Midweek Music Moment: How to make Gravy

One of my favourite Aussie singers is the incredibly gifted singer/songwriter Paul Kelly.

With his thoughtful ballads about the joys and sufferings of everyday life, Paul Kelly is a must for road trips, sing-alongs and late night musings.

Today’s Midweek Music Moment is his 1996 hit, ‘How to Make Gravy’.



With his politically-passionate songs that speak up for the underdog, in some ways Paul Kelly is a cross between Johnny Cash and Canada’s Bruce Cockburn.

This next song, ‘From little things, big things grow’ is the story of Aboriginal rights activist, Vincent Lingiari from the Gurindji people.

He led an 8 year strike for his people to claim back some of their traditional land – during which time support for aboriginal land rights grew – and eventually led to the ‘Aboriginal Land Rights Act’ (1976).


An important and symbolic event in Australian history occurred when, during an emotional ceremony in 1975, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam poured the local sand into Vincent Lingiari’s hands, symbolically handing the Wave Hill station back to the Gurindji people.


The Aboriginal Land Rights Act gave indigenous Australians freehold title to traditional lands in the Northern Territory and, significantly, the power to negotiate over mining and development on those lands, including what type of compensation they would like.

This performance of ‘From little things, big things grow’ was given by Paul Kelly and indigenous singer / songwriter Kev Carmody at Gough Whitlam’s 2014 memorial service.



And if you’re wanting a little more political ‘oomph’ and want to know how it has been for indigenous Aussies – here’s a moving, articulate, powerful tribute from Cape York Indigenous leader, Noel Pearson, to Gough Whitlam (‘This old man’) and how his powerful legacy impacted his life.

“This old man was one of those rare people who never suffered discrimination but understood the importance of protection from it’s malice”


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