Teremoana “Four Women”

1995-teremoana-four-womenTeremoana covers Nina Simone’s “Four Women”. Unlike the original, Teremoana omits the final lines of each verse which would name the woman being sung about. Instead of the song closing with the killer line “My name is Peaches!”, it meanders off with Teremoana murmuring “What do they call me?”

Teremoana’s vocals are laiden with trilling, which has the strange effect of making the lyrics hard to understand in places, as if she’s trying to disguise the fact that it’s actually quite an angry, political song.

The video sees Teremoana dressing as the four women. There’s Aunt Sarah with big hair and a floral dress, Saffronia with smooth hair and a stylish waistcoat, Sweet Thing with a 1960s updo, and tomboy Peaches with her hair in Bjork-style mini buns. All four women have long, talonous fingernails.

It’s filmed in black and white in a stylish cabaret setting with dramatic lighting. Teremoana performs with four quite distinct characters – Aunt Sarah is stressed and shy, Saffronia is confident, Sweet Thing is seductive, and Peaches is bold and twitchy.

The YouTube uploader notes that the song suffered from lack of radio airplay due to its lyrical themes, but says, “Thank goodness a dope ass music video was created which gave it longer television air play.” And indeed the dope assness continues online.

Best bit: Teremoana’s loooong fingernails.

Director: Ross Cunningham
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a dirty old game of cards.

5 thoughts on “Teremoana “Four Women””

  1. Directed by my mate Ross Cunningham, who also directed other vids, including one for Babble (ex Thompson twins) that featured Teremoana guesting. The youtube poster is Teremoana, I think.

  2. Thanks for the comments – always love reading positive and negative comments. And the talon-like nails are real which is why all four women have them – I started cutting them when I started having babies 😀 And yes I was disguising the lyrics – well done! Ross Cunningham is the MAN.

    1. Cheers, Teremoana! Thanks for the info. I’m even more impressed knowing those are your real fingernails. But yeah, Ross Cunningham did a great job. It’s a splendid, atmospheric piece.

  3. Thanks Tere. Also worth noting that the DOP was the awesome Fred Renata. It was Tereamoana’s suggestion that Fred shoot this vid. It was the first time I’d worked with him, and we ended up working so well together that he was my first choice of DOP for most shoots I did after this one.

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