Azaria

Album: Black Assassins Greatest Hits (2005)
  • songfacts ®
  • The Black Assassins styled themselves Brisbane's ugliest band, and this straightforward song is about an ugly subject, as well as a sad one.

    In August 1980, the New Zealand-born Lindy Chamberlain was both the wife of a church minister and a proud mother. Her two sons were born in 1973 and 1976. On June 11, 1980 she gave birth to a daughter named Azaria, and two months later the family of five were holidaying near the famous Ayers Rock (also known now as Uluru). Then the unthinkable happened, the baby went missing from their tent.

    The police were called in, but Azaria Chamberlain was never found. In February 1981, the coroner for Alice Springs ruled that the baby had been taken by a dingo, but in September the same year the Chamberlain family home was raided by the police, and in February 1982, Lindy Chamberlain was charged with murdering her daughter, with her husband as an accessory.

    In September, now heavily pregnant, she went on trial for her daughter's murder in what was to be Australia's trial of the century. Based on flawed forensic evidence, the prosecution's case was that for some unfathomable reason she had cut the baby's throat. Faced with two equally bizarre hypotheses, the jury convicted her, and Lindy Chamberain was sentenced to life imprisonment. Her baby was born in prison.

    Although all her appeals were exhausted, there was considerable unease about her conviction, then in February 1986 it was revealed that the baby's matinee jacket was found near a dingo lair. She was released from prison and in 1988, Lindy and her husband were cleared of any involvement in their daughter's death.

    Although this jangling guitar-punk number is a fairly straightforward narrative song, their performance of it was said to be "particularly ugly" and to feature a meat baby being dragged off stage by a big yellow dog. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
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