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Australian Folk Music
Geoff Grainger
Last updated: 09.04.22
Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport (Pinökel's Favourite!)
Despite three visits to Australia (Perth and Sydney) in the sixties whilst on HMS Victorious, all I'd heard or knew about Australian music could have been written down on the back of the proverbial fag packet. i.e. Rolf Harris with his Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport and a few other tear jerkers, Charlie Drake (is he/was he an Ozzie?) with "Me boomerang won't come back" (of which my little sister Mary could do a fair imitation at the tender age of 6) The Pub With No Beer and Waltzing Matilda which every British child of my generation learned at school. I first heard And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda from one Wilfried Drygala (later a very good friend), and that was about the lot.
That was all to change after having had the great good luck in meeting Steve Kelly and his mate Simon, marine engineers, who were both wintering here whilst standing by their yacht MARGAUX ROSE (later named LOUISIANA and owned by Alan Sugar) at the Rasmussen and Abeking shipyard in Lemwerder (near Bremen) in autumn 1993.
Australia Day being in the offing, these two Victorians, with typical Digger mentality, were determined that this day should not pass unceremoniously under the cold grey skies of a bleak North German winter and planned their Australia Day accordingly. My part was to provide the music for their party at the Pinöckel in Vegesack. Steve gave me a couple of cassettes and "The Bushwackers Australian Song Book" in order to boost my repertoire which was sadly lacking at that time with regard to things Australian.
So it came to pass that on Australia Day 1994, Steve, Simon, at least 20 foreign seamen from just about everywhere together with the Pinökel locals came together "to rant and to roar". I don't know if it could have been called music but much Foster flowed and everyone was in fine spirits in all senses of the word.
The evening made such a lasting impression on the locals that we did a repeat performance on Australia Day the following year in 1995 without a single Digger in sight!! The favourite songs were "Tie me kangaroo down", South Australia and Lime Juice Tub.
Eternal thanks to Steve, who opened this Pomm's eyes and ears to the treasures of Australian Folk-Music, and bless you where ever you are on this mad planet.

Since writing the above in August 1998, I had the opportunity of performing at a private function here in Bremen where the guest-of-honour was an Australian businessman whose name I unfortunately did not learn. I was able however to speak to him briefly and he said that he was very astonished to be on the hearing end of a short Australian programme, so far away from home, in his honour. He was very complimentary on my accent, thinking at first that I too was an Australian. His favourite song was also "South Australia". So once again, eternal thanks to Steve Kelly!!
As you browse through the various footnotes, you will find The Bushwackers Australian Song Book mentioned no end of times. This is a terrific songbook, highly informative and entertaining and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
If you are interested in Australian poetry and the poets who inspired or even wrote some of these songs then the following site is for you:
The Poetry of Henry Lawson a fine site of his poetry.

Geoff Grainger, Bremen-Vegesack, January 2001

  Title Composer Performer Instruments
  Midi File(s)   
audiomidi15.gif Click go the Shears   Frank Petersohn Midi
audiomidi15.gif Flash Jack from Gundagai   Frank Petersohn Midi
audiomidi15.gif Lazy Harry's   Frank Petersohn Midi
audiomidi15.gif Waltzing Matilda   Bill Basham 1996 Midi
audiomidi15.gif Wild Colonial Boy, The   Frank Petersohn Midi
audiomidi15.gif Wild Colonial Boy, The   Unknown Midi
     Title Audio Files Remarks
oz15.gif All for me grog   nscore.gif
oz15.gif And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Andy's Gone With Cattle   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Billy of Tea   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Botany Bay   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Bullocky-O   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Click go the Shears  audiomidi15.gif nscore.gif
oz15.gif Denis O'Reilly   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Drover's Dream, The   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Duncan   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Five Miles from Gundagai   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Flash Jack from Gundagai  audiomidi15.gif nscore.gif
oz15.gif Jake the Peg   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Lachlan Tigers, The   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Lazy Harry's  audiomidi15.gif nscore.gif
oz15.gif  Lime Juice Tub   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Maranoa Drovers   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Moreton Bay   nscore.gif
oz15.gif New Chum, The   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif One of the Has-beens   nscore.gif
oz15.gif Poor Ned Kelly   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Pub With No Beer, The   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Shores of Botany Bay   nscore.gif
oz15.gif South Australia   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Stringybark Creek   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Ugly Dave   nlyrics.gif
oz15.gif Waltzing Matilda  audiomidi15.gif nscore.gif
oz15.gif Wild Colonial Boy, The  audiomidi15.gif nscore.gif
oz15.gif Woolloomooloo Lair   nlyrics.gif
     Title Performer Composer
youtube15.jpg Across the Western Plains (3:00) The Ants Bush Band
youtube15.jpg Along The Road To Gundagai (2:51) P. Dawson
youtube15.jpg Andy's Gone With Cattle (2:42) Martyn Wyndham-Read
youtube15.jpg Billy of Tea (3:43) The Bruised Knees
youtube15.jpg Boots (1929) (2:55) P. Dawson P. Dawson
youtube15.jpg Botany Bay (4:46) Mirusia Louwerse
youtube15.jpg Click go the Shears (3:14) Slim Dusty
youtube15.jpg Denis O'Reilly (3:44) The Bushwackers
youtube15.jpg The Drover's Dream (2:40) Aussie Bush Band
youtube15.jpg  Duncan (2:32) Slim Dusty
youtube15.jpg Five Miles from Gundagai (2:14) A.L. Lloyd
youtube15.jpg Flash Jack from Gundagai (2:50) The Bushwackers
youtube15.jpg Jake the Peg (2:51) Rolf Harris
youtube15.jpg The Lachlan Tigers (3:10) The Bushwackers
youtube15.jpg Lazy Harry's (3:22) Aussie Bush Band
youtube15.jpg Lime Juice Tub (4:14) The Bushwackers
youtube15.jpg Maranoa Drovers (3:15) Lazy Harry
youtube15.jpg Moreton Bay (3:35) Raymond Crooke
youtube15.jpg One of the Has-beens (2:51) Gary Shearston
youtube15.jpg  Poor Ned Kelly (2:13) Lazy Harry
youtube15.jpg The Pub With No Beer (3:28) Slim Dusty
youtube15.jpg Shores of Botany Bay (3:18) The Bushwackers
youtube15.jpg South Australia (3:11) The Bushwackers
youtube15.jpg Stringybark Creek (3:28) Gary Shearston
youtube15.jpg The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (7:24) Eric Bogle
youtube15.jpg The Flash Stockman (2:29) A.L. Lloyd
youtube15.jpg The New Chum Shearer (2:58) Warren Fahey
youtube15.jpg Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport (3:04) Rolf Harris
youtube15.jpg Waltzing Matilda (4:05) P. Dawson
youtube15.jpg  Waltzing Matilda (3:22) Slim Dusty
youtube15.jpg The Wild Colonial Boy (3:21) The Clancy Brothers
youtube15.jpg Woolloomooloo Lair (3:20) The Bushwackers
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