From Little Things Big Things Grow

Infobox Single
Name = From Little Things Big Things Grow

Cover size = The Get Up Mob, 2008 version
Caption =
Artist = Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly
Album = Bloodlines
A-side = "From Little Things Big Things Grow"
B-side = "Freedom"
Released = 1993 (Australia)
Format = 7" vinyl
Recorded = 1991 Paul Kelly & the Messengers version
1993 Kev Carmody version
2008 GetUp Mob version
Genre = rock, protest
Length = 6:51
Label = EMI, Festival
Writer = Kev Carmody, Paul Kelly
Producer = Alan Thorne, Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly & the Messengers version
Certification =
Last single =
This single = "From Little Things Big Things Grow"
Next single =
Misc =

"From Little Things Big Things Grow" is a rock protest song recorded by Australian artists Paul Kelly & The Messengers on their 1991 album "Comedy", and by Kev Carmody (with Kelly) on his 1993 album "Bloodlines". It was released as a CD single by Carmody and Kelly in 1993 but failed to chart. The song was co-written by Kelly and Carmody,cite web |title=Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA)|publisher=APRA |url= |accessdate=2008-09-30 Note: requires user to input title, e.g. FROM LITTLE THINGS BIG THINGS GROW] and is based on the story of The Gurindji Strike and Vincent Lingiari as part of the Indigenous Australian struggle for land rights and reconcilliation.cite web |url= |title="George Negus Tonight" History - Transcripts: The Gujindji Strike |publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio |date=2004-07-04 |accessdate=2008-08-20 ]

On 2008-05-04, a cover version by The GetUp Mob, part of the GetUp! advocacy group, peaked at #4 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) singles charts.cite web |url= |title=The GetUp Mob - "From Little Things Big Things Grow" |publisher=Australian Charts Portal |accessdate=2008-08-24 ] This version included samples from speeches by Prime Ministers Paul Keating in 1992, and Kevin Rudd in 2008;cite web|url=,23739,23575456-7642,00.html |title=Single samples Rudd, Keating|publisher=Courier Mail|last=Edwards |first=Anna|date=2008-04-22|accessdate=2008-08-20] it featured vocals by both Carmody and Kelly, as well as other Australian artists.


The song was co-written by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody, and is based on the story of The Gurindji Strike and Vincent Lingiari. It describes how the Gurindji people’s claim sparked the Indigenous land rights movement. The protest led to the Commonwealth Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The Act gave Indigenous people freehold title to traditional lands in the Northern Territory and the power of veto over mining and development on those lands. In 1975, 3,236 sq km of land was handed back to the Gurindji people. [cite web |url= |title=Blood Brothers – From Little Things Big Things Grow |publisher=Australian Screen (National Film & Screen Archive) |accessdate=2008-08-20] Carmody described writing the song:

It was recorded by Paul Kelly and the Messengers for their 1991 album "Comedy" released by Mushroom Records. Kelly included the song on his solo albums, "Live, May 1992" and "" in 1997. Carmody recorded it on his 1993 album "Bloodlines" supplying vocals, guitar and didgeridoo, Kelly supplied vocals, guitar and harmonica, with numerous other musicians. [cite web |url=|Kev+Carmody|&sessionId=reuseSearchF1FC5D6C39C023ED0EB910E5B6660D601219532309441 |title="Bloodlines" sound recording |publisher=Music Australia |date=2001-01-24 |accessdate=2008-08-24 ] This Carmody and Kelly version was released as a single in 1993 but did not chart. Also in 1993, an SBS television documentary, "Bloodbrothers", examined Carmody and his music including this song. [cite web|url= |title=Kev Carmody Biography |publisher=allmusic |last=Harris |first=Craig |accessdate=2008-08-24 ] [cite web |url=|title=Blood Brothers – "From Little Things Big Things Grow" |publisher=Australian Screen (National Film & Television Archive) |accessdate=2008-08-08]

