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Midnight Oil — Beds Are Burning
Album: Diesel and Dust
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3530









Released: 1987
Length: 4:13
Plays (last 30 days): 1
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?
How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

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

Four wheels scare the cockatoos
From Kintore East to Yuendemu
The western desert lives and breathes
In forty-five degrees

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

The time has come (''Ow!'')
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?
How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

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

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

How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?
Comments (304)add comment
 Centabor wrote:
Timely. Midnight Oil's past is our today tomorrow. I wish people would listen.
 

Yes!  In 2018 I got arrested for protesting a proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, that would have allowed a huge increase in Alberta tar sands bitumen being pipelined to Vancouver and tankered to Asia.

I was found guilty, but was allowed to make a statement to the Supreme Court of BC. My statement included the following lyrics:

From Midnight Oil:

How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

From Leonard Cohen:

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied.

(While I was repeating these words, I have to admit I quite enjoyed looking the judge in the eye, and really laying it on )

From John Lennon:

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one.

 bdwhitepm wrote:

Who knew we would get science with midnight oil?    Oh America why are we so stubborn we can't go to metric.  Even the UK is edging that way and they invented the "Imperial system." 
 

Yeah, imagine that; a system based on the number 10. Must make people's heads hurt.
 BCarn wrote:

No need to convert. Just think metric. 
 
Nah, I don't think so. Not for temperature anyway.
Metric you have  zero for freezing and 100 for boiling. Fahrenheit you have 32 for freezing and 212 for boiling. 
Fahrenheit is a much finer scale of measurement. You know the average human body temp is 98.6 F or 37C...

Now if your temperature goes up 2 degrees C, you have a pretty bad fever at 102.2 F


 Zep wrote:


F = 2C - 2C/10 + 32 [*1]
F = (20C - 2C)/10 + 32
F = 18C/10 + 32
F = 9C/5 + 32

QED.

[*1] Instead of subtracting the 10's digit, you need to divide by 10 and subtract that, retaining any decimal. It's not quite the same as your method, but works for backyard applications.
 
Who knew we would get science with midnight oil?    Oh America why are we so stubborn we can't go to metric.  Even the UK is edging that way and they invented the "Imperial system." 
whoa!! amazing track just love it
+1 to 9 to boost the sentiment whilst the Trumpton/Bozo administrations do their best to destroy any breakthroughs made in the past 30 years
This song is actually about giving the Indigeneous people their land back. Being an Australain and listening to this in London after all these years is incredible. One of the best drummers at the time too. Saw this band many a times in my youth and was never disappointed. Peter Garrett was and probably still is a force to be reckoned with. Steam would come of his head as he sang those songs with such conviction and force. Cheers Bil! 
 skuzzfud wrote:
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit :

Take the Celsius no. eg. 45 degrees

Double it. = 90

Subtract the first digit. eg 90-9=81

Add 32. eg 81+32= 113 degrees Fahrenheit

This equation is always correct for temps in the normal range.

An old bloke from my neighbourhood taught me this back in the 70's when Australia changed over to metric units.
 

F = 2C - 2C/10 + 32 [*1]
F = (20C - 2C)/10 + 32
F = 18C/10 + 32
F = 9C/5 + 32

QED.

[*1] Instead of subtracting the 10's digit, you need to divide by 10 and subtract that, retaining any decimal. It's not quite the same as your method, but works for backyard applications.
 skuzzfud wrote:

To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit :

Take the Celsius no. eg. 45 degrees

Double it. = 90

Subtract the first digit. eg 90-9=81

Add 32. eg 81+32= 113 degrees Fahrenheit

This equation is always correct for temps in the normal range.

 
It's close, and it does work "for temps in the normal range" -- mostly. However, "subtract the first digit" is a bit of a problem: there are places/contexts where a temperature above 50 C is not uncommon. The first digit, once that value is doubled, is "1", not the required "10". So, a little imprecise in the prescriptive details. Also, the recipe doesn't take into account the sign of the intermediate result i.e. the result after doubling the value of the temperature to be converted.

