"Beds Are Burning" as written by Martin Rotsey, Peter Gifford, Robert Hirst, James Moginie and Peter Garrett....
Beds Are Burning
Midnight Oil

Out where the river broke
The bloodwood and the desert oak
Holden wrecks and boiling diesels
Steam in forty five degrees

The time has come
To say fair's fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact's a fact
It belongs to them
Let's give it back

How can we dance when our earth is turning
How do we sleep while our beds are burning
Four wheels scare the cockatoos
From Kintore East to Yuendemu
The western desert lives and breathes
In forty five degrees

Lyrics submitted by numb

"Beds Are Burning" as written by Martin Rotsey James Moginie

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Beds Are Burning song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentIt's about giving a part of Australia back to the Aborigines.
    CompleteNirvanaon December 15, 2001   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"But perhaps he should lead by example ? lol "

    umm... I think he lives a perfect example. He is now more well known for his good work in the community, than as "that dude from Midnight Oil". I think he is a wonderful role model and he's done wonders for this country.
    kahlanon July 23, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthank you for that lovely little bit of nationalistic stereotyping. if you would care to investigate before spouting off self-righteous bullshit, you would have found that Midnight Oil has made multiple efforts with multiple tribes of indigenous people to right the wrongs perpetrated on them. they have multiple NONPROFIT tours of the bushland to get a feel for the plight of the Aborigines and gave donated significantly to legal action against the abuse of Aboriginal land rights. hell, you don't even have to know all that to not be "skeptical"--just look at the remainder of the Deisel and Dust album. the entire thing is committed specifically to the issues facing the indigenous peoples of Australia.

    *sigh* i dunno. i'm just pissed because i'm an oiler to the core. any other band and i might be inclined to agree with you. but Midnight Oil wasn't--isn't--any other band. that's the reason i'm an oiler even now.
    m46p15on June 05, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think its about insulation, to be honest.
    Bowlofsoupon March 02, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentcacambo43 - 'how can we dance while our earth is turning' is a metaphor for indifference toward suffering that is going on as the earth turns, while 'how do we sleep while our beds are burning' is one for guilt, and for "shitting where you eat," so to speak. In other words, if you burn you're own bed (where you sleep), you're only hurting yourself in the long run.
    ShepherdofBeingon August 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHmm. That's a good question, but I have no clue.

    And what shauncreaney says somehow reminds me of other countries delusions about Australia. Everyone seems to think we have kangaroos in our backyards, and speak with a Steve Irwin accent, and are all basically yobbos who use their money in 'pissing it all away in booze and cheap women'.


    Great song though, you have to love Midnight Oil. For some reason I've always associated them with R.E.M. though...I have no clue why, hehe ;x
    feobeoon July 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentshauncreaney...who the fuck do u think u r? i bet u dun even live in australia as do i. i agree that what happened 2 the natives was horrible blah blah blah, but to stereotype 'ozzies' as sleazy drunkards having sex with any female is absolutley pathetic. todays aborigines arent as 'graceful' as u obviously think they are, as a matter of fact in my part of austarlia u run a high risk of not returning home from an outing with your wallet and keys due to aboringinal mobs. i want my car back WHICH THE ABO'S STOLE. open your eyes u bloody drongo
    mop_32on August 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHaha, yeah. An Australian political rock group would sing about America. :/
    METAL447on August 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyoutube.com/…

    watch costello's take, it's hilarious
    alterEgoon November 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can not BELIEVE some of the racist comments coming from people. It obviously mean's you are uneducated about Indigenous culture. I am 16 year's old doing research for a school report and some of the stereotypical remarks about Aboriginal people being the cause of most crime, got me all chocked up. Hopefully now, 6 to 5 years later you all have a better understanding. My Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather was apart of the stolen generation which by the way would not have even happened if white settlement did not occur. It is Aboriginal land and the reason Indigenous area's can be run down and full of crime is because they were dumped in missions and didn't have access to education, the same education that some people ^^ take advantage of. For the key board warriors up the top who are bagging out my culture, I double dare you to go ahead and say what you have got to say to one of our faces and see how it all pans out. Read a book or do some research and learn a little more so I don't have to see comments like this again. Cheers.
    Denikaon January 25, 2012   Link

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