Joan Baez plays Paul Kelly

Baez & Dylan, March on Washington, 1963 (Wiki Commons)Sorry that this has displaced radical geography as the most recent posting, but last night Judy and I went out in Melbourne and saw Joan Baez play. She has not toured  Australia for 28 years. For me, everything came together when she played the Paul Kelly track, “From little things big things grow” about the Gurindji strike and Vincent Lingiari’s role in fighting for Indigenous Australian  land rights in Northern Australia. Now 72 and very much on form, Baez has her own repertoire of well known songs, and this was not usually one of them. But we had here a conjunction of conviction and  politics spanning the US and Australia (Baez supported Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights movement, played at the March on Washington in Aug 1963, went to Sarajevo in 93,  has been arrested many times for her convictions), social and economic justice in Australia, and the work of two great songwriters and performers. I was expecting Kelly to leap on stage (he is Melbourne’s best known contemporary singer-songwriter by far)  but sadly, no.

“That was the story of Vincent Lingiari

But this is the story of something much more

How power and privilege can not move a people

Who know where they stand and stand in the law

From little things big things grow….”


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