Bush Poetry and Vintage Sheet Music

Discussion of any bush poetry topic.
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Gary Harding
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Bush Poetry and Vintage Sheet Music

Post by Gary Harding » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:22 am

An interesting discovery is that many of the poems of the great Bush Poets have been put to music.

Paterson, Dennis, Harrington, Lawson, O'Brien, Eden and several others.

Recently I purchased in one lot the Sheet Music collection of the late Jeff Prentice, a man who was well known for loving everything "bush". Hence the theme of his sheet music collection is Bush, and bush poets are featured. It contains many culturally significant rarities. You simply cannot get them.

Personally, I love vintage sheet music and feel it's something that people always relate to, whether for the social history, the covers, the music or the poetic lyrics. Hence a display of it will hopefully be undertaken.

It is mostly pre-1930 with some going back to 1900.
One has to be a bit selective because there is sheet music dealing with Old Australian Songs which is nice and a bit "folkie" but not especially bush ballad related. It is all likely steadily vanishing for collectors.

Mostly it is written for piano and as I am unable to "tickle the ivories" it has never actually come to life for me as music should, which is a bit sad. Would love to hear how some of it sounds.
When I think of the number of piles of old sheet music I have passed by over the years, one cannot help but wonder what treasures they might have held.
Anyway, they are something worth looking out for if you want to collect, and if you can play a piano... better still... you get pleasure both ways.
Attached example is of a very rare 1904 title "The Breaking Of The Drought"

Words by Bush Poet "Oriel", whose books I have. The front cover is a lovely chromolithographed design. 6pp. The rear cover has an ad for Massey-Harris Machinery Co.

Copies of this issue are recorded only in two Australian Collections. National Library of Australia and State Library of NSW.

Great stuff! now it's time to go open the bubbly and start celebrating Christmas... :) Merry Christmas to all fellow ABPA'ers
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Gary Harding
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Re: Bush Poetry and Vintage Sheet Music

Post by Gary Harding » Mon May 20, 2019 12:34 pm

For anyone interested in musically performing poems written by Henry Lawson, the sheet music to many of his poems (132!) was compiled (1989) into a book by the late Chris Kempster.

If you do not play an instrument then if you know the melody, some can be sung unaccompanied like The Bush Girl.

It is softcover and 223 pages. It can be quite difficult to get, at least at a reasonable price anyway.

It is an excellent compilation and a wonderful legacy. Certainly worth at least a mention here I think.

This Obituary written by Keith McKenry (illustrious past member of the Monash Uni Bushwalking Club and aka The Fanged Wombat) describes Chris' life.

http://folkstream.com/reviews/chris/keith.html

Among many things, Chris was a foundation member of the Bush Music Club.
I am pleased to have a signed copy of his book.
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