Funky new version of Midnight Oil’s “Beds are burning”

Yep, Bed’s are burning has been re-worked to speak about global warming.

Originally a 1987 Midnight Oil song about Aboriginal Land and social justice issues, Beds are burning is a classic. As the wiki says:

It reached #1 in the South African charts, #3 in the Netherlands Top 40, #5 in the France Top 50, #6 in the United Kingdom charts, #11 in Ireland, #17 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and in Denmark.

It is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

It is named #95 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s and #97 by the Triple J Hottest 100 Of All Time in 2009.

My verdict on the reworking? I like it. As a grumpy middle-aged man, I don’t know who half the musicians are. Yes it is a bit disorientating having dozens of various artists all thrown in together to have their 10 seconds of glory in the song, but I think they’ve managed to keep the chorus and basic ‘vibe’ consistent through the song.

Remember the horribleness of Feed the World by “Band Aid?” Eeeewwww. Compromise is always very possible when too many artists try to write a song together. But even though this particular gig has many rockin’ dudes and dudettes contributing, it somehow hangs together. Not too hard that the original song was such a classic.

So combined with very cool graphics almost subliminally suggesting our climate peril, the overall effect is one of desperate, overwhelming urgency.

It screams to our leaders that they simply must DO SOMETHING! Will they? I’m not that hopeful. While I’m not a doomer, I tend to think that society will only really get serious about weaning off fossil fuels as the price rises post-peak. Sadly, that may be too late for much of the climate damage we’ll inflict on future generations and the biodiversity loss may just be appalling, I hope not. (I can see scenarios where we’ll need special ecological domes and giant zoos breeding up threatened species). I hope this song becomes a historical record of a turning point in our popular culture and policies, not an indictment against this generation’s blind stubbornness to change in “The age of stupid”.

The new lyrics are:

http://www.timeforclimatejustice.org/

Tck Tck Tck

[Kofi Annan speaks]
Climate change is having a real impact
On the lives of individuals
And communities around the world
We must do something about it
In December in Copenhagen
Our leaders will have an opportunity
To come up with a robust post-climate agreement
That is viable and will help make this planet a better place

Down at the river bed
The earth is cracked and dry instead
Farms are failing, cities baking
Steam in 45 degrees

The time has come
To take a stand
It’s for the Earth
It’s for our land

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
The heat is on
No turning back

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

The time has come
To take a stand
It’s for the earth
It’s for our land

Heaven hopes we’ll find a cure
From Bejing west to Timbuktu
The global village lives and breathes
In 45 degrees

The time has come
To take a stand
It’s for the Earth
It’s for our land

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
The heat is on
No turning back

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

The time has come
To take a stand
It’s for the Earth
It’s for our land

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
The heat is on
No turning back

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

[Desmond Tutu concludes]
I support the Campaign For Climate Justice
And I’m pleased to become a climate ally
This is your campaign

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