Sunday, July 13, 2008

This is .... what gives me goosebumps

I love the way stories of significant events have been passed down throughout history in poetry and song.

Twenty years ago, Australian musicians Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody wrote a song to celebrate the story of Vincent Lingiari, whose demands for wages, land, and respect for his people evolved into a much larger battle for Aboriginal land rights.

No matter how many times I listen to the original version of 'From Little Things, Big Things Grow', with Tiddas providing back-up vocals, it always gives me goosebumps. Paul Kelly's rendition of the song is compelling, triumphant, hopeful and, for me, very moving.

I haven't been able to find a free online recording of the beautiful original version, but the lyrics and guitar chords can be found here. I do recommend that you try and find the original if you haven't heard it yet ...

Here is a famous photo of then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pouring soil into Vincent Lingiari's hand, in a symbolic gesture to acknowledge his people's traditional ownership of the land:


At that point in the song I always get goosebumps and a lump in my throat!

photo source and details: nga

A very big thank you to Three Buttons for letting me choose the theme/s for this week! I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts .... (you can see who else is playing on the Three Buttons blogroll).

Post script - After reading many of the comments on this post, I was browsing through various live versions of the song on Youtube, feeling a little disappointed that I couldn't find the original. Because I love that recording so much I didn't think the live versions would give me the same goosebumps, but sure enough ... as soon as Paul Kelly started singing on this recording from the Live Earth concert, there they were, all up the back of my neck, down my arms and all the way to my toes! Yipes!

17 comments:

Lisa said...

Wow Juddie. I had no idea about any of this. It sounds like an amazing song and of something so significant.

Thanks for sharing and for this week's thought provoking theme.

one little acorn said...

Excellent - totally know what you mean. Paul Kelly has a good way with lyrics like that.
That saying "from little things big things grow..." is part of the inspiration for my blog (and business) name.
Thanks for the great theme.

three buttons said...

I'm honestly getting goosebumps whilst reading your post. I know the song well and I love how you have captured the beauty of it's meaning in your post.

Thank you for your fantastic theme choices this week!

Angela xx

Lilli boo said...

A beautiful and inspiring post. Thanks for this weeks theme!

Hoppo Bumpo said...

I love your post - its such a wonderful, powerful song. I could never tire of listening to it. Paul Kelly is able to tell important stories in such a beautiful way.

Great themes for this week.

Net said...

Thank you so much for this post and link. Also, for this weeks great theme!

Danielle said...

Definitely a great song. I saw Paul Kelly play this live for a Sudanese Refugee Program. It was AMAZING!

Jenny said...

That sure is a goosebumpy, lump in the throat song that always affects me too. It is hard teaching it to my grade ones as I always get emotional!! Thanks so much for these weeks choice-a great one:)

Nikki said...

I know what you mean with this song. I remember seeing Kev Carmody at the Punter's Club about ten years ago. One of the girls from Tiddas was there and got up to sing this song with Kev. I still get all goosebumpy when I think about it.

Paul Kelly certainly has a magical way with words.

flossy-p said...

Excellent! I got goosebumps as soon as you mentioned the song. Music has a special way of doing that, but when it's Paul Kelly, those lyrics, melody and meaning it goes to a whole other level.

CurlyPops said...

I absolutely love that song but I had no idea of the real meaning of it...thanks so much for enlightening me.

Leni & Rose said...

I haven't heard the song, but I do love Paul Kelly. His lyrics and vocals are amazing and many of his songs bring on goosebumps! I'm interested in the subject of this particular song - I'm going to go find out more.

Hila said...

That is one of my favourite songs - I love getting that lump in my throat from songs :)

Karin said...

I too, love that song. I used to use it in my dance classes when I taught - it's a good one to set movement to with it's 3/4 time signature, strong downbeat and powerful lyrics. It's definitely a goosebumper!

The words 'from little things, big things grow' mean a great deal to me, I've held onto them when times were tough. These simple words have gotten me through the day on many occasions.

Thank you. What a good This is. I've got to get onto mine - I've lost the plot for a few weeks!

Altissima said...

Hi Juddie,
THere are heaps of versions of the song at YouTube eg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tHEGo-g3mw
xxK

Juddie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juddie said...

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments! This song touches so many people. It's interesting to read of ways in which it's been used in classrooms too. I used it to teach intermediate-advanced students of English as a second language. It's a great song for this because of its traditional narrative style and gentle rhythm, which combines with interesting new phrases and topics for discussion.

Thanks Kirky for the link as well - I'm yet to find a live version that has that really goose-bumpy intensity, but I know that the recent re-vamp of this song with Kev Carmody, Missy Higgins, John Butler etc has been quite popular too. The Live Earth version was OK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3f2x12ShPg&feature=related

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