From the album Frontier

This is a very special track about a very special Australian story. I wrote it a number of years ago, but have only had the chance to release it now.

Harry Littlefair was a miner in the Hunter Valley region of NSW. With the outbreak of World War 1, he left his mining equipment at his local watering hole - the Neath Hotel. This equipment consisted of a small miner's lamp (think a miniature watering can about 10cm tall - the wick goes in the spout and you fill it with oil) as well as his helmet and some other equipment.

Harry was wounded in action, sent to recuperate and entitled to a trip home. Instead, he returned to the front line with his mates and met his end courtesy of a machine gun bullet.

When Harry's birthday came around, his mates got his lamp from behind the bar and lit it for him. Then they invented ANZAC day, and to this day Harry's lamp lives on the top shelf of the Neath Hotel bar and is lit every ANZAC day to commemorate the fallen.

To the Neath Hotel's credit, they have numerous pictures and stories throughout the bar commemorating not just Harry but other local miners who headed off to war for king and country.

Harry Littlefair lies somewhere in France in an unmarked grave.

To be able to bring a story like this to life is one of the great privileges I enjoy as a songwriter. It, like all of the songs on this album, is for all Australians to enjoy. That's why I've decided to make this one a free download. That and because I hope it will help you to 'get it' - what this project is all about! These are your stories, not mine. I've hopefully just given them some new life for current and future generations.

Enjoy, and please never forget those individuals and families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our freedom.

Lyrics

Keep The Flame For Me
Copyright 2007 Craig Stewart

From far beneath the ground,
As we worked the Greta seam,
There were rumours runnin' 'round,
It was nineteen fifteen, they spoke of...

God and empire,
Spoke of right and wrong,
So I'm off boys to the wire,
To take the fight head on

CHORUS 1
And as I set sail on a troopship,
For a far off distant land.
Where the legend of the ANZAC,
Was just a mate that needs a hand.
I'll ask of you one favour,
As I bid farewell to thee.
Just keep the flame for me.

So with the stories of Gallipoli,
Still stirring up my mind,
I put to sea with a 303,
For the mates they left behind.

Camped under calico,
In the valley of the kings,
We trained away night and day,
For what the foe would bring.

CHORUS 2
And as I sit here by a campfire,
Among the pyramids and sand,
I hope this letter finds you,
All safe in my homeland.
Now don't you worry mother,
I'll be home soon you'll see.
Just keep the flame for me.

But finally the order came,
And we marched on in advance,
And the singing out of Gundagai,
Rang 'cross the fields of France.
We took 'em on in Pozieres,
We met 'em on the Somme,
But then I got myself knocked on the head,
With a flaming Jerry bomb.

CHORUS 3
So they shipped me off to hospital,
To take a well earned rest.
For a man could fit his hand,
Inside the hole left in my chest.
And I owned a passage home,
But an ANZAC will not flee.

Oh, Keep the Flame for me....

A flash in the night,
I woke with a fright,
I was dreaming of the Neath Hotel,
As I left my lamp with a wish me well, now I'm,
Out in the mud,
In a mess of death, flesh and blood
With the shells and bullets flying everywhere,
But my name is Harry Littlefair,
And alive or dead,
I'll fight on 'til the end.

CHORUS 4
Yes I set sail on a troopship,
For a far off distant land.
Where the legend of the ANZAC,
Was just a mate that needs a hand.
And I asked of you one favour,
As I bid farewell to thee.
Just keep the flame for me.

Yes I set sail on a troopship,
For a far off distant war.
And an unmarked grave is where I lay,
Upon a foreign shore.
So for all the fallen ANZACs,
Would you listen to my plea.

Just keep the flame for me,
Keep the flame for me,
Keep the flame for me.