Music video by Midnight Oil performing The Dead Heart. (C) 1997 Midnight Oil
Diesel and Dust is an album by Midnight Oil that was released in 1987 under the CBS record label. The album is a concept album about the struggles of the Australian Aborigines and environmental causes, issues both near and dear to the band, and drew inspiration from the Black Fella White Fella tour of remote Indigenous communities with the Warumpi Band in 1985. The rhythm of "Beds are Burning" is said to be inspired by the noise of their vehicles' wheels on the corrugated dirt roads in the region.
"The Dead Heart" is a song by Australian rock band Midnight Oil. It was first released as a single in Australia in 1986 and in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1988 after it had been included on the 1987 album, Diesel and Dust. It peaked at number four on the Australian singles chart and at number eleven on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
The song, like several others by the band, refers to early white settlement in Australia and is sung from the perspective of the Aborigines who had laid claim to the land prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. The song's chorus carries a far more empowering message than the verses, featuring the lyrics, "We carry in our hearts the true country / And that cannot be stolen / We follow in the steps of our ancestry / And that cannot be broken".
The song also gives a mention to the industrialisation of Australia with the lyrics "Mining companies, pastoral companies, uranium companies, collected companies / Got more right than people / Got more say than people". This is a sentiment that would be repeated in the 1990 single, "Blue Sky Mine".
The kick-drum played throughout the song is intended to resemble the sound of a Toyota Landcruiser Troop Carrier travelling along a dirt highway. The Troop Carrier, or 'Troopy' is a variant of the Landcruiser which is popular among Aboriginal communities.
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