Mid­dle

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - An­drew McMillen

On page 4 I write about the long-last­ing mu­si­cal re­la­tion­ship be­tween song­writer Archie Roach and the folk trio Tid­das. While re­search­ing this story, I redis­cov­ered Inanay, a two-minute-long track re­leased on the trio’s 1993 de­but al­bum, Sing About Life. It is a simple song built on three lay­ered vocal har­monies and clap­sticks, one of those ar­range­ments that wrapped it­self around my brain as a child and never left. So it was a real joy to hear it again and ask the three women of Tid­das about its ori­gins.

“Inanay came about through teach­ing stu­dents at Wo­rawa Abo­rig­i­nal Col­lege [in Victoria],” says Lou Ben­nett, a Yorta Yorta/Dja Dja Wur­rung woman. “Aunty Gerry Briggs was a strong cul­tural woman. She passed that song on to the next gen­er­a­tion, and prob­a­bly to many more as well. I took it and ran with it.

“The song for me never had a di­rect trans­la­tion, but the mes­sage be­hind it is that it’s a chil­dren’s/lul­laby song … [It’s] trav­elled the song­lines through to Thurs­day Is­land. We don’t know the time­lines of that — that could be thou­sands and thou­sands of years … the song­lines move and shape and change, and the lan­guage slightly changes. But what’s be­hind the song is the mes­sage, and that’s what gets cap­tured in the song­line it­self. It’s a re­ally

Tid­das with Archie Roach this week

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