Paul Kelly’s new single inspired by Eddie Betts’ ‘deep hurt of everyday racism’

Paul Kelly’s new single inspired by Eddie Betts’ ‘deep hurt of everyday racism’

Paul Kelly
Photo by Cybele Malinowski
Words by Lucas Radbourne

The legendary Australian singer-songwriter has released ‘Every Step Of The Way’ that attempts to express the pain of racism from Eddie Betts' perspective.

It comes after Betts, who retired this year after distinguished spells at Carlton and Adelaide, told Fox Sports last year that he was “sick and tired” of racist vilification during AFL matches.

Kelly tries to see Betts’ suffering from the footballer’s perspective, singing about the dichotomy between Betts’ fans and the abuse he faces, as well as the future of his children.

“Eddie Betts has brought joy to me and so many others with the amazing feats he’s performed on the field for 17 years,” Kelly said in a statement. “But he’s shown even more class and courage off the field in talking about the deep hurt of everyday racism. Eddie keeps educating.”

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Kelly originally wrote the song 12 months ago, but has released it on the cusp of a national tour that’s due to begin on September 29, although will likely change as Melbourne and Sydney dates are currently uncertain.

Kelly previously wrote ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ with Kev Carmody about the Wave Hill Walk-Off, a strike action taken by 200 Gurindji men and women at a Northern Territory cattle station in 1966.

He also has a writing credit on Yothu Yindi’s seminal 1991 hit ‘Treaty’.

“I was so honoured when Paul reached out to me with a song that he had written from his heart,” Betts said.

“I feel proud to have this song written for me by someone so respected here in Australia and someone who has always stood in solidarity with us mob—this song means a lot to me.”

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