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