Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Song Meanings

Kate Parker Adams kate at dnki.net
Fri Nov 28 18:24:47 MST 2003

BSM is actually a rather usefully complete account of the Wittenoom Mines 
disaster, an environmental and occupational health catastrophe in an 
asbestos mine in Western Australia.  I have used it to demonstrate to new 
graduate students in my department (Occupational and Environmental Health) 
how these horrendous disasters are more than just "health problems" - the 
problems lie in and extend to all levels, from diagnosis and delivery of 
treatment to causal exposures to the economics of worker protection to 
shifting of burdens to public health and welfare systems to the 
corporations that value lives in costs passed off to whomever they can.

I have a BSM windmill EP with a scene of windmills on the front (and Rob's 
and Martin's signatures) and the lyrics on the back (amid Bones' and Jim's 
autographs).  I pull it off the shelf of my office whenever I find myself 
"stuck".  It is my good luck charm and the only inspirational poster I will 
tolerate in my presence, as it were.  I brought it with me when I took my 
general exams two weeks after it was signed.  While seated at my advisor's 
desk, my headphones had just cued up the song when I realized that I had 
been nose-to-binding with an autographed copy of Blue Murder (the 
definitive book on the debacle - my advisor being an expert on dust-related 
lung diseases) most of the previous three hours.  That bit of synchronicity 
was sufficient to carry me through the next three hours of tedious calculation.

As for "what would I ask the Oils", I must say that I found myself quite 
mum, other than politely requesting signatures.  I couldn't think of 
anything I might ask or say that anyone else wasn't asking already, and I 
didn't feel right pushing myself in their faces over things that felt, at 
the time, kind of trivial and unimportant.  My reserve paid off in a ten 
minute chat with Martin.  Sometimes ...

At 08:32 AM 11/28/03 +0000, Mathias Hermansson wrote:

>I remember PG, when talking to the crowd on stage, say something like "Now 
>we're going to play a song about the rich countrys not always paying back 
>to the poor ones the values they have taken from them" (or something like 
>that) and then they played "Blue Sky Mine".
>That's one song. Anything else?
>Electrons are very tiny little particles
>which you cannot see unless you have been drinking.
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>>From: Glyn Davies <glyn.davies at managers.org.uk>
>>"'powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu'"<powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu>
>>Subject: [Powderworks] Song Meanings
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>>Hi everyone,
>>first question from a newbie from the UK.  So forgive me if I appear silly,
>>but does anyone have a web address or something which explains the meanings
>>behind the Oils songs.
>>in case you don't want to help, I am actually Welsh not English, so don't
>>let the rugby disuede you from helping :¬>
>>Gutted as you lot
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Kate Parker Adams
kate at dnki.net
"She's gonna dream up the world she wants to live in,
She's gonna dream out loud" - U2 (Zooropa)
go Out Of Mind ... http://www.dnki.net/blog
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