“From Little Things Big Things Grow”

Atoms make up elements, elements make up minerals, minerals make up rocks, rocks make up continents and mountains and tectonic plates…

From little things big things grow.

Rocks eventually become sand, then sand gets compressed back into great formations of sedimentary rocks which may then become metamorphic rocks through further intense pressure and heat, becoming igneous rocks if melted at depth… 

…and a little sand becomes symbolic of big matters when poured from one hand to another…

Paul Kelly “From Little Things Big Things Grow”
www.paulkelly.com.au  The story behind the song 

Gather round people, I’ll tell you a story,
An eight year long story of power and pride.
British Lord Vestey and Vincent Lingiarri
Were opposite men on opposite sides.

Vestey was fat with money and muscle,
Beef was his business, broad was his door.
Vincent was lean and spoke very little,
He had no bank balance, hard dirt was his floor.

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

Gurindji were working for nothing but rations
Where once they had gathered the wealth of the land.
Daily the pressure got tighter and tighter,
Gurindju decided they must make a stand.

They picked up their swags and started off walking,
At Wattie Creek they sat themselves down.
Now it don’t sound like much but it sure got tongues talking
Back at the homestead and then in the town.

From little things big things grow

Vestey man said, “I’ll double your wages
Seven quid a week you’ll have in your hand.”
Vincent said, “Uh-uh, we’re not talking about wages,
We’re sitting right here till we get our land.”

Vestey man roared and Vestey man thundered,
“You don’t stand the chance of a cinder in snow.”
Vince said, “If we fall, others are rising.”
From little things big things grow

Then Vincent Lingiarri boarded an aeroplane,
Landed in Sydney, big city of lights,
And daily he went round softly speaking his story
To all kinds of men from all walks of life.

And Vincent sat down with big politicians.
“This affair,” they told him, “is a matter of state.
Let us sort it out. Why, your people are hungry.”
Vincent said, “No thanks, we know how to wait.”

From little things big things grow

Then Vincent Lingiarri returned in an aeroplane
Back to his country once more to sit down,
And he told his people, “Let the stars keep on turning
We have friends in the south, in the cities and towns.”

Eight years went by, eight long years of waiting,
Till one day a tall stranger appeared in the land.
And he came with lawyers and he came with great ceremony
And through Vincent’s fingers he poured a handful of sand.

From little things big things grow

That was the story of Vincent Lingairri,
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

Author: tumblestoneblog

Retired Academic, male, living in the New Zealand countryside with his wife, two cats (Ollie and Fluffy), two horses (Dancer and Penny) and a shed half-full of stones. Email john.tumblestone@gmail.com.

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