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An Ode to Aussie Racial Sorrow

The New York Times notes:

A song about racial reconciliation with the Aboriginal minority has become the fourth-biggest-selling recording in Australia, even though it is available only as a download from the Web.

The song, “From Little Things Big Things Grow,” begins with a recording of the words of Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, from his February apology for the country’s history of mistreatment of its indigenous peoples. “As prime minister, I am sorry,” Mr. Rudd says on the recording. “On behalf of the government, I am sorry.”

The folks at Sojourners write:

The song “From Little Things Big Things Grow,” written more than 20 years ago by Australian artists Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly, tells the story of Australian nonviolence hero Vincent Lingiari. Under the name “GetUp Mob,” they have collaborated with other Australian musicians, such as Missy Higgins and John Butler, to sing of this historic moment in Australian history. And (to my knowledge) they have launched the musical career of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd by sampling his historic apology speech:

As prime minister, I am sorry. On behalf of the government, I am sorry.

Both Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly’s music is richly submerged in themes of justice and in biblical poetry, from Paul Kelly’s song “The Lion and the Lamb,” to Kev Carmody’s “Comrade Jesus Christ.” In “From Little Things Big Things Grow,” you can hear the mustard seed of racial reconciliation and dignity spreading.

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