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 » Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:56 pm

When it comes to understanding and presenting Australian "culture", we like to think that we have all the answers, and then surprises happen.

For example : I placed a nice spread of vintage sheet music on the bench and did some "market research".

Lovely old covers. Bush poetry set to music included. The odour of decrepit paper like an antiquarian bookshop. Such joy!

With all the colourful, hundred year old, chromolithography covers proudly displayed.... guess the musical score that people were firstly attracted to???
Yep, the one shown in the attached picture... of which luckily I also have the original 45rpm recording.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0c55lXRAeg

So it beats me... but I figure that one can never be a culture snob.

Cultural taste is... personal! Step aside Lawson and Paterson and make way for...
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Shelley
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley » Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:48 pm

Would you believe I have the sheet music for this one too?? Picked it up at an op shop.
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 » Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:37 pm

Yes Shelley, op-shops can sometimes be very productive!! Hit or miss...

I recently called in to see an old mate of mine.... we had quite a few beers and a chat.
I explained to him what the Banjo Paterson Cultural Centre Project was all about..

How real Australian culture was something that was important to both "preserve and present".. and how the old Australia is being deliberately destroyed and we simply cannot sit back and allow that to happen.

I also showed him a large folder of photographs of some of our displays.

Very moved, he wandered off and brought back this antique record player.

Originally bought in the USA at an antique shop and gifted to him by a devoted lady friend decades ago, it is an HMV original... with a horn in perfect condition. He promptly gave it to me, with I think a slight tear in his eye..

I have cleaned it up and it actually works. Great for putting something on like an old Waltzing Matilda 78rpm. Or maybe The Road To Gundagai?

Anyway... somewhere there is also a photo of his grandmother with Banjo Paterson. Banjo has his arm around her. (Yet to be dug up).

Then he said "Would you be interested in Henry Lawson's writing table".

Would I????? (Only slightly...haha)

So after opening up the garage and discarding a large snake skin, the previous owner hopefully having long gone, we examined it.... more to follow on that eventually ....

.... life is certainly interesting....
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Shelley
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:11 pm

Wow!

Or maybe Peter Dawson singing The Floral Dance?? ;)
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 » Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:51 pm

I have learned that the best thing is for material to be recognised (where possible). Like seeing someone you know when you go to a party of strangers.

Heaven knows, most of the bush poetry will be new... and a difficult sell!

So even if the music is not of the same era as the machine itself, people should ideally know it.

Peter Dawson's career spanned right back to the Edison cylinder era... but who has heard of him?

But if there was a Sadie 78rpm, I would use it. ha

There is still a lot of other useful 78 stuff, that can be made to appear as if it is coming from this machine. Even Bill Haley..Rock Around The Clock (1955).. but that might be stretching things a bit?

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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:33 pm

One of the interesting things about preparing displays is the twists and turns it can take.

The record player just mentioned (I did not say gramophone luckily) I strongly suspect is a "reproduction" and not genuine.
Doing some due diligence, it appears that there was a sufficiently strong and profitable market for the lads to do copies i.e. Fakes.

The monetary value of these is very low. If they are treated as repro's then fine. In this case, one giveaway is the elbow that mates with the horn. It should be a nicely rounded casting, and not a sharply angled crude sheet-metal thing. (see photo).

Ah well... it will likely do as a prop somewhere in a period setting... instead of being featured as a you-beaut collector's item. I have not got the heart to tell my mate that his lady friend gifted him a Gramo-fake, not a gramo-phone!

As I said before, you win some and.... you kind of draw in others.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:08 pm

On Thursday the 22nd April (yesterday) at Maryborough Library, the Mayor George Seymour gave a presentation on the great rhyming poet Cecil Lowther. (Bannerman). George has just released three excellent books on Bannerman's work. (previous post) Fantastic!

The talk was filmed and placed on youtube.

.. this is the corrected youtube site..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy7FfgR1Yw8

Some of the anecdotes he relates are entertaining. I especially enjoyed the story of the guy who was asked to throw a javelin in a major competition and having never done it before, he promptly set a major record. Also he recites a few Bannerman poems.

