''I wrote the chorus before we went out into the desert and it was actually translated from Italian. I had been to an art exhibition which featured the story of the fascists during the Second World War, Mussolini and the fightback from the partisans. The guy who put the exhibition on explained to me that there was an expression from Italy about the fightback from those partisans, ‘How could you sleep when beds are burning?’ and I thought we could write a song about the same idea of an ancient Australian community who had so much thrown at it but was still joyfully dancing in the desert, singing their songs and pushing back against all the shocking things that had been visited upon them ever since Europeans had arrived in this country.'' - Peter Garrett
"In retrospect ''Beds Are Burning'' was the song we were born to record. It's got all the bits to make it work, strong rhythms, good melody and the lyrics had some punch, while being very Aussie," he explained. "It took a while to stick. It's incredible how much it still gets played around the place... Who would have thought an Aboriginal land rights song would travel that far?" - Peter Garrett
''THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG''
(click on the image)