Other versions

The song was performed on 7 July 2007 on the Australian leg of Live Earth by Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody, John Butler, and Missy Higgins. [cite web|url= |title=Crowded House Stars As Live Earth Begins In Sydney |publisher="Billboard Magazine"] [cite web |url= | title=First Live Earth Reviews: Australia and Japan |publisher="Hollywood Today" |last=Jolson |first=Jeff |date=2007-07-07 ] The song could have been considered "the event's anthem." [cite web|url=,20867,22035133-1702,00.html |title=Musicians take the bus to Live Earth |publisher="The Australian" |date=2007-07-07] "Rolling Stone" cited the performance as a highlight, stating the "whole crowd sung along – all eleven verses." [cite web|url= |title=International Report: Live Earth Sydney |publisher="Rolling Stone" |last=Lander |first=Dan |date=2007-07-07 ]

The GetUp Mob, organised by advocacy group GetUp!, released a version of the song on 21 April 2008 [cite web |url= |title="From Little Things Big Things Grow" by The GetUp Mob |publisher=GetUp! |accessdate=2008-08-24 ] . This featured elements of the apology to the Stolen Generations, made by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 13 February 2008, as well as former Prime Minister Paul Keating's Redfern Speech on 10 December 1992. The track features Carmody and Kelly, as well as other prominent Australian artists (including Urthboy, Missy Higgins, Mia Dyson, Radical Son, Jane Tyrrell, Dan Sultan, Joel Wenitong and Ozi Batla). This version peaked at #4 on the ARIA singles chart after its 28 April 2008 release, [cite web |url= |title=The GetUp Mob - From Little Things Big Things Grow |publisher=Australian |accessdate=2008-08-20] and #2 on both the Australian Chart and Digital Track Chart. [cite web |url= |title=Song of Reconciliation debuts at #4 | |date=2008-004-28|accessdate=2008-08-20 ] The video for the song was produced by ARIA winner Hackett Films, and features John Butler, Leah Purcell, Pat Dodson and Anthony Mundine. Kev Carmody described the 2008 version:

Track listing

# "From Little Things Big Things Grow" (Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody) - 6:51
# "Freedom" (Bart Willoughby, Carmody) - 6:49


Paul Kelly and the Messengers 1991 version

Paul Kelly and the Messengers
* Paul Kellyguitar, harmonica, vocals,
* Michael Barclay — percussion, drums, vocals
* Peter Bull — accordion, keyboards
* Steve Connolly — guitar, vocals
* John Schofield — bass guitar, vocals

Additional musicians
* Paul Burton — bass guitar
* Kaarin Fairfax — vocals
* Shelagh Hannan — vocals
* Ray Pereira — percussion, cardboard box
* Ian Simpson — guitar, banjo, mandolin, pedal steel

Recording details
* Producer — Alan Thorne, Paul Kelly
* Engineer — Alan Thorne
**Assistant engineer — David Mackie, Tristin Norwell
* Recorded & mixed — at Trafalgar Studio, Sydney

Kev Carmody 1993 version

*Kev Carmody — vocals, guitar, didgeridoo
*Paul Kelly — vocals, guitar, harmonica

Additional musicians
*Steve Berry — guitar
*Murray Cook — piano, keyboards
*Leroy Cummins — lead guitar
*Salley Dastey, Lou Bennet, Amy Saunders, Will Hogg, Kirsten Mackenzie, Melanie Shanahan — vocals
*Brenda Gifford, Marlene Cummins — saxophone
*John Gillies — drums, computer sequencing
*John Lacey — didgeridoo, sound effects
*Vanessa Lucas — bass guitar
*Shan Moynihan — violoncello
*Andrew O'Phee — guitars, mandolin, vocals
*Claes Pearce — violin, viola, vocals
*John Tebbitt, Martin Cilea — computer sequencing

Recording details
*Recorded — at Megaphon Studios, Electric Avenue and Music Farm.


External links

* [ Paul Kelly Official webstie lyrics]
* [ Kev Carmody Official website lyrics]
* [ Live Earth performance]

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