Tin Lids

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Tin Lids
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
GenresChildren's, pop
Years active1990 (1990)–94 (94)
LabelsLittle Rock, Mushroom Records
MembersEliza-Jane 'E.J.' Barnes (born 22 December 1984) (aged 7-10)
Elly-May Barnes (born 3 May 1989) (aged 2-5)
Jackie Barnes (born 4 February 1986) (aged 5-8)
Mahalia Barnes (born 12 July 1982) (aged 9-12)

The Tin Lids were an Australian children's pop group formed in 1990 with Eliza-Jane 'E.J.', Elly-May, Jackie and Mahalia Barnes all on vocals. They are the four children of Jane and Jimmy Barnes. The group released three albums, Hey Rudolph! (November 1991), which peaked at No. 6 on the ARIA Albums Chart, Snakes & Ladders (July 1992), which was nominated for Best Children's Album at the 1993 ARIA Awards, and Dinosaur Dreaming (1993). The group has also released four singles, "Christmas Day" (December 1991), which reached No. 40 on the ARIA Singles Chart and won Children's Composition of the Year at the 1992 APRA Awards, a cover version of Was (Not Was)'s song, "Walk the Dinosaur", "School" (August 1992) featuring the Yunupingu kids, and "Dinosaurs in Space" (1994).



Tin Lids is a Scottish rhyming slang for "kids", as the band members are all children of Scottish-born Australian rock musician, Jimmy Barnes, and his Thai-born wife, Jane Mahoney (born Jane Dejakasaya in Thailand): Eliza-Jane 'E.J.' (born 22 December 1984), Elly-May (born 1989), Jackie (born 4 February 1986) and Mahalia (born 12 July 1982). The group were in the children's choir as part of the back-up singers on their father's track, "When Your Love is Gone", from his solo album, Two Fires (September 1990). Their maternal uncle, Mark Lizotte, is an Australian rock musician, who also performs as Diesel or Johnny Diesel.

The Tin Lids released their first album in November 1991 as a collection of Christmas carols, Hey Rudolph! , which peaked at No. 6 on the ARIA Albums Chart. [1] Most of the instrumentation was supplied by David Froggatt, the album's producer and arranger, it was recorded at Barnes' Freight Train Studios, Sydney. [2] The album provided the first single, "Christmas Day" (December 1991), which reached No. 40 on the ARIA Singles Chart [1] and won Children's Composition of the Year at the 1992 APRA Awards. [3]

Their next single was a cover version of Was (Not Was)'s song, "Walk the Dinosaur", which was released in May 1992. The Canberra Times journalist described it as "a joint venture with Hanna Barbera and The Flinstones (sic). The video will feature guest appearances by Fred and Dino." [4]

Their second album was Snakes & Ladders (July 1992), which was nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Children's Album in 1993. [5] Another single from that album, "School" (August 1992), was written by Mandawuy Yunupingu (lead singer of Yothu Yindi). [6] That track was recorded by The Tin Lids and the Yunupingu kids, the latter group were the indigenous leader's daughters. [7]

Barnes and Yunupingu were highlighting the Sister Schools project, which hopes that "schools with few or no Aboriginal children will forge educational and social links with schools with large numbers of Aboriginal children, in an attempt to foster tolerance and understanding." [7] One of the singers, Dhapanbal Yunupingu, later recalled, "They took us all into Jimmy's studio, Jimmy's kids and us, and we did this recording. It took about a week, but we had a lot of fun." [8]

The Tin Lids' third and final album, Dinosaur Dreaming (1993), [9] provided the single, "Dinosaurs in Space" (1994). The group disbanded in that year.



Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
Hey Rudolph!
  • Released: November 1991
  • Label: Little Rock (D26071)
  • Format: CD, Cassette
Snakes & Ladders
  • Released: July 1992
  • Label: Little Rock (D26076)
  • Format: CD, Cassette
Dinosaur Dreaming
  • Released: 1993
  • Label: Little Rock
  • Format: CD, Cassette


List of singles as featured artist, with selected chart positions and certifications
TitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
"Christmas Day"199140Hey Rudolph!
"Walk the Dinosaur"199264Snakes & Ladders
"Dinosaurs in Space"1994Dinosaur Dreaming
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

Awards and nominations

APRA Music Awards

YearNominated worksAwardResult
1992 "Christmas Day" (David Leslie Froggatt)Children's Composition of the YearWon

ARIA Music Awards

YearNominated worksAwardResultLost to
1993 Snakes & Ladders Best Children's Album NominatedABC Symphony Orchestra - Classic Kids

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  1. 1 2 Hung, Steffen. "Discography The Tin Lids". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  2. Tin Lids; Froggatt, David (1991), Hey Rudolph, Mushroom Records , retrieved 1 November 2016
  3. "1992 Music Awards", APRA
  4. "Leppard adrenalize former Dio rocker". The Canberra Times . 66 (20, 829). 23 April 1992. p. 15. Retrieved 1 November 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  5. "Best Children's Album", ARIA
  6. "'School Song' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 1 November 2016. Note: User may have to click "Search again" and provide details at "Enter a title:" e.g. School Song; or at "Performer:" Tin Lids
  7. 1 2 Feeny, Gordon (27 August 1992). "Good Times: Building Bridges". The Canberra Times. 66 (20, 955). Australian Associated Press (AAP). p. 17. Retrieved 1 November 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  8. Olsson, Kristina (6 August 2016). "Singer-songwriter Dhapanbal Yunupingu". The Saturday Paper. Schwartz Media. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  9. Tin Lids; Froggatt, David (1993), Dinosaur dreaming, Mushroom Records, retrieved 1 November 2016
  10. "Albums Discography Tin Lids". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  11. "Singles Discography Tin Lids". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 January 2019.