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Transcript of Archie Roach
Archie was a child of the stolen generation and faced many hardships growing up because he was taken away from his Aboriginal family at three years old. At this time, he was forced to wear shoes, learn Christian ways and act as a white child. He then became unsuccessfully fostered by white people a couple of times before finding some stability with the Cox family in Lilydale, Melbourne, where he went to school. He found a love of music through them and the church. But the mental scars ran deep and he suffered amnesia to the point where he didn’t recognize that he was black and his foster parents were white. He found out the truth about his background when a letter arrived at his school, out of the blue, from his sister Myrtle. His anger took over so much and that he ran away to live on the streets for over fourteen years, often turning to alcohol to numb his pain. How did his personal context affect his work? His General Body of work: He won two Aria awards for Best Indigenous album of the year (Charcoal Lane) and Best new talent.
He was also the first singer/songwriter to receive a Human Rights award.
"Took the children away" was in the Us Rolling Stone's top 50 albums for 1992.
It has subsequently gone gold in Australia. His success continued with his album, Jamu Dreaming being nominated for an Aria in 1992, while his third album, Looking for Butter Boy, received three Aria awards in 1998.
He had seven albums and 118 songs, his latest album "Into The Bloodstream" was released on October 19th 2012. "Took the children away" Analysis Took the Children away is an iconic Australian song that is Archie Roach's story of the Stolen Generation. Not only can Aboriginals identify strongly with the story, but the whole Australian society because it was an issue that effected Australian history.
The main theme highlighted in this song is freedom and the search for an identity. Archie tells the world his story.
This song has a emotional and sombre tone and mood that evokes sympathy. Archie's voice of the song makes it a personal journey, however, also relates to many Indigenous Australians. He tells this sad truth on behalf of all those who suffered at this time and sings it with such a heartbreaking tone that the audience is captivated and supports Archie and his beliefs.The song speaks of taking “them” away highlighting the many children who were forcibly removed through this wide reaching government policy.
He said, "When I first wrote Took the Children Away, I thought, Here I’m writing for my people—at last a song that tells this terrible thing.”
In his lyrics, Roach uses many language and poetic devices, for example, the simile, 'And how they fenced us in like sheep'
The negative imagery, such as, 'Snatched from their mother's breast' positions the reader to feel sympathetic towards the innocent children. Emotive and negative words, such as 'pain', 'alone' and 'foster homes' creates negative imagery for the listener. Repetition of the chorus is also used, as well as, strong imagery to convey the unfair lives the Stolen Generation led. Biography on Archie Roach He met his wife, Ruby Power, who was also part of the stolen generation, on the streets and after having two children with his wife, Archie went to a rehabilitation center and managed to stop himself drinking. Archie went on to play music and write songs about his own life experiences. His first song, ‘Took the Children Away’ was the beginning of a new journey for Archie, squeezing the poison out of his spirit and into his music. He was a voice struggled to be heard, which inevitably won him the culminating Human Rights Award and five other Aria awards.