Nevertheless, the recipe is close enough to the mathematically-accurate conversion that you might as well just go whole-hog. The beauty of doing so is that you need only be able to do addition, subtraction, and know how to multiply and divide by 2 and 10. Children can do that.

Therefore:
- double the initial temperature, in Celsuis;
- keeping that first intermediate result in mind, subtract from it one-tenth of itself;
- to that second intermediate result, add 32.

It might be useful to practice with a few common temperatures, and the most profitable exercise, I think, is to begin with temperature values that are multiples of 5, as these generally produce first intermediate results that are susceptible to the subsequent mental arithmetic.

Photographic solutions are/were usually used at 20 C (as this is widely considered to be room temperature, at least in the western world). 20, doubled, becomes 40, one-tenth of which is 4, which, when subtracted from 40, leaves 36, to which you add 32 to get 68 -- which is room temperature for Fahrenheitists.

Water boils at 100 C: 100, doubled, becomes 200, one-tenth of which is 20, which, when subtracted from the first intermediate results of 200, leaves 180, to which you add 32 to get 212 -- the very bizarre temperature on the Fahrenheit scale that everyone recognizes as the temperature at which water... boils.

As a puzzle, try it with -40 C, remembering to respect the sign of the first intermediate result in deriving the one-tenth value to be subtracted...

For bonus points, offer your results and explain how they are possible.
 Centabor wrote:
Timely. Midnight Oil's past is our today tomorrow. I wish people would listen.
 
Maybe............maybe not.
Settle Far wrote:
Australia was discovered/settled at the peak wet period of a 350 cycle which the aboriginals knew well in song and story. It has been getting dryer and burning more in a natural cycle indifferent to anthropogenics.  For an east read on this, Jared Diamond.
 
Curious take. I've been on a Jared Diamond reading kick for a couple months and my take is you're half right. Settled during wet cycle and drying naturally to begin with yes, but Diamond certainly supports that we've hit Fast Forward into climate crisis beyond any natural cycles.
I’ve always loved this band! These beats saved my life in early sobriety. (Dancing like a maniac!)
 jimdeeks wrote:
Or, just double the Celcius and add 30... so, 5ºC is 40ºF... 15ºC is 60ºF.  It works pretty well till you get above 25ºC.  For negative temps, double the C and subtract from 34... so -5ºC is 24ºF... -15ºC is 4ºF.   -17ºC is 0ºF.   Hope that helps!

 

 skuzzfud wrote:
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit :

Take the Celsius no. eg. 45 degrees

Double it. = 90

Subtract the first digit. eg 90-9=81

Add 32. eg 81+32= 113 degrees Fahrenheit

This equation is always correct for temps in the normal range.

An old bloke from my neighbourhood taught me this back in the 70's when Australia changed over to metric units.

 

Australia was discovered/settled at the peak wet period of a 350 cycle which the aboriginals knew well in song and story. It has been getting dryer and burning more in a natural cycle indifferent to anthropogenics.  For an east read on this, Jared Diamond.
WAY ahead of their time when they arrived on the music scene in the 80s
I can't stand this song, never could. Or anything by this band. But I appreciate the message. 30+ years later (!!!!) and we're only beginning to take this seriously. It's been hard to witness this apathy for such a long time. 
 skuzzfud wrote:
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit :

Take the Celsius no. eg. 45 degrees

Double it. = 90

Subtract the first digit. eg 90-9=81

Add 32. eg 81+32= 113 degrees Fahrenheit

This equation is always correct for temps in the normal range.

An old bloke from my neighbourhood taught me this back in the 70's when Australia changed over to metric units.

 
Cool shortcut! I expect the generation of always-connected people would prefer to use their i-device instead of their brain, but cool nonetheless.

 skuzzfud wrote:
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit :

Take the Celsius no. eg. 45 degrees

Double it. = 90

Subtract the first digit. eg 90-9=81

Add 32. eg 81+32= 113 degrees Fahrenheit

This equation is always correct for temps in the normal range.

