Karuah musician Lee Clayton to perform song at RSL Sub-branch Anzac Day dawn service

'That's why we sing Waltzing Matilda And why we can travel and roam.

'Our country is all kids of people Why we call Australia our home'.

These are the opening words to an inspirational song written by a Port Stephens musician for this year's Karuah RSL Sub-Branch Anzac Day dawn service.

The song will be performed for the first time by singer-songwriter Lee Clayton with the children of Karuah Public School on April 25. Lee is the daughter of World War II veteran Jim Clayton and the late Larrie 'Lal' Clayton, a Women's Auxiliary Air Force member.

Ms Clayton said that she had decided to write the song in response to a request from the Karuah RSL Sub-Branch to lift the community spirit of those attending this year's Anzac Day ceremony.

"It was expressed to me that while it was great to see more and more young people involved in Anzac Day services, there was concern that many did not know or understand the words to some of the old songs," she said.

"I was asked to write a new tune with words that would resonate with today's youth. I have been rehearsing it with the Karuah Public School students and will be performing it at the Karuah RSL Anzac Day dawn service."

Titled With Respect, Ms Clayton said it was her gift to the youth of today and hoped that it would serve as a lasting memory to all those men and women who have served unconditionally for Australia, including her parents.

'Many were killed some came back, All who paid a price,

'For us to live the lives we have, We owe them a debt of thanks'.

"I have been writing and performing songs for over 50 years ... I followed my mum who was a fabulous poet. The words are a reflection of how I feel about our returned soldiers. I, like many people, don't like war but I do respect those who go and fight for our freedoms," Ms Clayton said. "They also describe Australia as it is today, its diversity and how proud we are of who we are."

Ms Clayton worked for many years as a 'wandering minstrel' at the John Hunter Hospital, singing to the sick to brighten up their day. "We even cut a CD at the John Hunter featuring some of those compositions."

She has written music programs for charities such as House With No Steps, has performed to the elderly in nursing homes and was a finalist in the ABC Awards in Newcastle in 2008.

'We thank them now for all they do, And that the fight will cease

'To always keep our country safe, So we can live with peace

'Our people come every land, And travel over the seas

'We welcome them and hope they find, A home of love and ease.'

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