Song of the Day, May 6: Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil

MOilBedsToday’s song is Midnight Oil’s international breakthrough single Beds Are Burning. The band were famous in their native Australia for their incendiary live shows and their no-holds-barred political passion. After four strong albums and two interesting EPs, the Oils took a short break before recording their next disc. They were invited by the group Warumpi Band on a months-long tour of Aboriginal Australia, performing free concerts and gaining a first-hand understanding of the conditions of the continent’s original citizens.

Inspired by the tour, Midnight Oil wrote another set of passionate songs that gain power and intimacy from their experiences — the stunning Diesel and Dust. The lead-off track is one of their finest moments. Beds Are Burning is at its heart a protest song about the theft of native Australian lands. The fury and sorrow are so well crafted that they carry this meaning while conveying a universal theme of equity and political engagement. It’s a masterstroke of protest folk with a surging rock backdrop. The Oils became an even tighter band on the Blackfella/Whitefella tour — an amazing result — and it shows in every urgent note.

How can we dance when our earth is turning
How do we sleep while our beds are burning

Enjoy this compelling song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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