An old bloke from my neighbourhood taught me this back in the 70's when Australia changed over to metric units.

 
No need to convert. Just think metric. 
 fscheuneman117 wrote:
Did you know that the singer became minister (environment and education)  in Australia? Great song!
 
After watching the Aussie show "Rake" (which I HIGHLY recommend) I'm not sure how impressive that is....still a cool tune …. Long Live RP!!
Did you know that the singer became minister (environment and education)  in Australia? Great song!
What a skilled drummer.  
This song is the Australian equivalent of, say, 'Born In The USA'. How much airplay did the US alternative stations give it? 
Long Live                                                                                                          Radio Paradise
My rating is                                                                                                       8 - Most Excellent
A true classic throughout the last 30 years.  Wow
[or just convert it with ur phone.. like a normal person in the year 2018]

Were not in 2018 anymore.
 skuzzfud wrote:
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit :

Take the Celsius no. eg. 45 degrees

Double it. = 90

Subtract the first digit. eg 90-9=81

Add 32. eg 81+32= 113 degrees Fahrenheit

This equation is always correct for temps in the normal range.

An old bloke from my neighbourhood taught me this back in the 70's when Australia changed over to metric units.

 

or just convert it with ur phone..  like a normal person in the year 2018
7 -> 8  - Most Excellent
I saw Midnight Oil on this tour in Chicago, 8/8/88, the same night they turned the lights on at Wrigley Field, at Metro. Right across the street. Amazing show, something I'll always keep with me.
Gotta turn this one up to 11 every time I hear it !   {#Bananasplit}
 skuzzfud wrote:

To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit :

Take the Celsius no. eg. 45 degrees

Double it. = 90

Subtract the first digit. eg 90-9=81

Add 32. eg 81+32= 113 degrees Fahrenheit

This equation is always correct for temps in the normal range.

An old bloke from my neighbourhood taught me this back in the 70's when Australia changed over to metric units.

 
Learn something from RP everyday. Thanks, seriously.
It's good but the most overplayed song by Midnight Oil
 Actuel wrote:
I dont know why, but I always hate it .. 1/10 
 
Because you're a dickhead?

To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit :

Take the Celsius no. eg. 45 degrees

Double it. = 90

Subtract the first digit. eg 90-9=81

Add 32. eg 81+32= 113 degrees Fahrenheit

This equation is always correct for temps in the normal range.

An old bloke from my neighbourhood taught me this back in the 70's when Australia changed over to metric units.

 nutrod42 wrote:
Great show in Oakland on May 27.

 
Yes it was. Saw them years ago at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, and that was very good also.
I find I have grown tired of this cut. If it could be dialed back to once or twice a year, that sounds about right to me. Used to like it fine.
 Actuel wrote:
Don't know why but I can't stand this song, rate 1, mute my computer for 3 minutes...

 
s
Don't know why but I can't stand this song, rate 1, mute my computer for 3 minutes...
 BCarn wrote:
 Being Australian doesn't give you some Insight or authority in determining what is good or bad in a song by an Aus band. Just sayin'.

 
Agree - insofar as Midnight Oil albums go, this isn't up there with the best. Surprisingly, I go back to their debut self-titled more than any other. Good longboard surf hardcore punk stuff. Saw them a handful of times in the early nineties, and by that  time they were onto Beds Are Burning, but at least they still played older stuff in their shows.
It was 117 degrees (47 celsius) in Sydney the other day. One degree off the record. A stretch of highway was melting. Beds are burning is about right.


 lizardking wrote:

I hear "Spy Hunter" in the bass line, which made me like this more than normally;  7 rating for now.

*EDIT* How'd I miss all that cow bell too?  Gosh I want to rate this lower and can't....it's got a groove to it that I like.  Proud 7!



 
Ha ha, Henry Mancini deserves a writer's credit on this song!
{#Bananajam}
 aelfheld wrote:
 BCarn wrote:
 Being Australian doesn't give you some insight or authority in determining what is good or bad in a song by an Aus band. Just sayin'. 

