> Steeleye Span > Songs > White Man

White Man

[Peter Knight]

Steeleye Span recorded this song about colonialism in 1986 for their album Back in Line. A live recording from the 1991 tour was released on the CD Tonight's the Night.

Lyrics

Steeleye Span sing White Man

Some sing of their glory
Few tell the true story
Most men they don't need it
White man he kills for it.

They took to the seas
Searching for a land that they could call Paradise
Stealing the breeze that carried them towards the sun
With lust in their eyes and a gun in their hand
They said we've found Paradise
Think of the glory look at the prize we've won.

We know who they were
They were the ones who killed their brothers
To steal from others
We know who they were
They were the ones whose sons and daughters
Are doing it still.

And in their hearts what did they feel?
Did they think they had the right to steal
Another man's land who had no name?
O they didn't think he'd feel the pain.

So they sailed away from their own country
To another man's land far across the sea
And they stole that land from the people there
And they called that land Australia.

Chorus:
Why did he do it
White Man?

They sailed away one winter's day
To a sunlit land that was far away
And they stole that land from the people there
And they called that land America.

Chorus