There were about 20 people in the audience. I was at the back in the centre.

I would rate Bannerman in the top few poets that Australia has ever produced. As George says, he wrote not for any reward but because of other more noble reasons. Good poets I think write, because they sort of have to... some inner drive.

Certainly there is more atmosphere if you are there live, but still it makes a very good watch (full screen) I think for any ABPA devotee.... It is all about an exceptional rhyming/bush poet and personally I very rarely if ever rate a poet in that category.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:43 am

My sincere apologies for initially posting the wrong original youtube link in the previous post. It showed two politicians fighting instead of George. (I much prefer George's talk) In order to hopefully make up for that error, please enjoy this post :

It is probably not a well known fact but in 1927, C J Dennis wrote the words and William G. James composed the music to :

AUSTRALIA! O Thou Favoured Isle
An Australian National Anthem

The Anthem copy shown is from my collection and is the original 1927 sheet music!... with a bit of foxing to underscore its age. It is nearly 100 years old and will find a place in Den's large section.

Also it can be viewed and printed directly from this Victorian State Library site.. or Trove..

https://viewer.slv.vic.gov.au/?entity=I ... ode=browse

It is just a bit of C J Dennis history and is more of a novelty or curiosity probably.

Certainly its wording with its "thee's and thou's etc", it is not something that could substitute for the present national anthem, whatever the current politically adjusted and propagandised version is today.

However I suggest that it does demonstrate Den's deep love for his country and his pride in being A Real Australian.

This anthem forms part of the C. J. Dennis story which in turn adds to the wonderful mosaic that is true Australian Culture... to be uniquely presented at our Centre for the benefit of everyone.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Mon May 03, 2021 5:00 am

The next edition of Beacon magazine has come online and contains our article on Blinky Bill. (The famous Australian children's popular character)

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

The edition with the Koala on the front. Page 34 - 35.

I think that the records and books make a really colourful display... and pictured also is the book Australians All containing some children's rhyming verse with Blinky Bill on the cover.

The last line in the article says "If only we could learn the secret to longevity and remain forever young, just like Blinky".

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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Fri May 07, 2021 7:20 am

Interconnections

(Colonel) Nathaniel Dunbar Barton was Banjo Paterson's first cousin. Banjo signed, dated and gifted him a copy of his Collected Poems.

In turn Nat inscribed this book to his son, Arthur Dunbar Barton. We are pleased to have this significant Paterson family book in the Collection. I believe that it has been shown in a previous post. It brings you a bit closer to Banjo I think.
We have chosen to present Nathaniel in more detail. Previous posts mention him, and Karen has produced a magnificent display of his reproduced medals, as well as arranging for a professionally bound compilation of his military records.... among many other things.

Nat was in the Light Horse and Banjo cared for their horses in Egypt. We have the important and valuable book Rio Grande inscribed by Banjo to Kermit Roosevelt at Moascar Camp in Egypt.

My grandfather served on Gallipoli (from the first day) at the same time as Nat... and when Nat was evacuated as wounded, he may well have attended to him. So that is yet another link. This possible "Gallipoli Connection" has been highlighted in our beautiful displays. We emphasise the interconnection aspect.

Added to this story of Banjo/Nathaniel/Light Horse/Gallipoli now is also this superbly framed, original-medal presentation of my grandfather.. as he had possible links to Nat. To be shown at The Centre as part of Nat's display.

Being Australia's only National Cultural Centre, this assists us in reflecting very briefly on The Spirit of Anzac.. something that in itself is "cultural"....without being a full blown military museum thing or being (yet another) lecture on Gallipoli. Thus we just touch on Gallipoli respectfully through Banjo's cousin Nat, and my grandfather .... no flowery language or grandstanding on the subject.... this will be quite enough.

It is firstly about Banjo's poems... but I suggest that this sort of material is needed to make it interesting.. and put it all in some sort of historical "context".. if that is the right word. In the end, one can only do one's best.
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