It does indicate the likelihood of a greater familiarity with their output.

Besides, this song really is teufelsdreck. 

 
Not really, but you're convinced you're right so i shant waste my time.
{#Sunny}    {#Devil_pimp}   {#Motor}     {#Cowboy}
 Centabor wrote:
Timely. Midnight Oil's past is our today tomorrow. I wish people would listen.

 
Your absolutley correct,saw them 2 months ago in Vancouver BC and they were still strong with their messages, not to mention the great music they played...{#Dancingbanana_2}
Timely. Midnight Oil's past is our today tomorrow. I wish people would listen.
 BCarn wrote:
 Being Australian doesn't give you some insight or authority in determining what is good or bad in a song by an Aus band. Just sayin'. 

It does indicate the likelihood of a greater familiarity with their output.

Besides, this song really is teufelsdreck. 
 Typesbad wrote:
45 degrees Celsius = 113 degrees Fahrenheit.   After all this time I finally looked that up.

 
True story from my life and completely related to 45 C and otherwise completely unrelated to music. 

While touring through Egypt, circa summer of 1991 (i.e. shortly after the 1st Gulf War) as a 16 year-old with my 60+ y/o Egyptian grandma, we spent most of July in Cairo, then Luxor, Aswan, then Alexandria, etc.  It was in Upper Egypt (due to the Nile flowing from S to N, Upper Egypt is the south) between Aswan and Luxor where I learned a truth about governments; they lie. 

The "rule" was that, when the temperature was given over the radio to the villagers/workers, it was never higher than 45 deg C (or 113 deg F, or 318.15 Kelvin) - the reasoning was that the workers would just stop working in those temps.  I'm not sure why no one else had a thermometer to confirm, although the thermometer we had was on a key chain and stopped at 50 deg C, and one of those July days the damn thing burst.  My guess is that the real temp was somewhere around 54 deg C, or just shy of 130 deg F.  Of course, temps are different in the shade, or right above the ground vs in the air, etc., which is why the "hottest recorded temp record has been hard to confirm" - nonetheless it was FREAKING HOT and I now will always know what 45 C is in F.

....and it was a dry heat....and my Egyptian blood LOVED IT.

Long Live RP!


 nutrod42 wrote:
Great show in Oakland on May 27.
 
Playing Vancouver tonight.
Great show in Oakland on May 27.

I hear "Spy Hunter" in the bass line, which made me like this more than normally;  7 rating for now.

*EDIT* How'd I miss all that cow bell too?  Gosh I want to rate this lower and can't....it's got a groove to it that I like.  Proud 7!


 PLC wrote:
Ok,  As an Australian I can say that this song/album is one of the worst Midnight Oil ever put out.  Now if RP started playing some of the earlier stuff then you'd have me waving the flag.  Some early Cold Chisel would also be very welcome!

  Being Australian doesn't give you some insight or authority in determining what is good or bad in a song by an Aus band. Just sayin'.
 Redpoint wrote:
Caught them live on one of two rare tour stops in the UK years ago. Hands down one of the best bands I've seen live EVER! Moved to Canada shortly after that and can't wait to see them this June in Vancouver. Their rage and passion is probably more relavent today than it's ever been with all the turmoil in the world and the rise of that deranged orange lunatic and his band of amateur clowns South of the border. 

 
wow nice post i may have to  jaunt{#Bananajam} up road to BC! 
Caught them live on one of two rare tour stops in the UK years ago. Hands down one of the best bands I've seen live EVER! Moved to Canada shortly after that and can't wait to see them this June in Vancouver. Their rage and passion is probably more relavent today than it's ever been with all the turmoil in the world and the rise of that deranged orange lunatic and his band of amateur clowns South of the border. 
Great song. Give the edge to Blue Sky Mine though{#Sunny}
 treatment_bound wrote:

What is that in Kelvin?

