Beds Are Burning (4:15)

Cover of Diesel and Dust

From Diesel and Dust and 49 other releases

“Beds Are Burning” is a 1987 hit single by Australian rock band Midnight Oil, the first track from their album Diesel and Dust. This song was the second from the album to be released as a single.

According to the Beds Are Burning Songfacts, Yuendemu in the line, “From Kintore East to Yuendemu,” refers an aboriginal community in Central Australia, 250 Kilometers northwest of Alice Springs

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.

In May 2001, Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) celebrated its 75th anniversary by naming the Best Australian Songs of all time, as decided by a 100 strong industry panel. “Beds Are Burning” was declared third behind the Easybeats’ “Friday on My Mind” and Daddy Cool’s “Eagle Rock”.

“Beds Are Burning” is a political song about giving native Australian lands back to the Pintupi, who were among the very last people to come in from the desert. These ‘last contact’ people began moving from the Gibson Desert to settlements and missions in the 1930s. More were forcibly moved during the 1950s and 1960s to the Papunya settlement.

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