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Away to Tintinara

[Mike O’Connor]

Martyn Wyndham-Read sang Away to Tintinara as the title track of his 2018 album Away to Tintinara. The song’s author Mike O’Connor noted:

At the end of 18 Martyn Wyndham-Read left home and paid his passage to Australia. Under the biggest night sky he’d ever seen he got off the Adelaide train to Tintinara, to work as a Jackaroo on the remote sheep station of Emu Springs. This experience left Martyn with a deep love of open spaces and the traditional songs of the old station hands. The legacy is a lifetime of music. In this song I’ve tried to capture Martyn’s memories of this life-forming experience and say thank you for his friendship and wonderful music.

This video shows Martyn Wyndham-Read singing Away to Tintinara in July 2020:


Martyn Wyndham-Read sings Away to Tintinara

It’s away to Tintinara and miles to Emu Springs
Every year a little farther to the song the drover sings
It’s a hundred miles from Adelaide the Overlander rolls
Then a dusty road to sunrise where open bushland calls

Chorus (after each verse):
And the music on the wind is the creaking of the saddle
And the rhythm of the song are the hooves upon the ground
Where the fences run forever to the dusty blue horizon
And like gems on distant velvet, stars echo to the sound ’Call me back’

There’s a lonely crossroad beckons to the blue remembered hills
Then beyond the sands of Sugarloaf where memory lingers still
On the sunlit plains of yesteryear where lyre birds dance and sing
Are the echo of the voices a bushman’s dreams can bring

And around the paddock dreaming, you know that she’ll be right
And around the billy boiling the stories last the night
For there’s room enough for breathing, there’s space to be your own
And to sing again the old song and watch the sun go down