The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Discussion of any bush poetry topic.
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Gary Harding
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:49 am

After that prior post on bush poet Jack Sorensen, I will add a quick second post this Sunday morning... acknowledging Shelley's help.

Thanks Shelley for taking the trouble to mention The Project to Rick Whittle ABC Wide Bay. (pictured)

It is sincerely appreciated!

He called in here and saw the "mini-display" downstairs and we taped some interviews. Two with me and one with Karen. All were put to air, and this is the second one with me.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YXBRKo ... sp=sharing

I don't especially like reciting on radio, but whether I like it or not is irrelevant. All part of getting "out there". It might be OK when the audience have have had a few beers and are less fussy and a few hand-gestures can distract.... but radio? I am no Leonard Teale... but then these days, who has heard of Len in any case? We will correct that! :)

Like yourself, having done a few on-air recitations for Rick, he is the absolute professional who knows what his audience likes... so we just "deliver" and hope for the best, don't we?? :)

Rick's questions of course were right to the point and normally in those cases one likes to pause and think, but on radio as you know, you just have to fire a reply straight back.. and hope for the best. Cross fingers.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Aug 15, 2021 1:20 pm

OK.. I think that has fixed the above link.... It is an audio file of the ABC interview.

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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sat Aug 21, 2021 12:24 pm

An interesting bush poet is Cyril E. Goode (1907 - 1982).

Since packing his small display away, I have acquired other works by Cyril such as The Grower of Golden Grain and they may be displayed but not open because his poetry is not especially.. good?

Nevertheless I think that he is a fascinating character as so many of these bush balladists I believe were (and still are today perhaps?).

https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/goode- ... rard-12551

This book (see pic) The Bridge Party at Boyanup and Other Verses, one might view as having a really delightful cover and that alone makes it worth showing at The Australian Cultural Centre (literature section).


The Bridge Party at Boyanup (some extracts)

'Twas in the south-west portion of Australia's Western State,
Four weary swagmen tramped the roads from early morn till late.
They growled away among themselves; they cursed the mud and damp
And wished they'd never left their home - an unemployment camp.
.......

At dead of night four shadows moved about the cellar floor.
They sampled this; they sampled that; they smacked their lips and swore.
They staggered off into the night, but 'twas an awkward task,
For they were badly hampered by a weighty little cask.


The story line is that some swagmen raided the local pub, stole grog and held their party under the Boyanup Bridge. (W.A)

I have a book "The Tilted Cart" by Dame Mary Gilmore (her picture is on the other side of the $10 note with Paterson) with a personal inscription :

"It is with great pleasure I write my name here for Mr. Cyril Goode, reason being his remarkable collection of Australian Poetry which I believe now is about 700 volumes, some of these very rare. Mary Gilmore 23.12.48 Sydney"

I like the photo of Cyril Goode, looking very suave, sophisticated and imposing, holding his pipe!!

Today to get the same authoritative effect, one might have a wall of books behind one and an Australian flag somewhere too. Or if you are addressing a TV camera, a flag and flanked by nodders either side and behind you, preferably in uniform and looking menacing.. :)
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Shelley Hansen
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley Hansen » Sat Aug 21, 2021 9:28 pm

Hi Gary

That's a good interview with Rick. As you know, he was doing extra morning programs on ABC Local Radio Wide Bay for a few weeks, so he phoned us to get some poetry content, and asked for our suggestions for other inclusions. Of course, your project was the first thing that came to mind. I'm really glad he followed through on it.

I recorded two poems for him, Rod recorded one, and we recorded a duo. The 10-11 am timeslot proved to be an awkward one for me to catch the program, but I had some good feedback from listeners who heard the poems.

Rick has always been keen to feature local endeavours and local artists in his radio segments, which we've always really appreciated. It widens our audience and gives our art greater reach.

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Gary Harding
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Fri Aug 27, 2021 9:01 am

One Australian cultural aspect that overlaps bush ballad poetry is the music performed by Bush Bands.

These fellows, with some peculiar instruments, started to emerge in the 1950's and had their peak in the 1970's to 1990's playing coffee shops, weddings, concerts and bush dances consisting of dances that involved repetitive steps or movements (set dances).

A lot of their traditional music is folk, performed sometimes with a "let's rock-on" punch. The occasional bush verse recitation was included.

Pictured below (ABPA members click image to view) is a selection of some of the harder to find LP's on the subject.

Bushwhackers and Cobbers albums are still readily obtainable and we have most of them I think.

1. This photo is just a sample...

The Wild Colonial Boys
Black Velvet Band
Captain Moonlight
Smith's Gully Bush Band
Mucky Duck Bush Band
Mulga Bill's Bicycle Band
The Good Time Bush Band
Rantan
Rouseabouts Bush Band
North Bulli Bush Band
Western Australian Bush Bands

2. Also pictured is a recent purchase: "Lazy Harry and the Pattersons (sic) Steam Driven Bush Band", again a rarity

3. A small book by John Manifold. We don't lament "the passing of the past".. we get on with the job of getting the best cultural bits and making them come alive.... including recent times too.

