Sleep Australia Sleep
A lullaby that laments climate inaction.
About The Artist
A multiple ARIA-award winning Hall of Famer and recipient of the Order of Australia, Paul Kelly is a national treasure who has created a rich and varied body of music that captures the bittersweet essence of a national culture in all its joy and sorrow.
As one of Australia’s greatest singer-songwriters, Paul Kelly has provided the soundtrack to multiple generations, from his early years on the Melbourne band scene and his breakthrough ’80s hits through to his evergreen ’90s classics and generous collaborations.
His work includes such classics as ‘Before Too Long’, ‘Dumb Things’, ‘To Her Door’, ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ and that quintessential Aussie Christmas staple, ‘How to Make Gravy’, in addition to co-writing Yothu Yindi’s land-rights anthem, ‘Treaty’.
He has performed and collaborated with multiple generations of Australian musical talent, including Archie Roach, Kev Carmody, Vika & Linda, Ziggy Ramo and Courtney Barnett, while his most recent album, last year’s eclectic Paul Kelly’s Christmas Train, featured guest appearances from Kasey Chambers, Marlon Williams and Emma Donovan.
Why I Wrote This Song
Sleep, Australia, Sleep is a lament in the form of a lullaby.
Paradoxically, it can also be heard as a wake up call – a critique of the widespread attitude amongst humans that we are the most important life form on the planet.
I believe we’ve reached a tipping point now where this attitude is doing terrible harm to all life on earth. I hope the song doesn’t come true but some of it already has.
I am concerned that activity and inactivity is proving perilous life on our planet. Through deforestation, development on wetlands, use of pesticides, introduced of foreign fauna and flora, man made climate change and other anthropocentric activities we are rapidly wiping out thousands of species of insects, birds and other creatures. And when little things go bigger things follow.