28pm
@derFRED get over it. This is a really sad song. Honestly, Haywood Jablowme is right. You obviously need to consider the song's depth and meaning.
by Justin on 4/8/2011 7:37am
Great song. Somehow captures the essence of watching an addict suffer. I always thought the bit about the trains was saying you can't blame the trains not being on time (for you always being late). And if you could only beat this thing, the trains will run on time (you won't need an excuse).
by Tom on 4/12/2011 6:06am
Justin: Reading into it at a different level, the "trains" line could even be linked to the taxes gathered by the Government funding the transit system. That may not be exactly where that money goes, but it's the first thing that came to my head :)
by @3182 on 4/26/2011 10:12pm
People pay the pokies to get what it says is coming to them. The reality is that hypercrites run these machines. They will give the punter a nice smile when S/HE leaves the venue. Owners arn't concerned that S/HE are besides themselves with a bizare sense of worry. It is allways the longest walk 'home' when there is no one around to admit this latest shame to.
by Terry on 7/17/2011 8:59pm

I would have pissed on Pauline Hanson
by Mike on 9/14/2011 3:11am
@ meee
@ Bob
The line about the trains running on time comes from Mussolini who promised to make the trains run on time. It is now used as a sardonic reference to nasty policies being justified by good outcomes.
by anon. on 9/15/2011 2:21am
the song is written in memory of their original drummer who committed suicide due to an addiction.
by Helen on 10/14/2013 9:26pm
I was just told about this song it is really good totally relate to it and they should blow them up
by jakob on 10/20/2013 9:34pm
to anyone wondering what the train part means, its because in aus pokies were illegal but then the government legalized them for the sole reason of the heavy tax they could put on it. the excuse they used to the media was they needed the moned for public transport... then they sold it to a private company a few years later
by victoria on 12/30/2013 8:25pm
to those of you that play them thankyou for wrecking your families life ... how about we blow up the places that let them play them and lock up the people that play them Pokies should be illegal like 2 up!!
by Me on 4/26/2015 3:19am
This song means a lot to me because my auntie and great auntie died because of pokies
by Ashleigh on 6/13/2015 11:19pm
I only needed this song for a music assignment, but I've realised that it holds a much sadder and deeper meaning. It's a beautiful song.
by warcok on 11/3/2016 4:56pm
does anyone know what the cultural, historical and social context of this song is?
@Ashleigh have you found anything usefull?
by Paul on 2/21/2018 5:44pm
Glad to see TF on board with the Labour parties efforts to eradicate this scurge. #GoneBy23
by 2020 on 6/14/2020 5:36pm
i'm coming to ruin this mans career
by stan loona on 6/14/2020 5:36pm
i love this comment section.

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