The Sydney Inner West Community A Fair is a monthly community event where you can access information & services, connect with local groups, enjoy live entertainment and a free BBQ, as well as access the Food Pantry. This occasion had a NAIDOC theme and aboriginal song and dance.
The Solidarity Choir opened the morning’s entertainment with “Acknowledgement” and also sang “Mantaku” and “El Pueblo Unido”.
Words, music and arrangement: Deb Jones 2015
The acknowledgement of Aboriginal ownership of the land is set to music as an alternative to a spoken introduction.
Deb’s comments on the song: “Solidarity Choir often find ourselves singing first at gigs, and I like to acknowledge the traditional owners. I’d often off-handedly thought ‘we should be singing this’. We already share one indigenous song about land rights with our audiences. The choir were on the lookout for a song that gave voice to how we as non-indigenous Australians feel about what’s been going on. So I decided it was time I gave the Acknowledgement a shot. It could have become a much longer song with so many issues, but I wanted something we could put upfront every gig. It’s an acknowledgement and a promise, really. We acknowledge that we’re standing on Aboriginal land. We acknowledge injustices done in our name to the Aboriginal people of this country, and we will step up and speak out.”
We acknowledge the traditional owners of this land
The Gadigal and Wangal of the nation of Eora
And other first Australians who’ve made this place their home
And any actions done in our name that had them leave the land that’s in their bones
With things done in our name they left the land that’s in their bones.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land
The ones the country walks in; the holders of the stories
We pay respect to elders past and present, and all indigenous here
We pay our respects
We acknowledge injustices done in our name
Was, is, always will be
We are more than sorry
We will speak out. We will speak out. We will speak out
We will speak. We will not turn, No!
We acknowledge this land is Aboriginal Land!
The intention is that the words “The Gadigal and Wangal of the nation of Eora” be replaced when necessary with the names of the appropriate groups and countries, according to where the song is to be sung.
Words & Music: John Dengate 1982
Arranged: Miguel Heatwole 2006
ASIO has been intruding on Australian’s privacy since it was founded in 1944, inheriting a long tradition of governments spying on their own citizens. It has been consistently out of touch with common values and attitudes, sometimes laughingly so.
Words, melody and arrangment: Mary Jane Field 1985
I believe Mary Jane Field composed this song to honour the work of Amnesty International. It paints a moving picture of the effects it can have on political prisoners who are freed as a result of letters written by Amnesty International members.
Words and melody: Sergio Ortega 1973
Adapted from an arrangement by Stephen Taberner
“The people united will never be defeated” – is a well known chant for social change. The song was composed by Sergio Ortega in 1973 in Santiago de Chile, three months before the Chilean September 11 bombing of the presidential palace that ended the Allende government.
The song was immediately picked up by the popular group Quilapayun. We sing it tonight in support of the progressive changes in Latin America and the world.
Words: Geoff Francis 2011
Melody: Peter Hicks 2011
Arranged: Miguel Heatwole 2012
This song mocks the attitude that there’s nothing seriously wrong with the state of the world ecology or with our government’s political response to it.
Words and Melody: Phil Ochs and Bob Gibson 1964
Arranged: Tom Bridges, 1999
A 1960’s anti-war song in the form of a marching song. Ironic. This was one of the songs on Phil Ochs’ first official album in 1964, titled “All the News That’s Fit to Sing” which lead to Phil Ochs being characterised as a singing journalist. Even though the anti-war sentiment was all over the news when the album was released, the song is applicable to wars generally, and to the wars of today.