 
Add 273 to Celsius, I believe.
So, 318.
But I thought we defeated the Kelvan Empire.
 
Memories of the Diesel and Dust tour at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. A good concert still have the singlet somewhere...
{#Fire}
verry good!
 Typesbad wrote:
45 degrees Celsius = 113 degrees Fahrenheit.   After all this time I finally looked that up.

 
A quickie non-technical translation is to double the degrees Celsius and add 28....not exact, but generally close.
 Typesbad wrote:
45 degrees Celsius = 113 degrees Fahrenheit.   After all this time I finally looked that up.

 
What is that in Kelvin?
Memories of my childhood music discoveries are roaring back to me now. <3
So glad I got a chance to see these guys live. They were fantastic.
45 degrees Celsius = 113 degrees Fahrenheit.   After all this time I finally looked that up.
I dont know why, but I always hate it .. 1/10 
 xkolibuul wrote:
If you haven't heard other Oils songs here, you haven't been listening enough.  Time to up your game.  
 
Upping your game would involve listening to fewer 'Oils songs'.
 kcar wrote:

My brothers and I used to do that sideways look when my dad would say, "Now stop me if you've heard me tell this one before..." Groundhog Day wasn't in it. But I do like your version of the lyrics.

Might be nice to hear a different Midnight Oil song now and then, Mr. Bill. 

 
If you haven't heard other Oils songs here, you haven't been listening enough.  Time to up your game.  
Great album.
 skyian wrote:

My ex-husband used to sing, "The time has come to say fizz beer".

 
I always thought it was "boil and dissolve".
Let us listen to Blue Sky Mining.  Fantastic album.  Went to Australia for the first time a couple weeks ago and I put that on heavy rotation.
this was soo Kwel in 1989
 in 2016 - ok
{#Dancingbanana_2} yeah!
 Nerubo wrote:

Bumping this for the metric-impaired among you....

 
A length, weight and temperature system based on the number 10 !!? Heresy! Blasphemy! How dare you, good Sir! {#Cheers}
Love the harmony, lyrics and 'accents' in this song!
 
More cowbell is needed.
 kcar wrote:

My brothers and I used to do that sideways look when my dad would say, "Now stop me if you've heard me tell this one before..." Groundhog Day wasn't in it. But I do like your version of the lyrics.

Might be nice to hear a different Midnight Oil song now and then, Mr. Bill. 

 
My ex-husband used to sing, "The time has come to say fizz beer".
I love the whole album, but this song is little bit overplayed. {#Rolleyes}
 colt4x5 wrote:
And Katharine Hepburn on vocals. 
Or is it Martin Short?
 
. . . or Cate Blanchett?
https://content9.flixster.com/photo/12/23/48/12234871_gal.jpg
 stunix wrote:
Just enough cowbell.     catchy chorus.  7

 
And Katharine Hepburn on vocals. 
Or is it Martin Short? 
 ice-9 wrote:
45 degrees Celsius = 113 degrees Fahrenheit
 
Bumping this for the metric-impaired among you....
nice!
Just enough cowbell.     catchy chorus.  7
timeless great song and the worst singer, ever
This song is nice ! We worked it at school ;)
.YAY. Great song!
 kcar wrote:

My brothers and I used to do that sideways look when my dad would say, "Now stop me if you've heard me tell this one before..." Groundhog Day wasn't in it. But I do like your version of the lyrics.

Might be nice to hear a different Midnight Oil song now and then, Mr. Bill. 

 
Tune's kind'a appropriate given the current state of immigration affairs here in the 'ol U.S.of A......."Let's give it back..." doesn't appear to be a Congressional option.  Heh!

Highlow
American Net'Zen
 jeremyleo wrote:

Almost every time we make bacon at home, the heat and initial smoke, after the first few strips hit the pan, sets off my smoke/heat detector.  This always prompts signing "How can we sleep while the bacon's burning".

My wife laughs.  My teenagers look at me sideways, especially when they have friends over...



