Mark Seymour – Westgate

Versions

Version Length Source Availability
Studio 4:49 Mark Seymour Westgate album. Moderately common. Available new in CD and digital form.
Live [1] 5:42 Mark Seymour From Bondi to Bedlam album and video. Moderately common. Available new in CD, DVD and digital form.
Live [2]  7:59 Mark Seymour Roll Back The Stone album. Moderately common. Available new in CD and digital form.

Recommended Version.

 

Commentary

Westgate is about the West Gate Bridge disaster, which occurred on the 15th of October 1970. 35 men lost their lives. The song appears to be from the perspective of survivor Ed Halsall:

“Then there was rigger Ed Halsall who looked up from the ground and saw the bridge falling on him. His legs took over from his numbed brain and he found himself running at full pelt. As he ran the impact of the span hitting the ground sent a blast of wind behind Ed which lifted him off the ground and flung him to safety.”

 

Mark’s “Westgate” album track comments:

“Tells the tale of one man’s survival story, Eddy Halsall, the luckiest man alive, who narrowly escaped death during the collapse of the Westgate Bridge in 1970.”

 

Lyrics

My name is Eddie, I am a worn man now
But I know where I was that day
Hiding from the foreman at the base of the tower
When I saw the mighty bridge give way

Bolts started snapping on the western span
They sounded like machine gun fire
You should have heard when she came down
The wind blew me over the wire

And the cold wind blows
Down by the river where nobody goes
Hell broke free when the bridge came down
When the bridge came down

We overheard the engineers
Talk about the master plan
Something about rust and a difference in camber
And buckles in the western span

We went back on the job that day
Well they swore blue murder she would never come down
I got away with six broken ribs
I am the luckiest man around

And the cold wind blows
Down by the river where nobody goes
Hell broke free when the bridge came down
When the bridge came down

When you go to work each day
You think you are going to come back alive
You kiss your wife and your kids goodbye
When you know your going to play to survive

Sometimes I lay awake at night
And think about the ones who died
The riggers and the chippies and the boilermakers
The boys who had nowhere to hide

I think about how proud we were
And how we got a badge all done
You’ve got to trust who you are working with
When the steel starts to buckle in the sun

And the cold wind blows
Down by the river where nobody goes
Hell broke free when the bridge came down

And the cold wind blows
Down by the river where nobody goes
Hell broke free when the bridge came down
When the bridge came down