10 Paul Kelly

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Making Art – Episode 10

Paul Kelly

Episode Released 8th August 2020

It’s easy, particularly it would seem in this country, to underestimate the impact certain individuals have on our cultural life. We don’t hold our culture in our consciousness and so we can miss the fact that a person has been quietly creating a body of work that spans several generations, and that that body of work has seeded itself into our subconscious surreptitiously becoming a part of who we are. Paul Kelly is such an individual. Over four decades he has chronicled our social and cultural landscape with dozens of songs that feel as familiar as an old pair of slippers. To Her Door, Dumb Things, Leaps and Bounds, Sydney from a 747, Darling it Hurts and that magical Australian Christmas song, How to Make Gravy, are the products of a man who for four decades has provided us with a reassuring, ever evolving, always surprising musical presence. A window to ourselves that he has offered quietly and unassumingly.

And that’s Paul. Gentle, generous, graceful, thoughtful. I met with Paul at his house just before lockdown. I hope you enjoy our chat.

The Remorse of the Dead

O shadowy Beauty mine, when thou shalt sleep
In the deep heart of a black marble tomb;
When thou for mansion and for bower shalt keep
Only one rainy cave of hollow gloom;
And when the stone upon thy trembling breast,
And on thy straight sweet body’s supple grace,
Crushes thy will and keeps thy heart at rest,
And holds those feet from their adventurous race;
Then the deep grave, who shares my reverie,
(For the deep grave is aye the poet’s friend)
During long nights when sleep is far from thee,
Shall whisper: “Ah, thou didst not comprehend
The dead wept thus, thou woman frail and weak”—
And like remorse the worm shall gnaw thy cheek.