Making it interesting for the public is the challenge for our Australian Cultural Centre.

It is a visual age so we might add some bush band acoustic instruments in with the albums too. Maybe a hay bale and a few gum-leaves? Bringing it all together and displaying it guarantees its musical and cultural preservation.

Where so-called museums turn up their noses at subjects like this... Blinky Bill, Bush Bands etc.. nothing is beneath us if it is the real and unique culture of the True Australia!!! We make it all come alive because we are a special Cultural Centre and that means a total sensory experience!! Nothing dull here! :) again I hope these posts are interesting.

Gary
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:27 pm

The Dog On The Tuckerbox

I already had the less common book "Beyond The City Gates" by bush poet (and good friend of Henry Lawson), Jack Moses, and thought he was a reasonable poet.

Then I discovered his better known book "Nine Miles From Gundagai" and was pleased to buy it. Later I gathered other copies (signed) of these two books and one even had a special off-the-cuff inscription and verse from Jack for a Ladies Group. I guess it is unpublished so I have the only copy of the short poem.

The introduction to Beyond the City Gates has a lovely short verse :

"If I could put the clock back a score of years or so,
I'd find again my old bush tracks and pals I used to know.
I'd light once more the yarran sticks and smoke and yarn with mates,
Beyond the farthest finger-post ; beyond the city gates."


Pictures below :

1. The latest edition of Beacon Edition 22 / pg 34 has our article about the famous dog. It is centred around genuine material that we have like the original sheet music by Jack O'Hagan (Five Miles From Gundagai), and Jack's books... and not just assembled off the net.

https://thebeacon.com.au/magazine-publications/

2. A large poster we made about Jack Moses. It includes the line drawings from his book ... all done by Karen. We love Jack Moses. What a character. An article describing a funny story about Jack and Henry Lawson fell out of one of these books, and we have also made a feature board presenting this hilarious anecdote.

3. There is a lot of written material about Jack Moses and I don't propose to trot it out here. Anyway, here he is in full flight reciting "Nine miles from Gundagai"
When asked whether it was nine miles or five miles he said "I don't know anything about any five miles. Nine miles was what I wrote 50 years ago!"

So... the real dog according to bush poet Jack was at nine miles, not five.... and there the matter rests! :)
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:23 pm

Australian Bush Bands

Photograph. Following on from the previous post on this subject, here from the Collection are some of the instruments that one might typically find in an Australian Bush Band. Notably absent is a tea chest bass, but I have my eye on one of those. It is a nice picture taken out the back today with the garden shed as a backdrop.

Fiddle
Lagerphone
Flute
Recorder
Accordions
Spoons
Gumnut Castanet
Penny whistle
Bodhran etc

(click on image to get a better view)

These will be included in the music section of our unique and well-advanced Australian Cultural Centre.

Again I hope this material is interesting.... Gary
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley Hansen » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm

Love the old instruments! My grandfather played the button accordion - used to provide music for the country dances back in the day.

Playing the spoons is certainly a lost art!
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Sep 19, 2021 10:37 am

Thanks Shelley,

I guess that in order to see spoons played today, one needs to connect with bands that use them..... and as you suggest, those bands are probably uncommon.

The spoons that I have pictured here (and in the preceding post) are ordinary, lighter-weight dessert spoons and are thus rather "snappier". Heavy old-fashioned (round) soup-spoons can be used too. I think they are very good, but a bit awkward unless you have big hands perhaps?

Some players prefer them to be held together with a band around the handles.

For me the thing is to slightly flatten the back of at least one spoon (as shown) which of course sadly renders it ineffective for table use. Then they do not come together at a point and slip off each other as readily. That affects the sound though and flattens it!

My set (pictured) are obviously not a matching pair .. an op-shop purchase from years ago probably... but they seem to work fine. :)
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:23 pm

On the subject of Bush Bands, I have to say a huge thank you to Gary King of Shenanigans (Bush) Band for kindly donating these three CD's relating to Bush Dancing. They are a most appreciated contribution to our proposed Australian Cultural Centre.

1. Dance Like a Kangaroo
2. There's a Wombat In My Room
3. Animal Magic

Shenanigans are well known, having been around for many years of course (performing since 1980) and specialise in set dances. These particular CD's are drawn from the Band's wider selection of material. They are helpful to us because they particularly cater for young children ..."0 - 10 years" in fact.

Shenanigans' CD's are enhanced here by featuring Australian golden wattle and gum nuts. This photo demonstrates how we appreciate and respect the work and talent that goes into producing such music CD's. We honour each one with a stunning, first class presentation.

All items in our retail area will be similarly visually elevated! A wonderland of Australiana!

Many Thanks to Gary King...and Shenanigans!!! And three cheers for Bush Dancing!
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