 
My brothers and I used to do that sideways look when my dad would say, "Now stop me if you've heard me tell this one before..." Groundhog Day wasn't in it. But I do like your version of the lyrics.

Might be nice to hear a different Midnight Oil song now and then, Mr. Bill. 
I see the value of the lyrics, but the song leaves me reaching for my own playlists, until it's done.
 Euskadita wrote:

https://www.facebook.com/MidnightOilCottagePreservationFund

Check this link, it's about the cottage of the album cover

 
Someone hasn't been payin' the rent for a while.
{#Bananajam}{#Bananajumprope}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Bananasplit}{#Drummer}{#Bananapiano}
pop up the volume
Happy birthday, mr. Garrett!
An absolute 10, this was the first song that I heard from MO, and now I have around 8 or their CDs ...
The first CD I ever purchased.  Played it on a Denon 777.

Dynamic range blew me away and I retired my turntable very soon after.

The Denon 777 could play CD's that were smeared with peanut butter.  Incredible error correction.  But it was 1200 dollars {#Eek}
 
 oldfart48 wrote:
great tune, but how can u listen to this guy and gripe about Dylan?

 
Because this guy has style AND pitch. Dylan begs to own the latter.
 Dexwood wrote:
Liked this song the first time around. Have really grown to hate it. So overplayed here. Your mileage may vary.

 
Yep. I only ever sort-of liked the Oils to begin with. This one has a decent hook and sounds okay but it's so preachy and Garrett's voice is just ridiculous. Odd to think that in all this time, I've never bothered to rate it. I think I'll go with a 3.
The time has come, it's not going to be pretty and some lives will be lost but... it's time to vote this 10.
Liked this song the first time around. Have really grown to hate it. So overplayed here. Your mileage may vary.

Everybody in my churches loves this song...
 
great tune, but how can u listen to this guy and gripe about Dylan?
Sounds like he's got a really hot potato in his mouth... Nice song otherwise, but wtf?!

hated it then, still hate it now. 
Ok,  As an Australian I can say that this song/album is one of the worst Midnight Oil ever put out.  Now if RP started playing some of the earlier stuff then you'd have me waving the flag.  Some early Cold Chisel would also be very welcome!
Dance Peter, DANCE!
A dream tenant of every landlord... really obsessed with paying rent.
And before someone starts explaining to me it's a metaphor - yes it is... it's also hammered down the throat.
Great instrumentation.  Love the horn section.
"How can I sleep" while this plays?  JK 
https://www.facebook.com/MidnightOilCottagePreservationFund

Check this link, it's about the cottage of the album cover

Love this song, and it isn't only because his voice is wacko; there are horns back in there somewhere!

Always thought there was an incendiary relationship between burning beds and midnight oil.


Subdued cowbell?
WTF?!
Didn't miss a beat there, Bill! Farkin' fab mix, my man! 
The Who - I'm Free to this! Well, I was in the kitchen, RP cranked up through my '70's vintage Marantz 1070 amp in the little home office adjacent when that opening chord came in so perfectly timed and placed - I just howled! What a great, rainy Saturday afternoon at home!

Thanks, RP! 
 kingart wrote:
Some of the lyrics should be theme music for this f"d up clown circus election season. 
 
Amen
 
 romeotuma wrote:


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
 
You know what - I'm on my way to Vegas early September and I guess I just have to send one of those comments from whatever Hotel I'm gonna end up in. Maybe it becomes 'a thing'... But then again, maybe it already is.

Moose
This song is in my opinion only one out of more than 90 great songs of this band!
Some of the lyrics should be theme music for this f"d up clown circus election season. 

45 degrees Celsius = 113 degrees Fahrenheit




Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
 stevebeaver wrote:
Great song from a great band!
 
Pity their lead singer is now a government minister. Anyway, what they say in this  song for blackfella Australia is ALL TRUE, so, are you part of the problem, or part of the solution?
{#Bananajam}Love this song - used to sing it in the outback in the 80's.
Great song from a great band!