Archie Roach and Judith Durham are among the singers featured on ‘Yil Lull’, a cover of Joe Geia’s original 1988 song which was released on streaming services yesterday (November 9).
It marks the first time that the cover of the song has been available to stream, released as a tribute to Roach and Durham following their deaths in July and August of this year, respectively. They are joined on the song by Christine Anu, Kutcha Edwards, Paul Kelly, Renée Geyer and Tiddas.
‘Yil Lull’ first appeared as the title track of Geia’s debut album. Four years later, Kelly included his version of the song on his 1992 album ‘Hidden Things’ In 1998, Kelly returned to the track with Roach, Durham and the others to record ‘Yil Lull’ as a standalone single, with the cast collectively named Singers For The Red Black & Gold.
That cover of ‘Yil Lull’ was released to streaming platforms yesterday, with Roach’s voice heard in the song’s opening moments. All recording proceeds for the streaming release will be donated to Common Ground, a not-for-profit organisation bringing together First Nations knowledge, cultures and stories.
Speaking about its contributors in a press statement, Kelly said ‘Yil Lull’ is “a great song to bring singers together as there’s lots of room to share lines and make up your own harmonies”.
The release of ‘Yil Lull’ to streaming platforms adds to the outpouring of tributes paid to Roach in the months since his passing. A state funeral is scheduled for the singer in Melbourne next month. Roach and the late Ruby Hunter, Roach’s wife and musical collaborator, will also be commemorated with a statue in the suburb of Fitzroy next year.
Durham was likewise honoured with a Victorian state memorial service in August, following her passing at age 79. The Seekers frontwoman’s decades-long career was remembered by the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and her former bandmates Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley.