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NEWS

TRANSMISSIONS

April 2016

Occasional Newsletter of the Australian Folklore Network

Edited by Graham Seal

https://ozfolknet.wordpress.com

and on Facebook at Australian Folklore Network

 

11th NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE

Compliments on the conference are still coming in – ‘fantastic conference’; ‘program very well balanced’ and the like. It was a very successful event and our thanks to the presenters, chairs, NLA staff and NFF for making it all possible. And thanks to the organising committee.

People enjoy the opportunity to hear about folklore research and related activities and to attend the special lunchtime concert organised by Rob Willis. And then you can spend an exhausting but exhilarating Easter weekend at the National Folk Festival up the road. Heaven on a stick (folk speech).

We are posting some of the conference papers on the AFN blog and also linking with some through other blogs, Facebook, etc. Look out for posts.

We plan to come back for a 12th time next year and will call for papers towards the end of 2016. See you there.

 

ANTIPODEAN TRADITIONS

On the day of the conference we quickly sold out of this collection of papers from earlier conferences. There are still a few available from the publisher at http://humanities.curtin.edu.au/research/black-swan-press/catalogue/

CURRENT AFN PROJECT

We have established an archive for the work of the late Peter Ellis at http://peterellisarchive.blogspot.com.au

If you have any emails or other digital materials from Peter’s broad scatterings we’re happy to add them as far as the technology allows – no pdfs and no audio or sound files. But we can always link to these if you have them somewhere else.

An interesting statistical sidelight on the usage of this blog – less than half the ‘hits on it are Australian, most are from America.

EMAIL LIST

We have had some problems with the AFN email list and it seems that some members did not receive the last few notifications. We’ve had a look at the list and that is not the problem. It seems that it is something to do with the technology. In any case, we’ve renovated the list and are giving it another try with this Transmissions. Fingers crossed (more folklore).

SOME USEFUL LINKS

Play and Folklore – Australia’s journal of children’s folklore

www.museum.vic.gov.au/playfolklore

Australian Fairy Tale Society

https://australianfairytalesociety.wordpress.com


 

 

REGISTRATIONS FOR 2016 AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE CONFERENCE OPEN NOW

 

11th National Folklore Conference 2016

 

An annual conference facilitated by the Australian Folklore Network, the National Library of Australia, the National Folk Festival and the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute, Curtin University.

 

National Library of Australia – March 24

9am – 5.00pm

 

Preliminary Conference Program (subject to change)

 

Bruce Watson The Collector and the Songwriter: The interaction of tradition and creativity

Heather Clarke Convict dance in early colonial Australia.

Judy McKinty Losing Our Marbles: What’s Happening To Children’s Folklore In Schools?

Jo Henwood Mirror on our Wall: history reflecting fairy tales and legends

 

Lunchtime Concert

Aboriginal singer, Col Hardy OAM in concert and conversation with Rob Willis, Chloe and Jason Roweth and Bill Browne.

 

Chris Woodland Araluen – Myths Through the Mists

Sandra Nixon The Early Days of the Bush Music Club as illustrated by Singabout – 1956 to 1967.

Tony Smith I Didn’t Raise My Son To Be A Soldier

Chris Sullivan The Concertina in Australia: Taste, Place & Tradition

Wang Zheng-Ting Chinese Traditional Music

Danny Spooner The Music Halls

 

*

Attendance is free but you do need to register as places are limited. Please email registrations to g.seal@curtin.edu.au

 

11th National Folklore Conference 2016

 

An annual conference facilitated by the Australian Folklore Network, the National Library of Australia, the National Folk Festival and the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute, Curtin University.

 

National Library of Australia – March 24

9am – 4.30pm

 

Preliminary Conference Program (subject to change)

 

Bruce Watson The Collector and the Songwriter: The interaction of tradition and creativity

 

Heather Clarke Convict dance in early colonial Australia.

Judy McKinty Losing Our Marbles: What’s Happening To Children’s Folklore In Schools?

Jo Henwood Mirror on our Wall: history reflecting fairy tales and legends

Lunchtime Concert

Aboriginal singer, Col Hardy OAM in concert and conversation with Rob Willis, Chloe and Jason Roweth and Bill Browne.

 

Chris Woodland Araluen – Myths Through the Mists

Sandra Nixon The Early Days of the Bush Music Club as illustrated by Singabout – 1956 to 1967.

Tony Smith I Didn’t Raise My Son To Be A Soldier

Wang Zheng-Ting Chinese Traditional Music

Danny Spooner The Music Halls

 

*

Attendance is free but you do need to register as places are limited. Please email registrations to g.seal@curtin.edu.au

 

 

 

AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE NETWORK

 

Established in 2002, the Australian Folklore Network (AFN) is a national coalition of individuals and organisations with an interest in one or more aspects of folklore collection, archiving, research, teaching, administration and performing. In partnership with the National Library of Australia, the National Folk Festival and Curtin University, the AFN hosts an annual conference, publishes the Transmissions blog at ozfolknet.wordpress.com, coordinates the Register of Australian Folklore Collections, carries out projects and generally promotes Australian folklore in all its varieties throughout the national community.

 

Individuals and organisations with an involvement or interest in these activities are invited to add their email address to our list. It is also possible for organisations and individuals to affiliate with the AFN at no-charge and obligation-free. Affiliates appear on the Affiliates list at the AFN blog

 

 

To join the AFN email list contact g.seal@curtin.edu.au

 

To affiliate with the AFN go to ozfolknet.wordpress.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Australian-Folklore-Network/161553657387949

 

 

 

(The AFN is coordinated and resourced through the Australian Folklore Research Unit at Curtin University)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Fairy Tale Society

2016 Conference

June 26

Glen Eira Town Hall, Caulfield, VIC

Call for Presentations

Into the Bush: Its Beauty and Its Terror

‘Into the Woods,’ is a phrase that has become closely linked to the fairy tale genre. It conjures up all manner of fairy tale images, such as roguish wolves waiting behind trees and lost children stumbling upon gingerbread houses.

But how does it translate into the Australian fairy tale tradition? For our third annual conference, we will be exploring what happens when we venture… ‘Into the Bush.’ Australian fairy tales reflect many of the realities of the bush, while also reimagining it as a space of magic and mystery. Whether it is depicted as real or otherworldly, the bush always encompasses duality – it is a place of both beauty and terror.

We are now accepting proposals for storytelling performances, musical performances, academic papers, and creative readings. We would also love to hear from artists wishing to display and/or sell their works at the conference.

 

Presentation topics may include (but are not limited to):

 _Into the unknown

 _Getting lost, getting found

 _Native flora and fauna

 _Environmental concerns

 _Drought and fire

 _Elements of nature: earth, wind, fire, water

 _Urban and rural

 _The bush as sexual metaphor

 _Fear and danger in the bush

 _Secrets and hidden treasures

 _Havens, homes and holes in the ground

 _A place to breathe in: spiritual nourishment

 _National identity and our relationship to the bush

 _Tales of colonisation

 _Culture clash, culture meld

 _A fork in the road

 _The bush as a liminal space

 _Making your own path

 _Following tracks

 _Blazing trails and dropping breadcrumbs

 _Survival kits (including a storyteller’s swag bag)

 _Stories like wildfire

 _The wildness of stories (and their seeding)

 _Changing nature and ‘the changing nature’ of the Australian bush and the stories we tell there

 _When European fairies and tales re-root themselves in the bush

 _The changing landscape of fairy tales and tellings in Australia

 

Academic papers will be up to 20 minutes in duration and performances and readings will be up to 15 minutes in duration. All presentations will be offered the option of 10 additional minutes of question time.

Please email your proposal of no more than 200 words to austfairytales@gmail.com by 5pm Friday January 29, 2016.

 

Recent folklore segments on RN

https://outlook.office365.com/owa/redir.aspx?REF=lyCY2F0ez0i3sF8HcPOf7UvN7wDn9wIMhXujCx7LyRAXW3s97uvSCAFodHRwOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvcmFkaW9uYXRpb25hbC9wcm9ncmFtcy9ybmFmdGVybm9vbnMvc291bmRzLW9mLXRoZW4zYS1jYXJzLzY4NjUyODY

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/sounds-of-then:-home-remedies/6884880
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/rn-afternoons-mon-19th-oct/6866848

TRANSMISSIONS

September 2015

Newsletter of the Australian Folklore Network

Edited by Graham Seal

ozfolknet.wordpress.com

and on Facebook at Australian Folklore Network
2016 NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE – Call for Papers

The AFN’s National Folklore Conference will take place on March 24, 2016 at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, in association with the National Folk Festival. Further details and registrations will be available early in 2016.

The conference committee is now calling for proposals to present at the conference. Please send the title of your presentation together with a brief abstract of the topic and a very brief biography to g.seal@curtin.edu.au by October 30, 2015.

NORM O’CONNOR

The AFN is saddened to note the death of Norman (Norm) O’Connor who passed away early in September at the age of 92. Norm, often working with his wife, Pat, Maryjean Officer and other members of the Victorian Folk Lore Society, carried out fieldwork in Victoria from the 1950s until the late 1960s. There is a brief description of and links to his work at http://www.nla.gov.au/selected-library-collections/oconnor-collection

WA FOLKLIFE PROJECT, 2015

The WA Folklife Project is an ongoing collaboration between Curtin University and the National Library. Beginning in 2004, the project has run on seven occasions since then. This time the project was carried out in July-August and involved interviews about the Men’s Shed Movement, Indigenous, country and community music and a range of other traditions. Locations were Perth, Fremantle, Mosman Park, Broome, Derby and Seville Grove. The fieldworkers were Rob and Olya Willis with local support and facilitation through the Australian Folklore Research Unit at Curtin University. The results of the project will be accessible through the National Library’s Oral History and Folklore collections and the WA Folklore Archive at the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library, Curtin University.

PETER ELLIS ARCHIVES

The AFN has started a blog dedicated to the memory and work of Peter Ellis. We have a great deal of Peter’s material that we are gradually uploading (subject to technical issues) and request relevant material and information that others may have. Please post to

http://peterellisarchive.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/blog-post.html

IRISH BALLADS RESEARCH SOURCE

John Moulden’s 2006 PhD thesis – “The printed ballad in Ireland: a guide to the popular printing of songs in Ireland 1760-1920” is now available at DSpace. It has been assigned the following identifier:

http://hdl.handle.net/10379/5020

It may be freely downloaded, quoted and cited. Could all citations also include the DSpace identifier?

NEW LINKS

A selection of new links. If you have other, why not post them to the AFN blog or Facebook page?

Australian traditional music

http://verandahmusic.blogspot.com.au/

The Ghost Music Archives

http://ghostmusicarchives.blogspot.com.au/

Interesting Victorian library site

Nariel Creek dance

American interest in Australian traditions

Library of Congress Folklife Center Australian collections

Peter Parkhill
Transplanted Musical Traditions in Australia
Peter Ellis on Youtube
Traditional dance Youtube by Peter Ellis
Youtube clip of smallpipes tradition in Australia
John McIntyre plays a lament on Northumbrian small pipes to his ancestor Duncan Ban MacIntyre

*

TRANSMISSIONS

June 2015

Occasional Newsletter of the Australian Folklore Network

Edited by Graham Seal

ozfolknet.wordpress.com

and on Facebook at Australian Folklore Network

ON THE PASSING OF PETER ELLIS

Respected and longtime contributor to the folk community and AFN affiliate Peter Ellis passed away on May 18 last. Peter knew more than anyone about the history and traditions of Australian social dance, folksong, music and the instruments on which they were – and are – played. He was a noted performer, collector and promoter of dance in live performance, recording, research and writing. His work was always enlivened by his interest in the local history and culture behind the folklore.

Peter, together with Bruce Watson and friends presented a well-received finale to this year’s National Folklore Conference over Easter and was seen and heard playing around the National Folk Festival. His passing so quickly afterwards is a shock and sadness to his many friends.

Those who knew Peter, even if only a little, all know what a gentleman he was and his great sense of humour. His letters and emails, full of fascinating information from his researches and incisive questions were legendary among those interested in the Australian folk tradition. Peter’s work was recognized through the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2012 ‘For service to the arts through the collection and preservation of Australian folk history and heritage.’

Peter was a direct link to many of the pioneers of the Australian folk revival – we will not see his like again.

In an inadequate tribute to Peter’s life and work we are putting together an archive of Peter’s many and varied publications, recordings and other writings. Please send anything you have to g.seal@curtin.edu.au

Perhaps in future a more comprehensive appreciation of his many contributions to our knowledge of folk tradition will be possible.

AFFILIATIONS

The Australasian Mining History Association has recently affiliated with the AFN, joining a group of affiliated organisations that includes the WA Folklore Archive, Australian Children’s Folklore Collection, Museum Victoria, Australian Fairy Tale Society, Australian Federation of Social Dancers, Folk Alliance Australia, Top End Folk Club, Trad&Now and the Victorian Folklife Association.

2ND AUSTRALIAN FAIRY TALE SOCIETY CONFERENCE

AFN Affiliated organisation the Australian Fairy Tale Society is holding its second annual conference on Sunday June 21 at the NSW Writers’ Centre in Sydney. Registration and information at:

http://ausfairytalesociety.com.au/2015-afts-conference-registration

The AFTS can also be contacted via Twitter at #aftsconf2015 and by email at austfairytales@gmail.com

If you’re not able to make it in person you can still follow the event on Twitter, and see the recorded presentations on our website a little later in the year.

RECENT PUBLICATION

ARALUEN – A History Through Photographs by AFN member Chris Woodward, was launched at the Araluen Hotel in the picturesque valley of the same name on 24th January 2015. Attendance at the launch consisted of over 200 people who had come from near and far, including descendants from an old Araluen family who came from Queensland for the event.

This publication was the result of half a lifetime of effort by folklorist Chris Woodland, who had first visited the old gold town in 1958. Those days were still the time of reciters, fiddlers, accordion and mouth organ players and Chris was fortunate enough to share their company at the hotel and often in their slab huts at nights before the open fires, singing, playing, reciting and yarning. In later years he came to realise that he had been very fortunate to have experienced a tradition that reached back to the cave and that this was the last generation of that custom.

John Meredith regularly visited the valley with Chris. Folk singers such as Dave de Hugard, and Peter Kearney were also visitors to this inspirational valley. (All are in the book.)

The Braidwood & District Historical Society, who published the book, claim that the book ‘has broken all records’ regarding sales compared to the many previous publications by them over the years.

ARALUEN – A History Through Photographs may be obtained from the B&DH Society & Museum, Wallace Street, Braidwood. Postal address is PO Box 145, Braidwood NSW 2622.

The cost of the publication, less postage, is $25. For further enquiries please ring Ros Maddrell on 02 4842 2196.

CONCERTINAS CONVERGING!

Sandy Gray is calling all concertina players to the Concertina Convergence. Send Sandy your contacts and details of your instrument/s at sgray99@gmail.com

*

 Peter at 2015 AFN Conference, NLA P1010264 (640x360)

Peter Ellis (far right) at the AFN’s National Folkllore Conference, 2015.

(with from left, Harry Gardner, Stewie Sims and Bruce Watson)

Photo courtesy Tony and Gene Smith

THE PASSING OF PETER ELLIS

Respected and longtime contributor to the folk community and AFN affiliate Peter Ellis passed away on May 18 last. Peter knew more than anyone about the history and traditions of Australian social dance, folksong, music and the instruments on which they were – and are – played. He was a noted performer, collector and promoter of dance in live performance, recording, research and writing. His work was always enlivened by his interest in the local history and culture behind the folklore.

Peter, together with Bruce Watson and friends presented a well-received finale to this year’s National Folklore Conference over Easter and was seen and heard playing around the National Folk Festival. His passing so quickly afterwards is a shock and sadness to his many friends.

Those who knew Peter, even if only a little, all know what a gentleman he was and his great sense of humour. His letters and emails, full of fascinating information from his researches and incisive questions were legendary among those interested in the Australian folk tradition. Peter’s work was recognized through the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2012 ‘For service to the arts through the collection and preservation of Australian folk history and heritage.’

Peter was a direct link to many of the pioneers of the Australian folk revival – we will not see his like again.


PLAY AND FOLKLORE LATEST EDITION

April 2015 issue of Play and Folklore is now available online.
http://museumvictoria.com.au/pages/61026/play-and-folklore-63-apr-2015.pdf

In this edition, co-editor June Factor pays tribute to “influential and erudite play scholar”, Brian Sutton-Smith, who passed away on March 7th. We also include the obituary shared with his many play colleagues by his family.


TRANSMISSIONS

Occasional Newsletter of the Australian Folklore Network

Edited by Graham Seal

ozfolknet.wordpress.com

and on Facebook at Australian Folklore Network

APRIL 2014

NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE

Once again the AFN’s annual conference took place at the National Library of Australia on April 17, immediately prior to the National Folk Festival. We had a record number of participants, around 80, as well as a lunchtime concert featuring the entertaining Provost Brothers.

The conference has generated plenty of positive feedback and looks set to run again in 2015, its tenth year. Thanks to all those who presented papers, attended and organised including the AFN conference committee, the staff of Oral History and Folklore at the NLA and the NFF.

PUBLISHING AFN CONFERENCE PAPERS

Presenters at this year’s conference (or any previous one) are welcome to publish their papers on the AFN blog at:

https://ozfolknet.wordpress.com/category/papers-from-the-national-folklore-conference/

The blog also contains news, resources, links etc. of interest to AFN members and can be used to post messages, comments, etc.

CONFERENCES

Reilly McCarron writes from the AFN-affiliated Australian Fairy Tale Society:

The AFTS will hold their inaugural conference on June 9 in Paddington, NSW. The program line-up can be found at:

http://www.faeriebard.com/afts/

If you’re looking for accommodation around Paddington you’ll find a list of some local hotels and B&Bs also on the web page. Don’t forget to mention your discount if you book with the Hughenden Boutique Hotel.

We have a table booked for a 7pm dinner at the Hughenden on Sunday 8th June if you’d like to join us, and an early (6pm) dinner is on the cards for the Monday night. Please let us know if you’re interested so we can get an idea of numbers.

We’ve organised, and will subsidise, a maxi taxi leaving Paddington at 7pm on Monday for the airport. For those also attending the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) conference we have a shuttle leaving at 5:30pm from Baulkham Hills to Paddington on Sunday 8th. Please let us know if you’d like to book a seat on either of these. If these times don’t suit you we will provide a map and public transport information in the coming weeks.

The AFTS will hold its first AGM at the conference during the lunch break. We have set aside and hour and ten minutes for the break in total and intend to keep the meeting concise. At the AGM we will change the society’s status to ‘incorporated’, and appoint our first committee. **We’re looking for committee members** and hoping for a geographically and philosophically diverse group, so please consider becoming involved. If you’re interested please let us know well in advance.

In other news, we are now the proud affiliates of the Monash Fairy Tale Salon, the Australian Folklore Network, and the Rose Scott Women Writers’ Festival.

The Monash Fairy Tale Salon in Melbourne is holding its third annual event on June 29th and currently calling for papers, readings and performances.

http://fairytalesalon.wordpress.com/

The Rose Scott Women Writers’ Festival has announced its 2014 program.

http://www.rswwf.com.au/

Contact:

Reilly McCarron

AFTS President

http://www.faeriebard.com/afts/

https://www.facebook.com/austfairytales

austfairytales@gmail.com

AFTS Conference

Monday 9th June, 2014

(Queen’s birthday public holiday)

Paddington Uniting Church

Sydney, NSW

RESEARCH

‘The Wild Rover’

Brian Peters (UK) is chasing up the history of ‘The Wild Rover’. If you have any Australian versions, please let him know at:

72 Sheffield Road, Glossop
Derbyshire SK13 8QP, UK.
Tel 01457 862560
Website: www.brian-peters.co.uk
Myspace: www.myspace.com/brianpetersfolk

The Dead Horse Shanty

Graham Seal is researching this maritime folk custom (Also known as the ‘Old Horse’ or Poor Old Horse’ – but seemingly not related to the similarly-named folk plays of English landlubbers). If you know anything about the custom and/or have any references to it please contact Graham at g.seal@curtin.edu.au

PUBLICATIONS AND RECORDINGS

AFN Conference Papers

A selection of papers from the previous AFN conferences is available under the title Antipodean Traditions: Australian Folklore in the 21st Century, available from Black Swan Press:

http://research.humanities.curtin.edu.au/blackswan/

Identify yourself as an AFN member to receive the book at the keen price of only $10.00 (+p&p, alas).

Once Upon a Time in Oz

Special edition of the Griffith Review on the fairy tale in Australia:

http://griffithreview.com/edition-42-once-upon-a-time-in-oz/

Shamrock, Rose and Thistle

Lisa Shields writes from Dublin:

Those of you who are familiar with the late Hugh Shields’s book Shamrock, rose & thistle: folk singing in North Derry, Belfast, 1981 may be interested to know that it now forms the basis of a ‘mini microsite’ hosted by the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) – available online at

http://www.itma.ie/digitallibrary/discover/shamrock-rose-thistle

The site is a combination of a printed collection with its related sound recordings, photographs, searchable song-text transcriptions, pdf downloads, catalogue records & Roud numbers, and with contextual notes.

A Quiet Century

A new edition of Don Henderson’s songs edited by Sally Henderson and Edgar Waters was launched at this year’s AFN conference and is available through:

http://donhenderson.com.au/

Verandah Music

We have a few copies of Verandah Music, the AFN’s groundbreaking presentation of Australian musical traditions, originally published in 2003 (!). The book is lavishly illustrated and includes 2 CDs.

As the publisher’s blurb for the book puts it:

Verandah Music is a unique anthology of writing on traditional Australian music which provides a fascinating insight into the relationship between the music and the people that produced and perpetuated it. Through interviews, photographs and personal stories, Verandah Music illuminates the traditions, working lives and family connections of some of Australia’s most colourful characters and the music they loved.

The book comes complete with two CD’s, mastered by the National Library of Australia, which greatly enhances the reader’s understanding and enjoyment of this unique form of Australian folk music.

Naturally, for this level of promotion you will pay much more than buying the book direct from the AFN (shh!) Available for AFN members for $20.00 + p&p through g.seal@curtin.edu.au

AFN ON FACEBOOK

The AFN now has a Facebook page which is receiving posts and ‘hits’. Go and ‘like’ us. We’re looking for a ‘web-savvy’ volunteer to help run the page … at least, we think we are!

AFN AFFILIATION

The AFN is open to anyone who would like to be on the mailing list. There is also an additional option to affiliate through the blog at:

https://ozfolknet.wordpress.com/afn-affiliates/

This simply means that we display your name as a supporter of the AFN and its aims (also on the blog)

There is no charge for any of this as the AFN is a totally unfunded volunteer organisation.

The current committee members of the AFN and the National Folklore Conference are:

Graham Seal (Chair)

Jennifer Gall

Gwenda Davey

Rob Willis

Kevin Bradley

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40 Comments
  1. Convenor permalink

    Done!

  2. earlycolonial permalink

    CURRENCY LASSES. 1825 Quadrille music discovered

    In mid-December the Sydney musicologist, Graeme Skinner discovered a hitherto unknown London sheet music print “Currency Lasses, an admired Australian quadrille, composed by a lady at Sydney, and perform’d there with great success by the Bands of the 3rd (or Buffs), 39th and 57th Regiments”. This dates from c.1825-6 and now becomes the earliest piece of Australian instrumental music to survive.

    It is an excellent specimen of early quadrille music, designed to be danced with impressive balletic steps. Visit Graeme’s site for more information including a copy of the original, and a lovely recording.
    http://sydney.edu.au/paradisec/australharmony/paul-tempest-currency-lasses.php

    Regards,
    Heather

  3. earlycolonial permalink

    CONVICT DANCE

    Last year I was invited to further my research with a doctorate at the Queensland University of Technology. After a year of studying advanced research methods and the increased recognition of dance study in academia, my research proposal has been approved:
    Social dance and early Australian settlement: An historical examination of the role of social dance for convicts and common people in the period between 1788 and 1840.

    I am very excited about this research, having already collected a substantial amount of information. The first year of the project will focus on constructing a database of material relating to convict and ‘lower order’ culture in the early colony. The second year will concentrate on embodying the findings in a series of dance workshops with a culminating recorded performance. The findings and recordings will be presented in an exhibition.

    While the majority of the data will come from archival sources, I hope to find stories or tunes which have been handed down by convict/pioneer ancestors. So far I have only two examples of this: a Scottish convict who taught his family the Highland Fling, and a collected tune from a prison guard at Port Macquarie. Any information in this area would be most welcome.

    Email: heather.clarke40@yahoo.com
    Website: http://www.colonialdance.com.au

    Regards,
    Heather Clarke

  4. The Shearer’s Shuffle
    Reviving Australian step-dance.

    Step-dance was once a dynamic part of Australia’s music and dance tradition. Most shearers and bullockies knew a step dance or two and every bush muso would have the tunes for ‘stepping it out’.

    There are stories of shearers who would clip a few sheep then have a break by dancing a few steps and still do a hundred and twenty a day; bullockies dancing hornpipes on barrels, dancing in pubs to knock down the cheque, dancing on fence posts to drive then in. Women also were accomplished steppers with accounts of an overly-energetic girl kicking off a shoe, to a woman of ninety who could step it out and outlast the muso. Highland Flings, Irish Jigs, and English clog dances all belonged and contributed to a vibrant Australian style.

    Folk Songs Of Australia by Meredith, Covell & Brown testifies to the significance of this dance form with a profusion of diverting step-dance yarns:

    Teddy Creighton, he was a blacksmith in here (Crookwell), and he worked in the town, and he would go to the dances and he would dance the Sailor’s Hornpipe….and he was good too. He was the best I have ever seen – he would have been about thirty-five, if he was still alive he would be about ninety. He was a little dark thin feller, and he wore dancing clogs with plates on them, and when I would hit a note, he would hit it too!

    Years of collecting have revealed a rich heritage of step dances and tunes which were once a very prominent aspect of our tradition. Recently we have identified several clog dances which appear to be uniquely Australian: – the Milkmaid’s Waltz (Sydney), Brisbane Clog Waltz ( beginners & advanced versions) and the Melbourne Clog Dance ( beginners & advanced versions – taken to New Zealand around 1900 and still danced there).

    This year at the National Folk Festival we will be presenting a series of workshops and displays to present these vibrant tunes and dances. This is the launch of a new project, in collaboration with Peter Ellis and Rob Willis, to promote Australian step-dance.

    Step-dance Tunes Workshop Acoustic Lounge Sat 4/04/15 13:30
    The Shearers Shuffle – Dance Workshop Coorong Sat 4/04/15 17:40
    Mind Your Step – Dance Displays
    Piazza Fri 3/04/15 11:30 and
    Piazza Mon 6/04/15 14:00

  5. Convenor permalink

    10th National Folklore Conference 2015

    An annual conference facilitated by the Australian Folklore Network, the National Library of Australia, the National Folk Festival and the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute, Curtin University.

    National Library of Australia – April 2, 2015

    Preliminary Conference Program

    Jennifer Gall – Listening to the Past: Matching Family Folklore with the Evidence of Music Collections in Australian Historic House Collections.
    Graham McDonald – ‘Niche’ popular music in the late 40s/early50s (Hawaiian, boogie woogie /RnB and Latin American).
    Janette Mollenhauer – “Crossroads”: An Overview of The American Folklore Society Conference, 2014.
    Carmel Charlton – The Great Ride (Australian Light Horse in Palestine, 1918).
    Keith McKenry – Reconstructing a life: Crafting the biography of John Meredith.
    Miriam Jones – High and Lonesome Down Under: Bluegrass and Old Time Music in Australia.
    Reilly McCarron – An Australian Fairy Tale Folklore Collection.
    Peter Ellis and Bruce Watson – ‘I’m not a ‘Toff, Just a Girl From the Bush’.

    This year’s lunchtime concert will celebrate the Library’s 21st year bringing traditional musicians to the National Folk Festival with folk, blues and skiffle pioneers Frank Povah and Chris Cruise in concert and conversation with Rob Willis.

    Attendance is free but you do need to register as places are limited. Please email registrations to g.seal@curtin.edu.au

    AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE NETWORK

    The Australian Folklore Network (AFN) is a national coalition of individuals and organisations with an interest in one or more aspects of folklore collection, archiving, research, teaching, administration and performing. In partnership with the National Library of Australia, the National Folk Festival and Curtin University, the AFN hosts an annual conference, publishes the Transmissions blog at ozfolknet.wordpress.com, coordinates the Register of Australian Folklore Collections, carries out projects and generally promotes Australian folklore in all its varieties throughout the national community.

    Individuals and organisations with an involvement or interest in these activities are invited to add their email address to our list. It is also possible for organisations and individuals to affiliate with the AFN at no-charge and obligation-free. Affiliates appear on the Affiliates list at the AFN blog

    To join the AFN email list contact g.seal@curtin.edu.au

    To affiliate with the AFN go to ozfolknet.wordpress.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Australian-Folklore-Network/161553657387949

    National Folklore Conference Organising Committee
    Graham Seal – (Convener)
    Gwenda Davey
    Jennifer Gall
    Kevin Bradley
    Rob Willis
    Graham McDonald

    (The AFN is coordinated and resourced through the Australian Folklore Research Unit at Curtin University)

  6. 1788 – A Collage for Australia Day.
    Dance, social life, fashion, celebrities and events of 1788

    http://www.colonialdance.com.au/1788-collage-dance-social-life-fashion-celebrities-and-events-2067.html

  7. Convenor permalink

    10th AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE CONFERENCE

    The AFN’s tenth annual conference will be held at the National Library of Australia on April 2, 2015 (just avoiding April Fool’s Day). A full program will be issued closer to the event but we can tell you that confirmed presentations include:

    • Family folk music traditions
    • Popular music of the 1940s/50s
    • An Australian look at the 2014 American Folklore Society conference Contemporary Light Horse songs
    • The biography of John Meredith
    • Old Time and Bluegrass in Australia
    • Local dance history
    • Australian fairy tales

    The lunchtime concert will feature blues/jug/skiffle pioneers Frank Povah and Chris Cruise in song and conversation with Rob Willis, to celebrate the Library’s 21st year of bringing traditional musicians to the National Folk Festival.

    As usual, there will be opportunities to purchase books, exchange information and put faces to names of attenders from around the country, many in town for the National Folk Festival.

    As always, unmissable!

    Attendance is free but you do need to register as places are limited. Please email registrations to g.seal@curtin.edu.au

  8. Convenor permalink

    2015 NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE

    The AFN’s 10th annual conference will take place prior to the National Folk Festival on Thursday April 2 at the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

    Expressions of Interest

    If you would like to express an interest in presenting a paper at the conference please email g.seal@curtin.edu.au with the following information:

    Your name/s
    Title of presentation
    Brief paragraph about the nature and content of your presentation

    by

    DECEMBER 5, 2014

    All expressions of interest will be considered by the AFN conference committee

    We will let you have further details as they are confirmed, including arrangements for registration.

  9. GOVERNOR PHILLIP MEETS JANE AUSTEN.

    Did Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of NSW meet Jane Austen?
    They both lived in the elegant city of Bath, joined the circulating library and attended balls and concerts. Could they have met? Did they touch when giving hands in the dance?

    http://www.colonialdance.com.au/governor-phillip-meets-jane-austen-1953.html

  10. Convenor permalink

    TRANSMISSIONS

    Occasional Newsletter of the Australian Folklore Network
    Edited by Graham Seal
    ozfolknet.wordpress.com
    and on Facebook at Australian Folklore Network
    July 2014

    NEW COMMITTEE MEMBER

    We welcome Graham McDonald to the AFN committee. Graham is replacing Mark Cranfield as the representative of the National Folk Festival. Our thanks to Mark for his many contributions over the years. The committee members are now:

    Graham Seal (Convenor)
    Jennifer Gall
    Gwenda Davey
    Rob Willis
    Kevin Bradley
    Graham McDonald

    FOLK FELLOWSHIP

    Have you thought about applying for the National Folk Fellowship?
    No matter what your age or folky interest we encourage you to apply.

    More information on the Folk Fellowship is here http://folkfestival.org.au/apply/national-folk-fellowship/ or contact me personally for further information.

    The National Library of Australia’s Oral History and Folklore collection contains interviews and recordings on a broad range of folky topics, not only music.
    Dance, spoken word, poetry, crafts, protest and songs of activism are all in there and many recordings are now on line at
    http://www.nla.gov.au/what-we-collect/oral-history-and-folklore
    We encourage applicants to research, develop their particular field of interest and perform at the National Folk Festival and National Library.

    Hurry! Closes July 31.

    Rob Willis
    http://www.nla.gov.au/what-we-collect/oral-history-and-folklore

    AFN PUBLICATIONS

    AFN Conference Papers

    A selection of papers from the previous AFN conferences is available under the title Antipodean Traditions: Australian Folklore in the 21st Century, available from Black Swan Press:

    http://research.humanities.curtin.edu.au/blackswan/

    Identify yourself as an AFN member to receive the book at the keen price of only $10.00 (+p&p, alas).

    Verandah Music

    We have a few copies of Verandah Music, the AFN’s groundbreaking presentation of Australian musical traditions, originally published in 2003 (!). The book is lavishly illustrated and includes 2 CDs.

    As the publisher’s blurb for the book puts it:

    Verandah Music is a unique anthology of writing on traditional Australian music which provides a fascinating insight into the relationship between the music and the people that produced and perpetuated it. Through interviews, photographs and personal stories, Verandah Music illuminates the traditions, working lives and family connections of some of Australia’s most colourful characters and the music they loved.
    The book comes complete with two CD’s, mastered by the National Library of Australia, which greatly enhances the reader’s understanding and enjoyment of this unique form of Australian folk music.

    Naturally, for this level of promotion you will pay much more than buying the book direct from the AFN (shh!) Available for AFN members for $20.00 + p&p through g.seal@curtin.edu.au

    AFN ON FACEBOOK

    The AFN now has a Facebook page which is receiving posts and hits. Go and ‘like’ us.

    AFN AFFILIATION

    The AFN is open to anyone who would like to be on the mailing list. There is also an additional option to affiliate through the blog at:

    https://ozfolknet.wordpress.com/afn-affiliates/

    This simply means that we display your name as a supporter of the AFN and its aims (also on the blog)

    There is no charge for any of this as the AFN is a totally unfunded volunteer organisation.

  11. Matthew Flinders and the Glorious First of June

    This year marks the 200th anniversary of Matthew Flinders’ death.
    A highly significant event in Flinders’ life was the battle known as The Glorious First of June. Three dances were devised to celebrate the great naval battle. Here is one of them, along with the fascinating history of Matthew Flinders’ flute.

    http://www.colonialdance.com.au/matthew-flinders-and-the-glorious-first-of-june-1858.html

    Happy dancing,
    Heather

  12. Captain Cook’s Country Dance.
    Here is the latest offering in Australian dance research.

    Boscawen’s Frolick – the first in a series of historical dances relating to Captain James Cook.
    This dance links James’ early life and his time in Admiral Boscawen’s Fleet.
    http://www.colonialdance.com.au/captain-cooks-early-life-boscawens-frolick-1767.html

    Happy dancing,
    Heather

  13. Convenor permalink

    2014 NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE
    National Library of Australia
    April 17, 2014

    PRELIMINARY PROGRAM

    Maldon, 50k
    Julie and Dave Gittus

    Being able to play traditional tunes from your own area is a special feeling. For us, it’s continuing a music tradition that originated over one hundred years ago in the stone farm houses just down the road. The music then becomes a language you share with others, as well as a way of deepening your connection to home.’ Dave and Julie Gittus have a preference for tunes with a strong sense of place, as learnt from older local players within 50 miles of their home in Maldon, Central Victoria. Their presentation includes tunes, photos and stories.

    Dave and Julie Gittus have been playing button accordion and fiddle for the past fifteen years, mostly in their kitchen in Maldon. They’ve performed at both the Maldon and Newstead Folk Festivals, wineries and art festivals – all gigs close to home. Their appreciation of Australian tunes has been supported and encouraged by a number of collectors and performers including Dave DeHugard, Greg O’Leary, Peter Ellis, Tom Walsh and the late Jacko Kevans, whose love of the music has inspired them over the years.

    Captain Cook’s Country Dance
    Heather Clarke

    Delving deeply into the archives of theatre and dance has revealed a fascinating collection of dances which reflect the path of early Australian history. Even before Australia was discovered, dances relating to the region were being devised, for example ‘The South Seas’ and ‘A Trip to the World’s End.’ One aspect of this research is the music and dance relating to Captain Cook’s voyages of discovery in the Pacific. A plethora of dances were composed in celebration of his travels including ‘Trip to Tahiti’, ‘Transit of Venus’, ‘Sailor’s Dance’,’ Omai,’ and ‘The Indian Chief.’ A national hero, even his demise was portrayed in dance in a grand serious-pantomimic-ballet, The Death of Captain Cook.

    With a growing international reputation as a dance historian, Heather Clarke’s innovative approach to research is attracting the attention of dancers, historians and musicians alike, providing “unique insights into Australia’s spectacular history”. She became involved in bush and colonial dancing in the early 1980s which lead to an increased interest in the history underling colonial dances. Heather teaches and dances in Brisbane and works full-time tracing dances connected with early colonial times and events, regularly publishing the latest research at http://www.colonialdance.com.au

    Table, stage and bar: Three platforms for contemporary oral storytelling
    Jo Henwood
    Oral storytelling in its traditional form of telling in pubs and kitchens
    has continued in Britain and many parts of Asia and Africa with only minor
    disruptions from pre printing press to now. In Australia (by way of
    America), and in many other places, the Revival of the 1970s-80s has
    generated platform storytelling, which is theatrical in presentation.
    Recently a new form has emerged to join these styles, of untrained people
    telling true personal stories in adult settings such as pubs.

    Jo Henwood joined the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) in 1999, and
    subsequently became an Accredited Storyteller, President, Vice President,
    and Accreditation Officer. Jo has a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage
    and qualifications in librarianship, tour guiding, museum studies and gifted
    education. Most of her work is as a tour guide or education officer at
    several Sydney heritage sites, however her real love remains storytelling.
    She regularly conducts storytelling workshops. With Reilly McCarron she has
    co founded the Australian Fairy Tale Society, and is currently working on
    its inaugural conference in June 2014.

    Sharing the harvest – Preserving and disseminating folklore through performance, publication and multimedia.
    David De Santi

    For several decades David De Santi has been taking traditional material of many genres and presenting it to a wide audience in an exciting and interesting format.
    Through the utilisation of live performance, recording, publications, multimedia and as director of several major festivals David has successfully created an awareness of many aspects of traditional Australian, multicultural and other folklore.

    With an Italian heritage and musical background David De Santi has been involved in the Australian folk music scene since 1984. He is an original member of Wongawilli and has travelled the world performing their brand and interpretation of Australian bush music. To that end he has been involved in publishing, recording and researching good tunes and songs of Australia since 1990. He is the Artistic Director of the Illawarra Folk Festival (since 1996), Perisher Peak Festival and also plays in I Viaggiatori (Italian folk) and the community band – The Con Artists. He has been recognised for his contribution in sharing folk music with a Commonwealth Centenary Medal, the first National Library of Australia Folk Festival Fellowship and a Folk Alliance Australia Community Achievement Award.

    Not ALL about revelling – the not-so fun side of the National Folk Festival
    Gabrielle Mackey

    The National Folk Festival is an annual highlight for Australia’s folk community as well as a huge number of other people who love to come to the Festival. It provides a diverse program that includes music, song, dance, spoken word, film, circus, performance skills and traditional crafts. It is mostly about having fun. But it is not ALL about revelling – there is a very serious side to the Festival. The Festival is run by a not-for profit company which is bound by the same regulatory framework for transparency and accountability as all Australian companies. That it is a public event elevates the risk profile and compliance obligations. But there are even broader accountabilities. It is the NATIONAL folk festival and there have been many people around Australia who have given much to the Festival over the years. The National’s management is effectively accountable to the Australian folk community for its continued health and wellbeing. Some may consider the National’s corporate obligations, and the reality that it must survive as a business, as being at odds with its folk roots. But the National’s management cannot pick and choose. It must steer the Festival in a long term sustainable direction, comply with its legal obligations, AND keep its loyal supporters happy. Gabrielle Mackey, President of the Board of National Folk Festival Ltd explains how Festival management tackles this enormous challenge.

    Gabrielle Mackey has a long and committed association with the National Folk Festival and has attended every National since it settled in Canberra in 1993. A dancer of various Anglo-Celtic styles, Gabrielle got involved in the organisation of the Festival back in 1998 through the Dance Program. She co-coordinated the Dance Program for 2 years with her husband (Lance Green) and a further two years on her own. She was invited to become a NFF Ltd Company and Board Member in January 2002. A NFF Ltd Board Member to 2008, Gabrielle rejoined the Board in 2010 and has been Board President since November 2012. A legal practitioner, Gabrielle is currently an adjunct lecturer and assessor for the College of Law’s Canberra course.

    Losing our folk heritage – another lost story!
    Colin Fong
    Over a year ago, I watched on ABC TV, the movie Age of Consent. After viewing it, I wanted to read the original Norman Lindsay book. As a member of Ashfield, Burwood and Marrickville libraries, I thought it would be easy to borrow a copy of this book. Unfortunately neither of these libraries held the book. I don’t doubt when it was first published they would have acquired the book, however as many of us know, libraries regularly cull their collections and sell off their books at ridiculously low prices. Many useful folklore titles are available electronically, however many are not. We admire the collectors who have spent years collecting tunes which are now prized but could have been lost forever. What can we do to prevent the wholesale diminution of our folklore heritage?
    The rest of the paper examines what is available electronically. Practical aspects to creating a folklore collection. Where could it be housed? The possibility of a co-operative joint venture among folklorist organisations. Variety in folk genre: music, dance, songs, folkcraft, costume, history etc.
    Colin Fong has been a member of the Bush Music Club since 1983. His roles within the club have included being Secretary 1988-1996 and co-editor, Mulga Wire, 1992 to date. Some of his favourite Mulga Wire articles have included his interviews with John Meredith, Alan Scott, Shirley Andrews, Nell Challingsworth and Noreen Grunseit. Colin is also a member of the Australian Heritage Dancers and has performed within Australia and overseas.

    Beware the written word.
    Dale Dengate

    History has been defined as the stories from written words and this was the Authority by which we judged The Truth of the matter. Prehistory was based on oral stories which were considered as myths and legends. There is no denying a good story teller will add extra detail in the telling of the event or describing a person. Post-modernism encourages a look at ‘other truths’. With reference to Helen Palmer’s search for ‘folksong in Australia’ around 1950-60s and with a juxtaposition of the published obituary for John Dengate, ASIO files and oral recordings, I intend to raise some questions about oral versions vs written records.

    Dale Dengate (née Roseann Morgan) joined the Bush Music Club in 1961and considers it a great privilege to have been introduced to traditional Australian music by John Meredith, Gay and Alan Scott, Duke Tritton and others at that time. Over the years, designed and made the two Club banners and introduced John Dengate to the Club. Has written numerous articles and edited books and journals in the area of folk, arts and education. Led the WWWs women’s singing group, as well as organising workshops of songs about women’s experiences. Was chairperson of the Australian Folk Trust during the turbulent years of bringing change to the location of the National Festival due to financial challenges.

    ‘We were on the Cornwallis’: Tracing the Provenance of a Folk Tunes
    Tony Smith

    My ancestor William Eckford had an interesting life. William was sentenced to death for sheep stealing but Governor Macquarie commuted the sentence to exile to Newcastle where William became harbour master. I aimed to write a song about William’s life, preferably using a tune that William might have known from his native North Ayrshire, from his naval service or from his time in the colony. While many tunes are possibilities, probability is not so readily established. Research suggests that application of the term ‘traditional’ often obscures the provenance of the tunes in the folk musician’s repertoire. Ideally, a musician should have some idea of a tune’s composer, date, place of origin and likely social setting. This interesting exercise reveals much about the way tunes assume their own lives after publication and first performance.

    Tony Smith has worked as a teacher, dairy goat farmer, in home duties and in academia. He holds a PhD, University of Sydney and has written for Eureka Street, Australian Quarterly, Australian Review of Public Affairs, The Cud and Online Opinion. Tony has spoken on ABC Radio National and in 1991 won the ‘Women and Politics Essay Prize’ of the Australasian Political Studies Association. He responded to the Governor’s speech at the inauguration of Australia’s World Peace Bell (Cowra 1992) and facilitated at the Centenary Bathurst Peoples’ Constitutional Convention (1996). He became interested in Australian traditional music as a student on John Dengate’s class and now plays harmonica and whistle for his sheep near Bathurst.

    Click go the Shears and the 1891 shearers strike
    Mark Gregory

    When I discovered that ‘Click go the Shears’ was first published in 1891 I felt immediately that this was no coincidence. The 1891 strike has long been described as the defeat that led to the formation of the Australian Labor Party. The tone of ‘Click go the Shears’ fits well with the times, it remains an iconic song of working life and certainly shows no deference towards the employing class. This paper provides a new history of the song in the context of the 1891 strikes and since.

    Mark Gregory inherited a fascination for rebellious song and poetry from his family. Whether it was his mother singing ‘Hallelujah, I’m a Bum’ or his father reciting ‘A Man’s a Man For a’ That’ or hearing Paul Robeson on a windup gramophone with ‘Joe Hill’ it entered his childhood repertory. As time and circumstance allowed , these experiences led to years of research into this extraordinary genre, paying special attention to its Australian branches.

    CONCERT

    Our lunchtime concert (and recordings at NLA) next year during the conference are these fellows, The Provost Brothers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQQY7GJP5DA

  14. Australian Folklore Network

    Transmissions 3
    (New Series)
    ISSN 1833-6930

    January 2014

    National Folk Festival 2014

    The National Folklore Conference will again take place this year on April 17 at the National Library of Australia. Jointly organized by the Australian Folklore Network, the National Library of Australia and the National Folk festival, this popular day is now in its 9th year.

    The conference is free, though a small charge is made for a provided lunch option.

    Registrations

    Registrations are now open. Please contact Graham Seal at g.seal@curtin.edu.au. Registration is essential for catering purposes and also to ensure that you have a seat.

    Preliminary Program (subject to possible change)

    Maldon, 50k
    Julie and Dave Gittus

    Captain Cook’s Country Dance
    Heather Clarke
    Table, stage and bar: Three platforms for contemporary oral storytelling
    Jo Henwood
    Sharing the harvest – Preserving and disseminating folklore through performance, publication and multimedia.
    David De Santi

    Not ALL about revelling – the not-so fun side of the National Folk Festival
    Gabrielle Mackey

    Losing our folk heritage – another lost story!
    Colin Fong

    Beware the written word
    Dale Dengate

    ‘We were on the Cornwallis’: Tracing the Provenance of a Folk Tune
    Tony Smith

    ‘Click go the Shears’ and the 1891 shearer’s strike
    Mark Gregory

    Lunchtime Concert

    The conference will again include a lunchtime concert organized by by Rob and Olya Willis. This year’s guests will be:
    The Provost Brothers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQQY7GJP5DA)

    *

    Australian Folklore Network

    – Making Connections in Folklore –

    https://ozfolknet.wordpress.com

  15. The Shearer’s Song

    J.R. (Schofields).–This reader has very kindly supplied ALL the verses of “The Shearer’s Song” (which, he says, is sung to the tune of “Ring the Bell. Watchman”):

    This version comes from the Sydney newspaper the World’s News 9 September 1939.

    The newspaper was responding to a readers request:

    SHEARER’S SONG

    J.S.K.H. (Austinmer, N.S.W.): This reader has sent along his version of “The Shearer’s Song.”
    “Or at least as much of it as I can remember,” he writes, “I have not heard
    it since the early 80’s, and I have never seen the book of words.”

    Here it is:–
    “Up near the catching-pen the old shearer stands
    Grasping his shears with his thin, bony, hands;
    Fixed is his gaze on a bare bellied ewe.
    Saying if I only get her won’t I make the ringer go

    Click, go the shears, click, click, click;
    Wide are the blows and quick, quick, quick.
    The ringer looks around, finds he has lost it by a blow.
    And he curses that old shearer with the bare bellied ewe.”

    We are now left with 3 published versions (from 3 different newspaper/magazine sources) of the song with 3 different titles

    1891 The Bare-Belled Ewe see http://folkstream.com/112.html
    1939 The Shearer’s Song see http://folkstream.com/146.html
    1946 Click Go the Shears see http://folkstream.com/022.html

    It is interesting that J.S.K.H. (Austinmer, N.S.W.) remembered hearing his verses from the early 1880s giving the song a much earlier oral provenance than any other bush singer.

    I think the 1939 is much closer to the 1891 than either of those are to Percy Jones’ 1946 version … the earlier versions have more verses and together have five verses not in shorter the Jones’ version perhaps implying that Jones got his from an oral rather than printed source.

    Who was J.S.K.H. (Austinmer, N.S.W.) and who was the informant J.R. (Schofields) who supplied the full 1939 version? There is a Schofields in NSW

    cheers

    Mark

  16. HomeSubscribeEditionsContributorsOnline StoreContact UsMy SubscriptionDiscussion
    The elusive Australian fairy tale

    From Griffith REVIEW Edition 42: Once Upon a Time in Oz
    © Copyright Griffith University & the author.

    Written by Reilly McCarron

    | Print | E-mail

    Reilly McCarron’s biography

    JACK and the Beanstalk, Henny Penny, The Three Bears, and The Three Little Pigs were collected by the folklorist Joseph Jacobs and printed in his book English Fairy Talesin 1890. Among other academic pursuits, Jacobs went on to publish several other collections, including More English Fairy Tales and Celtic Fairy Tales. Yet Jacobs was born, raised, and university-educated in Sydney, Australia, and he cites his childhood memory as the source for some of these popular tales. In the preface to English Fairy Taleshe writes ‘Who says that English folk have no fairy tales of their own?’ and goes on to explain his patriotic reasons for publishing the collection.[i] These include a desire to see English children being told English tales, helping to bridge the gap between the upper and lower classes, and encouraging more tales to come to light. So why did Joseph Jacobs not feel the need to undertake this task in Australia?

    The most obvious answer to this question might be that Australia only came into being in 1788, before which it was a continent divided, much like Europe, into Aboriginal territories. Jacobs was apparently more interested in the traditional British and European tales than the vast and ancient resource of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tales. Or perhaps his decision was more complex. Folklore, put simply, is the lore of the folk or the ways of people, and refers to an unofficial culture of gaining, adapting, and sharing knowledge and practices through informal processes. It exists outside of the conventional channels of a society –such as education, religion, mass media and government –and is neither ‘high’ nor ‘popular’ culture, yet weaves through all of these.[ii] While storytelling is folkloric in nature within Anglo-Celtic culture, it is part of the official structure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies and so not strictly considered folklore.

    Another reason may have been the secrecy surrounding many sacred Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories, whose powerful magic is protected. Certain stories are for women only, or men, or for those who descend from a particular place. For the folklorist interested in collecting such tales, it is not simply a case of recording and publicly sharing them. Jacobs, having expressed lofty ideals on his English collection, went on to say the tales would ‘add to the innocent gaiety of the nation’.[iii] Helping to bridge the gaping cultural chasm in Australia with the healing power of story may have seemed too great a challenge, or it may never have occurred to him. Joseph’s father had migrated from London, so it could simply be that he was drawn to make his mark in the motherland.

    Jacobs never returned to Australia. He contributed greatly to British folklore, then in 1900 he moved to New York City and spent the remainder of his life in prominent positions within the field of Jewish studies. But could he have been Australia’s answer to the Brothers Grimm? Or does Australia have no real fairy tales and folklore of its own? As a modern folklorist with a passion for fairy tales I find it difficult to entertain, let alone accept, this notion. My own desire to delve deeply into these perfectly formed, deceptively simple folk stories was sparked during my teens, when my father’s partner took me along to a storytelling event for adults.

    In a delightful little room at the back of a Melbourne fairy shop we sat on toadstools, drank champagne, and listened to a real life fairy tell early versions of popular tales which were once meant for adults. The tale I recall best from that enchanted afternoon is The Frog King, in which the princess is so disgusted by the revolting creature demanding to sleep on her soft pillow, she picks it up and throws it against the wall, at which point it turns into a handsome prince. It turns out kissing the frog was an American invention. As a pensive teenager, interested only in finding deep and authentic meaning in a shallow society filled with hypocrisy (such was my romantic worldview), discovering that older, wiser, darker versions of fairy tales existed was like stumbling upon hidden treasure.

    Then in my early twenties, living alone in a small cottage in the woods with Bob Dylan, poetry and red wine, I read the words ‘folklorist’ and ‘mythographer’ in Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ wonderful book of stories and psychology Women Who Run with the Wolves.[iv] These terms resounded with the clarity of vocational destiny, despite me having no real idea of what they meant, and would eventually lead me to study undergraduate mythology, and post graduate folklore. I soon realised that I was not alone in having little knowledge of what folklore is, and what a folklorist does.

    Folklore is a greatly undervalued field of study in Australia, and widely misunderstood as a collection of bush ballads, tales of Ned Kelly, and similar quaint antiquities. All cultures enjoy a rich tapestry of folklore, and Australia is not exempt to urban legends, ghost stories, slang, and superstition. An informal communication within large or small groups, it is based in tradition (whether long or short term), displays variation, and yet is continuous and adaptive.[v] In fact, folklore is an integrated part of our everyday lives. If you have ever told a joke or anecdote, sung a nursery rhyme, crossed your fingers, knocked on wood, made a mud pie or a daisy chain, then you have participated in the living flow of folklore. The academic study of this field, called folkloristics, offers great cultural benefits, yet we lag behind most of the world in terms of national recognition and support.

    Australia is one of only a few countries which lacks an official national folklore register. Despite being signatory to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which strongly recommends safeguarding folklore and cultural heritage, we have no government institution for the collection, cataloguing, protection, analysis, circulation and teaching of our folklore. Folkloristics is overlooked by our government, is academically trivialised and generally misunderstood, yet it has the potential to ease social tensions and heal cultural rifts. At the same time the misuse of folklore can be harmful and even dangerous if used to fuel the flames of fear and ignorance.

    There is perhaps no better example of this than in Nazi Germany, where Hitler’s Third Reich enslaved folklore as a cultural weapon with unimaginably devastating consequences. The Hitler youth were stirred into a frenzy of warped nationalism with the aid of propagandised folk songs, while the blood libel legend falsely accused the Jewish population of murdering children to use their blood in rituals. Sadly, even the Brothers Grimm collection offered an anti-semitic folk tale called The Jew in the Thornbush. Folklore has the advantage, or disadvantage, of being underestimated in its power.

    Today we see widespread prejudice against those of Muslim faith. Since the ‘9/11’ terrorist attacks in America in 2001, there has been a largely unchecked, and deeply harmful, blur in the distinction between ‘Muslim’ and ‘terrorist’. Muslim leaders across the globe were quick to condemn the extremist group Al-Qaeda’s actions, yet their voices were lost in a fog of horror and confusion. Twelve years on, the Muslim community is still the target of bigotry.[vi] Even in a ‘lucky country’ which believes in a ‘fair go’, tensions can arise. Australia has had its share of conflict, even making world news on a few occasions.

    In 2005 a riot broke out in Cronulla, a beachside suburb of southern Sydney, between ‘Aussies’ and Australian-born youths of ‘Middle Eastern appearance’, with revenge attacks lasting three days. Two years later a large number of locals rallied in Camden, south-west of Sydney, against a proposed Islamic school in the area. Police were later called to the intended site following the disturbing discovery of two pigs’ heads mounted on stakes with an Australian flag hung between them. This was followed by the council’s unanimous rejection of the proposed school.[vii] More recently the fear of ‘other’ has been placed on asylum seekers fleeing war-torn countries who our politicians have labelled ‘boat people’.

    Much of this cultural disharmony is fed by the misuse of folklore; the unhelpful stories we perpetuate based on misinformation about one another. Of course, folklore also holds the keys to easing social tensions, and gently knitting communities together. Formally trained folklorists use a tool called Cultural Diagnostics for identifying cultural unease and finding solutions to social problems, ideally before they escalate into confrontation. In this sense folklorists can act as ‘cultural doctors’, ameliorating potential dilemmas by encouraging mutual awareness and informed dialogue.

    In 2010, German chancellor Angela Merkel declared that multiculturalism in Germany was dead. This followed a call to end immigration from Turkey and Arab countries by the Bavarian state premier of the Christian Social Union, who had previously served in Merkel’s cabinet. Yet within weeks of this declaration, seven thousand people flocked to a richly multicultural suburb of Bremen, called Gröpelingen, to attend the fourth annual international, multilingual storytelling festival ‘Feuerspuren’ or ‘Traces of Fire’. Gröpelingen is home to many Turkish immigrants and the festival celebrates its wealth of diversity with stories of many cultures in many languages including Turkish, Persian, Spanish and Latvian.

    The festival began in 2007, and every November since then it has transformed Lindenhofstrasse (Linden Street) into a fiery magical realm of imagination. The street is closed off for the two-day event, and everyday venues are opened up as sacred storytelling spaces. These include a laundromat, a hair salon, a Turkish tearoom, a private hobby farm with roaming ducks, and the Gröpelingen mosque. In between stories, visitors are entertained by street performers, musicians and fire artists. Feuerspuren closes with a parade, lanterns drifting into the night sky, and fireworks over the nearby waterfront. Its continuing success suggests multiculturalism is far from dead in Germany.

    In another example of the healing power of this folklore form, Dr Julia Chaitin, who worked as a senior researcher with the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East, cited benefits from storytelling in reconciliation work in South Africa, Northern Ireland, and between descendants of Holocaust survivors and Nazi perpetrators.[viii] So we see folklore is a powerful process which can be directed, or misdirected, to deeply affect social harmony and wellbeing. In such a richly multicultural country as Australia, the need to support folkloristics seems obvious. Yet the university course in which I studied folklore has sadly since been withdrawn due to a fall in interest, following a sharp increase in university fees. There is currently nowhere in Australia to study folklore at a post graduate level.

    However, despite the lack of official support, Australia is blessed with a small but passionate group of folklorists and folklore enthusiasts. A multitude of Australian publications includes The Oxford companion to Australian folklore, and the Australian Folklore Network (AFN) achieves an enormous amount without the benefit of government interest or funding.[ix] The AFN has thankfully found support in institutions like the National Library of Australia (NLA), Curtin University in Perth, Monash University in Melbourne, and Museum Victoria, which house key figures in Australian folkloristics. A National Folklore Conference is held at the NLA in Canberra each year and precedes the National Folk Festival. This conference covers an eclectic range of topics from bawdy folk songs, bush poetry, and the Aussie meat pie, to children’s rights to unsupervised play. Museum Victoria publishes a bi-annual folklore journal on children’s culture called Play and Folklore.

    There are many branches of folklore including folk music, dance, art, poetry, belief, customs and narrative. Australia would do well to hold more festivals, along the lines of Feuerspuren, to celebrate both the unique differences and universal similarities within a culturally diverse society such as ours. While there is great power in folklore, it is often gentle and unobtrusive (to the point of being overlooked). If Camden council had organised an inter-faith festival in 2007, to better acquaint its Muslim and Christian residents, some degree of confrontation and boycotting would have been expected. A community festival of family fun, on the other hand, would be less likely to arouse people’s fears and prejudices. Stereotypes can be dismantled over mundane conversations about the weather, parenthood, or a shared story.

    Now that I have made the argument (I hope) that Australia, like all societies, has a rich resource of untapped folklore, it’s time to turn our attention to fairy tales, and whether Australia has any. At the heart of this question lies another: what is a fairy tale? Is it a simple story that has been passed on from one generation to the next in the oral tradition, such as Little Red Riding Hood, or a literary tale penned by a single author, such as Anderson’s The Ugly Duckling? There is some debate about the definitions of ‘folk’ and ‘fairy’ tales. Some say folk tales become fairy tales once they are written down, and others suggest fairy tales have more magical elements than folk tales.

    Defining the fairy tale is as elusive a task as defining folklore. Fairy tales need not have fairies in them, though some enchantment is required. Their symbolic motifs reveal the dynamics of the human condition, and they delight children and adults alike. They are part of the cultural language. They are part of folklore, and as such are subject to transformation, even the ones with literary origins. This is the golden key which opens the creaky door to the hidden chamber. Fairy tales are folklore! They adapt to their setting and audience and modern times, they cross cultural and generational boundaries, and transform.

    It is all too simple to say Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories come from The Dreaming and are therefore creation myths, not fairy tales. To say that the popular canon of tales we know in Australia, largely through Disney films, are pan-European. To say we don’t have enough familiarity with tales from Asia-Pacific for them to inform our cultural psychology. Fairy tales are magical creatures who refuse to be confined to such strict definitions. There exist countless variations of well-known tales across cultures and throughout time.

    Once upon a time Cinderella lived in ancient China and her ‘fairy godmother’ came in the form of the bones of a beautiful fish. Long ago and far away a prince visited Sleeping Beauty in her slumber, liked what he saw…and she grew his baby inside her, snoring all the while. Once there was and once there was not a poor girl named Rapunzel, locked away in a tower by a sorceress who later cast her out on discovering she was pregnant. To illustrate just how much fairy tales enjoy being free to shift and turn, let me tell you one story of Little Red Riding Hood.

    One of the earliest known versions of this yarn, in the Western tradition, was recorded in rural France. In this version, named La Grand-Mere (The Grandmother), the grandmother is eaten but the little girl outwits the wolf and makes her escape. The story has cannibalism, a strip tease, talk of defecation, and a werewolf. Charles Perrault appears to have adapted this oral tale for the pleasure of the French court in the late 17th century. Named Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Cap), his literary version changed the ending so the wolf ate both grandmother and girl, and was followed by a rhyming moral dissuading young women from keeping the company of ‘wolves’. In 1800 Ludwig Tieck introduced the passing hunter who rescues both grandmother and girl from the belly of the wolf, in his German version Leben und Tod des kleinen Rothkäppchens (Life and Death of Little Red Cap).[x]

    When the Brothers Grimm published their version, again named simply Rötkappchen (Little Red Cap), they changed the tale once more. Appearing to borrow the ending from another fairy tale, The Wolf and the Seven Kids –in which the mother goat cuts open the wolf while he sleeps, rescues her kids, and sews stones into his belly so he drowns from thirst upon waking –they exchange the heroine mother for Tieck’s passing hunter. (There are many lost heroines in the enchanted woods, but that is another story.) The Grimms also added a second part to the tale, in which the grandmother and girl outwit a second wolf.

    In 2009 I was told a version of The Wolf and the Seven Kids by a ninety-two –year-old Latvian-Australian great-grandmother. She recalled winter evenings in her childhood spent by the hearth listening to her own grandmother translating Grimm tales directly off the page. Her version had a distinct Latvian flavour with singing, participation encouraged from the children listening, and a particular beginning and end.[xi] Then in 2011 I recorded a performance of an hispanic Little Red Riding Hood joke, delivered by a professional storyteller at a cabaret event. In the same year Warner Brothers released their film Red Riding Hood, which seemingly drew on material from the early French rural story. As we can see, there is no one true version of the tale.

    In 2011 the Darwin Festival commissioned an exciting multimedia play called Wulamanayuwi and the Seven Pamanui, in which traditional Tiwi Island story meets the Grimms’ Snow White.[xii] Two cultures meet and create something new and beautiful in the realm of fairy tale. Our vast land boasts forests and ocean, mountains and desert, rivers, islands, and the world’s largest monolith. There is enchantment here. Since fairy tales have something akin to a life of their own, through the adaptive nature of folklore, it is unlikely that an exploration into Australian fairy tales will come up short.

    Although further study under the banner of folklore is currently off the table, I hope to embark on such an exploration in the near future, in the shape of a doctorate on the elusive Australian fairy tale. In the meantime, 2014 will see the launch of the Australian Fairy Tale Society, with an annual conference featuring academic papers, panel discussion, art exhibition, and live performance. Following the conference, a Sydney-based discussion and storytelling group will begin, along the lines of the Monash fairy tale salon reading group in Melbourne.

    This essay has focused largely on oral storytelling, yet we also possess a wealth of literary tales, both original stories and acculturated retellings, and some of our finest authors are diving deep for new fairy tale riches. Artists across many mediums are venturing into the enchanted realms to create fresh insights into ancient wisdom, and Australia is home to a wonderful community of academics passionate about fairy tales. So who says that Australian folk have no fairy tales of their own? In our richly diverse society we can only benefit from the healing power of story, and for the sake of our children, the elusive search is worthy of our most dedicated commitment.

    Please direct inquiries about the Australian Fairy Tale Society to:

    Jo Henwood
    contact@johenwoodstoryteller.com.au
    johenwoodstoryteller.com.au

    or

    Reilly McCarron
    info@faeriebard.com
    faeriebard.com

    References

    Beed Davey, Gwenda and Graham Seal. The Oxford companion to Australian folklore. Melbourne; New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

    Iggulden, Tom. The Islamic school furore in Australia. Lateline via YouTube, 2008.

    Jacobs, Joseph. English Fairy Tales. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., ed. 3 republication, 1967.

    McCarron, Reilly. “Reflections on Story-telling Among Immigrant Families in Australia.” Play and Folklore 51 (2009) http://museumvictoria.com.au/pages/8911/play-and-folklore-issue51-apr2009.pdf, pp.12-18

    “Muslims in Queens attacked by Bigots and the Media.” The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sonny-singh/ali-akmal-beating_b_2233695.html

    “Narratives and Story-Telling.” Beyond Intractability. http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/narratives

    Pinkola Estés, Clarissa. Women Who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman. London: Rider, 1992.

    Seal, Graham. The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian Society. Perth: Black Swan Press, 1998.

    “Wulamanayuwi and the Seven Pamanui.” artsHub Australia. http://performing.artshub.com.au/news-article/reviews/performing-arts/wulamanayuwi-and-the-seven-pamanui-185358

    Zipes, Jack. “Dangerous Wolves and Naive Girls” in The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brother Grimm, edited by Jack Zipes, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2001, pp.744-750.

    [i]Joseph Jacobs, English Fairy Tales (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., ed. 3 republication, 1967) p.v

    [ii]Graham Seal,The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian Society (Perth: Black Swan Press, 1998), p. 9.

    [iii]Jacobs, English Fairy Tales, p.vi

    [iv]Clarissa Pinkola Estés,Women Who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman (London: Rider, 1992)

    [v]Seal, The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian Society, p.5.

    [vi]”Muslims in Queens attacked by Bigots and the Media,” The Huffington Post, available from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sonny-singh/ali-akmal-beating_b_2233695.html

    [vii]Tom Iggulden, The Islamic school furore in Australia, (Lateline via YouTube, 2008) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6DHdeFkbSQ&feature=related

    [viii]”Narratives and Story-Telling,” Beyond Intractability, available from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/narratives

    [ix]Gwenda Beed Davey and Graham Seal, The Oxford companion to Australian folklore (Melbourne; New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

    [x]Jack Zipes, ‘Dangerous Wolves and Naive Girls’ in The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm, ed. Jack Zipes (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2001), pp.744-745.

    [xi]This version can be found at Reilly McCarron, “Reflections on Story-telling Among Immigrant Families in Australia,” Play and Folklore 51 (2009), http://museumvictoria.com.au/pages/8911/play-and-folklore-issue51-apr2009.pdf, pp.17-18

    [xii]”Wulamanayuwi and the Seven Pamanui,” artsHub Australia, available from http://performing.artshub.com.au/news-article/reviews/performing-arts/wulamanayuwi-and-the-seven-pamanui-185358

  17. LATST RESEARCH IN EARLY COLONIAL DANCE HISTORY.

    François Girard, convict, dancing master. The fascinating story of the French officer who became a convict, was transported to Australia and became the first dancing master in the colony – “successful beyond his expectations”.
    http://www.colonialdance.com.au/francois-girard-dancing-master-convict-1608.html

    The Lasses of Portsmouth. Portsmouth was the last English port many would know before beginning life in the new land. Many country dances celebrate the famous port, here is just one of them.
    http://www.colonialdance.com.au/lasses-of-portsmouth-1603.html

    —————————————————————————————
    Several dances previously published have been reviewed: Transit of Venus, Botany Bay, and The Recruiting Officer.

    Happy dancing!
    Heather

  18. Convenor permalink

    WESTERN AUSTRALIAN FOLKLIFE PROJECT 2004-2013
    The Western Australian Folklore Project was initiated in 2004 as a partnership between the National Library of Australia, the Australian Folklore Network and the Australian Folklore Research Unit at Curtin University. Funding and recording equipment is supplied by the National Library, with the Folklore Network and the Folklore Research Unit providing background, contacts, general facilitation, institutional support and general hosting. Rob and Olya Willis carried out the fieldwork, recordings and documentation of the collected materials, including photographs, some video and indexing.
    The skill and dedication of the fieldworkers produced a substantial body of important collected material that would otherwise remain undocumented. In addition, all those interviewed and the communities to which they belong have all expressed their enjoyment of the experience and their appreciation at having their cultural traditions acknowledged and recorded by such institutions as the National Library and Curtin University.
    The first year of the project took place in Perth, Fremantle, southwest WA and the Pilbara. It led to the documenting of Ukrainian and Swiss musical traditions, including yodelling. The now-retired country music pioneer performer, Rick Carey was also recorded during this trip, as was Rock & Roll historian John Dubber. An important counter-tradition concerning the outlaw Jandamarra (‘Pigeon’) was documented in the Pilbara, together with indigenous children’s play traditions. Fifteen extended individual and group interviews, some with video of group performances, were completed.
    In 2005 the fieldworkers spent a week recording the musical, food, religious and handcraft traditions of the Perth Greek community. Dr John Yiannakis, Research Associate in the Australia Research Institute facilitated most of the contacts for this phase of the project, working through the Australian Folklore Research Unit.
    The other week involved documenting the life histories and traditions of timber workers and their families as well as bush railways, with a particular emphasis on the now-sunken timber town of Banksiadale. As well as reminiscences, stories and other traditions, this aspect of the project also tuned up substantial manuscript and photographic materials. The project was assisted substantially by Mr Stephen Smith, then Director of the Australian Regional Research Unit at Curtin University.
    Overall, fourteen extended interviews were conducted, together with the documenting of a Greek social function. These have been copied, indexed and illustrated for housing at the NLA and the WA Folklore Archive.
    The 2006 phase of the project involved an investigation of the oral history and traditions of the Western Australian whaling industry, including Cheyne’s Beach Whaling Station, Albany (now Whale World). Some elements of this activity were a follow-up to a joint project conducted by NLA and the State Library of WA in the early 1990s. This year, the fieldwork also involved the WA Irish community music, song, dance and other traditions, child migration and migration traditions from Persia, Iran and India. A concert of music and songs from the sheet music collection of The State Library of Western Australia was also recorded. A total of nineteen extended recordings were made.
    In 2007 Rob and Olya Willis and Graham Seal presented aspects of the WA Folklife Project fieldwork at the Fairbridge Festival. They also carried out a further six interviews, mainly follow-ups to the previous year’s Irish and child migration traditions, as well as one on World War 2 prisoner of war songs.

    No fieldwork was conducted in 2008, but in 2009, the fieldworkers visited twice. In June, in conjunction with the ARC Linkage project ‘Traditions of Childhood’ they spent a week at Geraldton Primary School to document children’s playground traditions. The following week they visited Geraldton and Kalbarri interviews with members of Nunda community regarding oral traditions of their Dutch shipwreck ancestry, together with other folklore. These interviews were carried out in conjunction with an ongoing Curtin-led research project on the pre-1788 European settlement of Australia.
    In August, the fieldworkers spent two weeks in Perth and Fremantle interviewing Australian submariners, the creative arts community, folk revival performers and local newspaper proprietors. Nine extended interviews were recorded.
    No visits took place in 2010-12, but in June 2013 Rob and Olya Willis again visited WA for two weeks. They conducted 11 extended interviews in and around Perth, Bridgetown, Brookhampton and Dunsborough. Topics covered included Traditional music in the Kimberley, The folk revival, Environmental activism, Popular dancing, Early television, Agriculture and orcharding, Handbell ringing, Bindoon Home music and humour, Travelling show circuit since 1930s and Indigenous music making.
    A highlight of the visit was the documentation of the Brookhampton Bellringers. The tradition of handbell ringing is rare in Australia and the Brookhampton group represents an unbroken chain of transmission from 1904. As far as is known, this is the oldest continuous handbell tradition in Australia.
    Full details of interviewees, recordings, indexes, photographs and video may be accessed through the Oral History and Folklore section of the National Library of Australia and the WA Folklore Archive, John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library, Curtin University, Perth.
    In addition to the Fairbridge Festival event mentioned above, the project has also generated a number of other outcomes, incluidng an entry in the The Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia (UWA Press, 2009), reports in specialised publications such as Transmissions, Trad & Now and presentations and performances at the National Folklore Conference and the National Folk Festival, Canberra.
    Graham Seal July 2013

  19. Convenor permalink

    ORAL TRADITION ARCHIVES

    The International Society for Studies in Oral Tradition is pleased to announce the launching of the database Oral Tradition Archives, a compendium of archives worldwide that contain holdings related to the verbal arts, at http://issot.org/archives.

    The database allows for browsing, a simple word search, and an advanced search, where various combinations of the fields can be searched.

    We know the list is far from comprehensive and so ask for your help in continuing to flesh out this resource. First, we look forward to additions! The site includes a “Submit New Archive” button that will lead you through making a recommendation. If you wish, you may also send an email to info@issot.org and your information will be forwarded appropriately.

    Also, we welcome further information about the archives now listed where it might be missing, such as specific genres represented in a particular archive or contact information.

    Finally, many thanks to those who have already contributed! Collaborative ventures such as this one allow us to broaden the field of oral tradition scholarship, and we look forward to serving our common endeavor.

    With warm wishes,
    John Zemke, Director
    Center for Studies in Oral Tradition

    Forward this email
    Do you know someone who might be interested in this announcement?

    Unsubscribe
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    Contact Us
    Center for Studies in Oral Tradition
    243 Walter Williams Hall
    Columbia, MO 65211
    573.882.9720 (ph)
    573.884.0291 (fax)

    (Courtesy of Jo Henwood)

  20. Convenor permalink

    From Jo Henwood

    This piece on railway gardens might be of interest to AFN members:

    http://www.nswrailheritage.com.au/docs/ConservationGuides/RCG_gardens_GUIDE.pdf

  21. Convenor permalink

    From: David Atkinson [kfvsec@gmail.com]
    Sent: Saturday, March 09, 2013 1:49 AM
    To: david.atkinson@zen.co.uk
    Subject: KfV conference call

    The South African Society for Cultural History
    in collaboration with the University Museum, Stellenbosch University

    invites submissions for the
    43rd International Ballad Conference
    of the Kommission für Volksdichtung

    The 43rd International Ballad Conference will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 13-19 October
    2013. Stellenbosch is situated in the heart of the Winelands, the main wine region of South Africa,
    50 km from Cape Town and 18 km from the sea. The town is world famous for its natural beauty,
    while the University of Stellenbosch and some of the oldest schools in the country contribute to the
    town’s fame as a centre of educational excellence. Moreover this region boasts at least four of the
    best choirs in the world, with the Stellenbosch University Choir presently ranked number one in the
    world. Apart from recreational pursuits – running, cycling, swimming, sailing, hiking – the Cape is
    also renowned for its theatres and restaurants.

    The three official languages of the Western Cape Province are Afrikaans, English and
    isiXhosa, with Afrikaans being the first language of the largest percentage of inhabitants. Cape
    Town and surrounding areas are also home to, amongst others, the culture and songs of the Cape
    Malay people.

    Conference theme

    ocial issues in ballads and other songs

    As this will be the first Kommission für Volksdichtung conference to be held in the Southern
    Hemisphere, we look forward to exploring some fascinating issues in song scholarship:

    . Bridging traditions: Exploring the relationship between the song culture of all
    South Africans and academic scholarship;
    . Exchange, acculturation and borrowing: Indigenous cultures’ relationship with
    European musical, literary and religious influences. (This theme could also be
    productively applied to other regional and national situations.)

    In light of the conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Southern Hemisphere, we have made
    the letter S key to the theme (in English): Social issues in ballads and other songs, with such
    possible subthemes as, Status, Social customs, Singing and society, Singing and social
    class, Servants/Service, Slavery, Subservience, Spirituality, Scorn, Sanctity, Sacrifice,
    Sexuality

    We also welcome papers on any other social issues, the music and performance of
    ballads and songs, and other topics on folk song in general.

    The theme can be applied in various ways. Where a social issue emerges from the
    content of a ballad (for instance the subservience of women in a patriarchal society), it could
    be discussed in the context of a specific society’s social structure. It might also be possible to
    explore examples of ballads and other songs being used intentionally to address social issues.
    Or, one might analyze the popularity of ballads that tell stories of societies and customs past
    even though their cultural context no longer exists.

    Papers will be accepted in any of the official languages of the Kommission für
    Volksdichtung, German, French and English.

    Please submit abstracts with the following requirements before 25 March 2013:

    . up to 300 words, referring to the paper’s content, academic perspective and argument
    . supply author’s name, title, address, affiliation and contact details, along with a brief account of
    the author’s career and research interests (up to 200 words)
    . attachment to email in Word format

    Abstracts will be peer-reviewed.

    Send abstracts as attachments to:

    Matilda Burden: mb4@sun.ac.za

    Thank you

    Prof Matilda Burden: Conference organizer

  22. Convenor permalink

    Message: 1
    Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 20:03:05 +1300
    From: Michael Brown
    To:
    Subject: [NZfolklore] Chris Prowse on ‘the Shiner’
    Message-ID:
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”ISO-8859-1″; format=flowed

    Hello all,
    There was an interesting interview today on RNZ National today with
    songwriter Chris Prowse about his new album devoted to legendary
    swagger, ‘the Shiner’ (a.k.a. Ned Slattery).
    The podcast can be found here:

    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sun/sun-20130303-1112-chris_prowse_-_songs_about_the_shiner-048.mp3" /]

    Kind regards
    Michael

  23. Convenor permalink

    NZfolklore Digest, Vol 40, Issue 2
    nzfolklore-bounces@lists.vuw.ac.nz [nzfolklore-bounces@lists.vuw.ac.nz] on behalf of nzfolklore-request@lists.vuw.ac.nz [nzfolklore-request@lists.vuw.ac.nz]
    Sent: 31 January 2013 07:00
    To:
    nzfolklore@lists.vuw.ac.nz
    Send NZfolklore mailing list submissions to
    nzfolklore@lists.vuw.ac.nz

    To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
    http://lists.vuw.ac.nz/mailman/listinfo/nzfolklore
    or, via email, send a message with subject or body ‘help’ to
    nzfolklore-request@lists.vuw.ac.nz

    You can reach the person managing the list at
    nzfolklore-owner@lists.vuw.ac.nz

    When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
    than “Re: Contents of NZfolklore digest…”

    Today’s Topics:

    1. Re: Recent books of interest (John Archer)

    ———————————————————————-

    Message: 1
    Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 12:13:54 +1300
    From: John Archer
    To:
    Subject: Re: [NZfolklore] Recent books of interest
    Message-ID:
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”

    Michael Brown wrote:
    >
    > Outsiders: Stories from the fringe of New Zealand Society. Gerard Hindmarsh. Craig Potton Publishing, 2012.
    > An enthralling anthology of tales of various “men alone” and “families alone”, including both the expected characters (Arawata Bill) and others that are less familiar but equally interesting.

    This brought back memories of my 1940s childhood at Mangamahu, in steep hill-country 50km inland from Wanganui. There was old Charlie Peterson who had sailed on windjammers and had a model sailing ship on a pole outside his warry. Then there was Wattie Pairman, a scrubcutter who did not have his name on the roll at voting time: he did not want his wife to find where he was, and claim maintenance. And Bob Cooper another scrubcutter, at Mount View 30 km more up the valley: every 3 months or so he would phone for a taxi to come 80 km from Wanganui to take him to the Mangamahu hotel, then a few days later he would phone for it to take him home again. And Smithy the bachelor farmer who had given up trying to clear the manuka scrub from his remote near-vertical farm: the high manuka made mustering impossible, so daggy double-decker ewes roamed his hills. When dad and I were invited in for a cup of tea once, I discovered Smithy never took his boots off when he went inside, and there
    was a couple of inches of dirt on the kitchen floor.
    >

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    End of NZfolklore Digest, Vol 40, Issue 2
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  24. Convenor permalink

    Play and Folklore October 2012 is now up on line and can be quickly accessed via this link: http://museumvictoria.com.au/pages/40803/issueno58october2012w.pdf

    We do hope that you enjoy our latest publication along with other previously released issues, which can be found here: http://museumvictoria.com.au/about/books-and-journals/journals/play-and-folklore/

    Happy reading from the Play and Folklore team at Museum Victoria

    Editor’s Message

    For the first time since we began publishing in 1981, we are offering an issue with just one contribution. Play and Folklore presents the documentation of a play project planned and carried out by a group of 11-12 year old children. It is a large and ambitious project – the creation of a play space of their own design – made possible by the understanding and support of their school, their teachers and their parents. It demonstrates what can be achieved when children are given the authority and the means to develop a project around a subject on which they are the experts: play. It is also a revealing example of what the children’s teacher recognises as a potent and positive approach to learning. As she writes in a comment at the end of the documentation:

    It was clear that the project gave the children a powerful voice. They now saw themselves as strong, competent learners, able to construct knowledge and negotiate meaning… What started off as a project about the redesign of a playground ended up as a project around the concepts of student voice, active citizenship and democracy.

    Kind regards,

    Ed.

    Museums Board of Victoria ABN 63 640 679 155 is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient.
    All gifts of $2 or more are tax deductible.

  25. In the last few months I’ve created a blog for the Bush Music Club blog & have published 14 articles on our history, with more to follow. Some are sitting in Drafts just awaiting the final tweaking, others are so far only titles.

    Recent posts are our first Newsletter (October 1955), and historical articles published between 1979-81 in Mulga Wire by Alan Scott & John Meredith regarding the early days.

    I’ve also added a few albums to the photo website & also have lots more pics to follow.

    Sandra Nixon
    Hon. Secretary
    Bush Music Club Inc
    GPO Box 433
    Sydney NSW 2001
    website – http://www.bushmusic.org.au/
    photo website – http://my.opera.com/BushMusicClub/about/
    email – bmcmail1954@gmail.com
    blog – http://bushmusicclub.blogspot.com.au/

  26. end NZfolklore mailing list submissions to
    nzfolklore@lists.vuw.ac.nz

    To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
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    When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
    than “Re: Contents of NZfolklore digest…”

    Today’s Topics:

    1. New Zealand Studies (Michael Brown)

    ———————————————————————-

    Message: 1
    Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2012 08:25:16 +1300
    From: Michael Brown
    To:
    Subject: [NZfolklore] New Zealand Studies
    Message-ID:
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”iso-8859-1″; Format=”flowed”

    Hello everybody

    Back issues of /The Journal of New Zealand Studies /and its predecessor
    /New Zealand Studies/ have recently been made available online for free
    (excluding the most recent couple of issues). There are many interesting
    articles to be found here, with a few touching on folklore, including:

    Mark Derby, 2009, ‘Ossian in Aotearoa — “Ponga and Puhihuia” And the
    Re-Creation of Myth’ in /Journal of New Zealand Studies/, no.8: 29-40.

    Graham Barwell, 2004, ‘Percy Grainger and the Early Collecting of
    Polynesian Music’ in /Journal of New Zealand Studies/, no.2/3: 1-17.

    Issues can be browsed at: http://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/jnzs/issue/archive

    Kind regards
    Michael

  27. Convenor permalink

    Friends– I am pleased to announce that the Folklore Program at Utah State University is once again inviting applications for the Fellowship in Folklore Studies, available to an incoming master’s student beginning Fall 2013. The Folklore Program at Utah State offers a graduate specialization in either Folklore or Public/Applied Folklore and works closely with the American Studies Program, the Department of English, Museum Studies, and the Fife Folklore Archives. Areas of specialization include contemporary legend, gender, the supernatural, foodways, ethnic folklore, place and landscape, and internet folklore.

    The USU graduate program attracts students from around the world, including Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Iceland, India, Japan, Mongolia, the Navajo Nation, the Ukraine, the UK, Romania, and Sweden.  Faculty have served as editors for several of the field’s top journals, including The Journal of American Folklore and Western Folklore, and on the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society. Faculty books have won the Chicago Folklore Prize, the Köngäs-Maranda Prize, and the Brian McConnell Book Award, and faculty members have received departmental and college awards for their research, teaching, and service.  Faculty members also engage in extensive media outreach, serving as sources or subjects for international, national, and regional news stories (including interviews with NPR’s Weekend Edition, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Metro, the Salt Lake Tribune, Canada’s Ottawa Citizen, the Food Network channel and the program “Animal Planet”).

    Utah State University houses the Fife Folklore Archives, a nationally recognized archive and repository for the papers of the American Folklore Society, the folklore papers of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and significant collections such as the G. Malcolm Laws Ballad Collection and the Wayland D. Hand Collection of American Popular Belief and Superstition. Students in the Folklore Program have many opportunities to work closely with the archives, to conduct archival research, and to deposit their own research in the archive. Internship opportunities are also available through the Fife Folklore Archives and the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress.

    The deadline for fellowship applications is January 15, 2013. Applicants will also be considered for Graduate Instructorships in the English Department. The value of the Fellowship is approximately $14,000.00.

    Interested students should contact both Dr. Steve Siporin, Director of the Folklore Program, steve.siporin@usu.edu, and Dr. Evelyn Funda, Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of English, evelyn.funda@usu.edu. The Department of English’s website has specific information on the application process for graduate studies at USU. Please see http://www.usuenglishgrad.blogspot.com/p/prospective-grads.html.  Applications for study may be downloaded from the School of Graduate studies, http://www.usu.edu/graduateschool.

    Please pass this information along to interested students and let us know if you have any questions!
    Thanks,

    Steve Siporin

  28. G Seal permalink

    ANTIPODEAN TRADITIONS

    A volume of papers from the Australian National Folklore Conference 2005-2010 has been edited by Graham Seal and Jennifer Gall under the title Antipodean Traditions: Australian Folklore in the 21st Century (Black Swan Press, Curtin University, 2011).

    Chapters
    1. Australian Folklore in the 21st Century, Graham Seal and Jennifer Gall
    2. Collecting Children’s Folklore in Australia, June Factor
    3. Substance and Style in Electronic Recording of Australian Children’s Folklore, Gwenda Beed Davey
    4. String Games in Australia, Judy McKinty
    5. Keep him my heart: Returning music and sense of place to Top End communities, Jeff Corfield
    6. Indigenising the Documentation of Musical Cultural Practices: Torres Strait Islander community CDs/ DVDs, Karl Neuenfeldt and Will Kepa
    7. Industrial Song and Poetry in Australia, Mark Gregory
    8. Mr Vasilis’s Taksim: A brief glance at musical and music-based performance among Greek- Australian communities in Melbourne, c. 1950-74, Peter Parkhill
    9. Leaving makes me sorrowful: Songs of early Scots-Gaelic migrants in Australia, Ruth Lee Martin
    10. Roast Pork the Bill Lang: Rhyming slang in Australian folk speech, Graham Seal
    11. The Dog’s Eye: The pie in Australian tradition, Robert Smith
    12. Brash, Bold and Beautiful: The Sydney folklore project, Warren Fahey
    13. Click Go the Shears: The making of an Australian icon, Keith McKenry
    14. The Creation of Waltzing Matilda: Australia’s unofficial national anthem and international
    Australian icon, Dennis O’Keeffe
    15. Tradition and Revival: Mary Jean Officer and the collection of folklore, Jennifer Gall
    16. That face on the bar-room floor: Kenny Goldstein and the collection of recitations in Australia, Hugh Anderson
    17. Where did that Tune come from? Transmission of traditional music and song in contemporary
    Australia, Ruth Hazleton
    18. Folk Music from Kitchen to Concert, Graeme Smith
    19. The Australian Folk Revival: An historical chronology, Brian Samuels

    Enquiries: s.summers@curtin.edu.au
    Published: December 2011
    ISBN: 9780980631371 (pbk.)
    Dimensions: 25 x 17.6 x 17 mm; 307 pages + cover.
    Price: AUD $30 inc GST (plus p & p)

    http://RESEARCH.HUMANITIES.CURTIN.EDU.AU/BLACKSWAN/ORDERS.CFM

  29. G Seal permalink

    Message from Professor J. D. A. Widdowson

    The second issue of Tradition Today, the e-journal of the Centre for English Traditional Heritage, is now online at:

    http://www.centre-for-english-traditional-heritage.org

    This edition carries a review of the journal Australian Folklore, afer its 25 years of continuous publication.

  30. G Seal permalink

    Dear colleagues,

    The Center for Folklore Studies is delighted to announce that the College of Arts and Sciences of the Ohio State University has created two new graduate fellowships targeted for folklore students. Because our PhD program is interdepartmental, these fellowships will make it easier for us to admit students whose research interests do not align well with departmental priorities. They will also allow us to offer a total of six years of support instead of the usual five, allowing for a supported fieldwork year.

    Students will continue to apply through our participating departments, and most folklore students will continue to be supported by departments and eligible for the usual competitive university fellowships. Students wishing to be considered for the folklore-specific fellowships should notify both the intended department and the Center for Folklore Studies to ensure joint review of their applications.

    The support package for the fellowship awardees will normally consist of six years of tuition and fees plus nine-month living stipend, broken down as follows: three years as a teaching assistant in the relevant department, two years as archivist or graduate assistant in the Center for Folklore Studies, and one year on fellowship. (This is for students entering at MA level; students with the MA will receive fewer years of funding. Continuity of funding from year to year assumes the student’s satisfactory academic progress.) The fellowship year will come after the PhD candidacy exam, typically in the fourth year; the distribution of the other years will be worked out between the student, CFS, and the department, subject to program needs. In this way, students will build up a strong and varied teaching profile along with archival and administrative experience. It is expected that in most cases the fellowship will free students up for a fieldwork year. Students will earn a degree in the relevant department along with a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Folklore.

    International students are eligible for support and warmly encouraged to apply; please note that a long lead time is required for a successful international application. For further information, see http://www.gradsch.ohio-state.edu/applying-to-ohio-state.html In practice, we find it easiest to evaluate and easiest to admit international students when they come to us through the Fulbright program or with a grant from their home country: please explore these possibilities.

    Graduate admissions are limited in number and therefore highly selective. Our PhD students have done well in a difficult job market.

    Prospective students should contact Prof. Ray Cashman, CFS Director of Graduate Studies <cashman.10@osu.edu> to discuss intellectual interests and departmental fit, and to alert us of your intention to apply. We encourage you to explore the Center website http://cfs.osu.edu/&gt; beforehand to familiarize yourself with our faculty and programs.

    Dorothy Noyes

    Professor, Departments of English and Comparative Studies Director, The Center for Folklore Studies http://cfs.osu.edu/&gt;
    Research Associate, The Mershon Center for International Security Studies The Ohio State University noyes.10@osu.edu

  31. Stephen Alomes permalink

    A new post.
    Not so much on this discussion but Graham Seal tells me I can post these thoughts here.
    Stephen (Alomes)

    Footy humour and folklore –a forgotten relationship
    Stephen Alomes author of Australian Football The People’s Game 1958-2058
    ( from wallawallapress.com)

    Footy is a major vehicle for folklore, in stories, jokes and characters, as well as in songs, even though some may see sport as in a different cultural environment. Like those who assumed that sport and culture were from different worlds rather than part of similar social-cultural traditions this artificial polarity is wrong. And even the media, in the culture of performance on TV and radio, often take their jokes and scripts from everyday footy folk play.

    In Australian Football The People’s Game 1958-2058 I evoke folk traditions in three areas, in the songs of the game (from popular writers such as those who give localised lyrics to Greg Champion of the Coodabeen Champions to Mick Thomas, Paul Kelly and Mike Brady), in the verbal jousts in the footy media, and in the everyday life of local clubs, with their characters and stories, some legendary, some based almost on fact.

    League Teams, along with World of Sport and its interstate equivalents, was part of an
    Australian tradition, from the pub to the television studio. At a time when, apart from
    Homicide, Australian content on television was rare, the footy shows kept up a tradition of
    pub humour and banter — about footy, but also about fishing, money, gambling, late nights,
    domestic responsibilities, practical jokes, and crazy stories and even crazier characters. The
    footy club was writ large through the pixels of the small screen. It came out of the banter of
    sportsman’s nights and ‘roasts’ for retiring players. In return, TV exposure sent a cast of ‘TV
    footy stars’ out to the suburbs, the country and interstate to perform at live ‘sportsman’s
    nights’ at local clubs.

    Footy comedy was — and is — a great Australian institution: a rough and ready, but
    richly imaginative, form of exaggerated humour with distinctive characters, moments of
    stirring, and of accidental or deliberate verbal jumps and falls. At its best, it reproduced the
    footy club or the pub in a mass communications medium. Social observer Chris McConville
    argues that ‘no other sport in the world has produced the comic tradition associated with
    Australian football’.4 Group humour, undermining authority and rules, appears in the outer
    as well as the clubrooms — a world of one-liners, barks and barbs directed at opposition
    supporters and especially at the umpires. Sometimes it targets your own players who
    haven’t lived up to their promise. Some called it abuse. Others called it repartee, ever since
    19th-century Melbourne journalist the ‘Vagabond’ remarked on the phenomenon. At the
    footy the inner-city larrikin met the cartoonist via the spoken word, sometimes offensive,
    sometimes accidentally funny. Those often-mangled words anticipated ‘Dyerisms’, a special
    linguistic term for Jack Dyer’s accidental creations: ‘That’s the beauty of being small —
    your hands are close to your feet’; ‘Bamblett made a great debut last week, and an even
    better one today’; ‘Mark Lee’s long arms reaching up like giant testicles’; ‘The goal posts
    are moving so fast I can’t keep up with the play’.5 Radio was crucial. In 1970 or 2012 its
    knockabout style offered a chance for improvised humour, found rarely in formulaic TV
    land (except Graham Kennedy’s IMT, In Melbourne Tonight, variety show).

    While some would see the Footy Show as just another Channel 9 circus of cheap thrills, and star egos with occasional pie-in-the-face and tasteless humour, traditional social roles have
    included Billy Brownless playing the ‘country bumpkin’ in search of ‘a few frothies’. Earlier,
    Doug Hawkins’ role was that of the working-class ‘Boy from Braybrook’ in the western
    suburbs, mangling the language. Perhaps, even more than the Lou and Jack stoushes, the
    Footy Show confirms that we still live in a class society, even if with shinier suits.

    Footy’s Infinite Variety – Grass roots: the game of the people for the people
    The game is always the same, always different, even in different places and with different social backgrounds. . On ‘The Gravel’ of Queenstown in the far west of Tasmania the players used
    to wear bars on their boots and knew how to roll to avoid a gravel rash. Even when the
    copper smelter disappeared, non-stop rainfall meant that the ground was never grassed.
    At the other end of the country, grounds can have lush tropical grass in the Northern
    Territory wet season or are sand-based in the land of the Sandgropers in the West. Some
    country grounds need cowpats removed before a game, or the concrete cricket pitch covered

    The characters of footy are as diverse as Australia today and as strange as the bush,
    which the writer Henry Lawson called the ‘nurse and tutor of eccentric minds’. Some are
    on the field or in the coaches’ seat — there is no box, although perhaps an interchange tin
    shed, at most local footy grounds. Coaches come in all sizes and spoken tones and have
    every trick in the book. One Tasmanian Midlands coach threw an animal’s intestines on
    the floor, declaring that he had received them in his mailbox during the week. He, too,
    had a lot of guts — they actually came from a wallaby he had shot the night before. North
    Western Football Union coach John Coughlan, the former VFA stalwart, is said to have
    declared that the southern (Hobart) opposition would dine on champagne and caviar at
    Government House and travel in Rolls Royces while his team dined on spuds and sausages.

    On the field, footy has always had its characters. While the wild Mark Jacksons and
    even the quietist Bruce Doull (of ‘Flying Doormat’ hair and long silences) are rare in
    the AFL today, all sorts of characters strut the stage in local footy. Club characters grow
    crazier like over-maturing wine. Adorning the club like old port bottles above the bar,
    some play predictable roles. Goal umpires pump up their bird-like chests when entering
    the pregnant pause before pointing the two fingers for a goal, or pat themselves tentatively
    or emphatically for a minor. One umpire, who had been working nightshift, was asleep
    standing up at a quarter break until his fellow central umpire tipped water over him. The
    renowned characters who hold up the bar are captured in several accounts, including Paul
    Daffey’s Beyond the Big Sticks (2003). Others are unique. Tanunda timekeeper Ray Giersch
    knows how important a warming port is before the game on a cold Barossa winter’s day.

    The Coodabeen Champions, inspired by the Francis Leach’s radio show When Saturday Comes, sought reports on that disappearing entity, the Butcher’s Shop window with Saturday’s teams in the window, they discovered some beauties. The May 26, 2007 Thorpdale vs Morwell East game saw a Thorpdale (Thorpy?) side with a backline of Bear, Chubba and Monkey, a half-back line of Poowaz, Toaster and Embo and, slightly confusingly, a half-forward line of Donnuts [sic] Donk and Floody. The full forward line was Chuncy, Gumboots and Spine, who was actually in the forward pocket
    rather than the spine. Morwell East probably had something to worry about facing Co-Co,
    Critter and Cricket in the first ruck, Bozo and Bull on the interchange and emergencies
    including Cane Toad, Windy, Bagger, Diesel, Kero, Doc and China.

    Even as footy moves beyond Australia, nicknames recur. The expat team, the Jakarta
    Bintangs, which travelled to play Hong Kong on Saturday 19 May 2007, had a tough
    backline of Doc/Krakatoa (Shearer), Italian Job (Clancy) and Killer (Wilson). Smouch/Big
    Noodle in the ruck and Popcorn/Supercoach 3 probably had a few Bruce Lee moves in their
    footy trunks to surprise the locals.

    Footy is about the shared experience of the game. It plays out battles between ‘good’
    (our side) and ‘evil’ (them) and social tensions between different groups. At the local level,
    now more than the AFL, it reflects those tensions between different suburbs and groups.
    That is also true in the Essendon league, even though Melbourne’s class topography is
    not as marked as Sydney’s, as in the gap between posh Potts Points and working-class
    Woolloomooloo captured in Frank Hardy’s novel The Outcasts of Foolgarah. In the EDFL
    in 1973 Aberfeldie challenged the continuing dominance of ‘just across Buckley Street’
    neighbour Doutta Stars by winning the flag. Moonee Valley has had many colourful
    players, including from the controversial Melbourne family, the Morans. Outer suburban
    Greenvale with new money, a big junior program and two grand new ovals is the suburban
    frontier team, while inner suburban West Coburg has often had a strong Middle Eastern
    contingent amongst its players. Essendon league footy, as John Larkins observes, arouses
    ‘tribal passions’ like the VFL teams of half a century ago, and players and coaches hear the
    voices from the hill even before the throng surrounds the huddle at three-quarter time.
    Despite social and cultural differences perhaps the essence is unchanged. Wayne
    Harmes, 1979 Carlton premiership player, was asked about the difference between coaching
    contrasting amateur clubs, establishment Old Scotch and Jewish Ajax. This ‘knockabout
    bloke’ of German extraction replied that ‘it doesn’t matter where you come from. A footy
    club’s a footy club, whether it’s Old Scotch or Essendon or Oak Park … a footy club’s a footy
    club whether you’re Jewish, Chinese, Arabic, Catholic, whatever. It’s still a footy club.’7

    Thursday night is a big night for the big boys, young and old. On this traditional senior
    training night, the teams are selected and announced. Once it was a night for ‘hitting the
    booze’ after training and team selection. Now most of the adults are having an excellent
    and economical meal ($10 for a choice of steak, pasta, parma, calamari plus vegies and
    salad) and enjoying an odd beer or wine or two. A few old stagers, the ‘Knights of the
    Round Table’, are at their traditional table, living past and present stories. The reserves are
    there too. The under-18s come in and hit the tinned stuff — Coke, Sunburst and other
    non-alcoholic drinks, as the law and the culture of the club requires. Two energetic
    members of the Chardonnay Club (once it would have been called the ladies social
    committee), Gail Larkins and Maree Szymanski, are selling tickets to the annual gala
    (‘galah’?) event, the club ball. On other nights, they could be tickets to the presentation
    night or to the ‘Girls Night Out’.

    It is the selections that everyone has been waiting for, not just the players. Injury
    concerns, real or imagined flu, players included and players dropped due to lack of form
    are among the conversations. A dozen nicknames need translation, including ‘Shep’ (the
    ‘Big Russian’ forward, who is blonde and looks like a Russian from a Mighty Ducks film),
    ‘Socks’ (Peter Soccio) and ‘Keg’ (the solid former Collingwood ruckman, Steven McKee).
    ‘Shep’ jokes that he has been ‘lunched’ several times by the club president, liquor
    licensing barrister John Larkins, and offered a four-year contract. His signing for two years
    is an encouragement to other players to put their moniker on the contracts in the white
    envelopes the ‘Pres’ is carrying. The club has good camaraderie, but is not as rich as some
    other clubs, so it hopes to sign players now, rather than chasing them when the season is
    over. Its appeal as a good club has attracted many former VFL/AFL stars, including the
    full-forward and league nomad Simon Minton-Connell, and the former North Melbourne
    backman Ross Smith, a former Abers player who returned to coach. Dean Rioli from
    Essendon brought a Tiwi Islands connection, as well as successfully developing team
    strategies and the skills to implement them. In this new-style club, ‘friggin’ has replaced
    other words in the coach’s oratory, although Geoff Kinniburgh still mocks the ‘Big Russian’
    for his ‘useless’, although witty, speech, especially after a year of going to Toastmasters on
    training nights (‘we’ll have to put a stop to that!’).

    Place as part of folklore
    At Anglesea, in Victoria, the training Roos can be greeted by occasional visiting
    kangaroos. In a Victorian or Tasmanian country winter, in Ballarat, the Huon Valley or
    in Canberra, early morning juniors face the first bounce with frosty fingers marking even
    harder footballs, and goal umpires are unable to see the goals at the other end of the ground
    in the early morning fog. Some grounds are small, like Hawthorn’s former Glenferrie Oval,
    and others are big, such as Perth’s Subiaco and, north of Hobart, New Norfolk’s Boyer Oval.
    Others are more round than long, such as the Sydney Cricket Ground. Grandstands can
    be grand and beautifully decorated Victorian structures, as in Santo Caruso, Marc Fiddian
    and Jim Main’s book, Football Grounds of Melbourne.2 Other ‘grand’ grandstands include
    those at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval or at Hobart’s traditional football headquarters,
    North Hobart. Smaller timber structures mirror the miners’ cottages of country towns,
    such as Derby in north-eastern Tasmania. Sometimes, the cars are the change rooms. For
    the boys with pre-game nerves, the trees and bushes provide an outdoor toilet. In Aurukun
    in north Queensland the local Indigenous community built a footy ground with goal posts
    provided by the Cairns AFL, supported by council sprinklers and fences.
    Sometimes you need to improvise. Square goal posts (borrowed from rugby) in Dunedin or portable and telescopic posts, with witches hats for the point posts in Japan, show necessary adjustments as over 100, 000 people play footy around the world.

  32. Convenor permalink

    Courtesy of Mark Gregory we have added the following to the Links section of the blog:

    Australian Folk Songs http://folkstream.com is one of the oldest websites still extant … on line now in its 18th year and one of about 10,000 when it first went up … it has had well over a million visitors to date.

    Union Songs http://unionsong.com is young by comparison, a mere half a million visitors over a 15 year period … as a research site it has close to 800 songs and poems from more than 300 authors and perhaps 40 per cent of the items are Australian.

    Frank the Poet research blog at http://frankthepoet.com provides a comprehensive resource of the latest discoveries and writings about this convict poet, fragments from dozens of newspaper reports, articles from scholars, poets, historians and enthusiasts, the songs and poems attributed to him, details of his punishments, escapes and activities from his trial in Ireland to his death in Mudgee.

  33. gwenda beed davey permalink

    Vale Greg Hams

    The following letter of mine was published in the Melbourne ‘Age’ newspaper on 21 April 2012.

    The tragic death of Men at Work musician Greg Hams has recalled the prosecution of the band in 2010 for breach of copyright in their use of a fragment of the song Kookaburra Sits on an Old Gum Tree.

    It is a great pity that better use was not made during the court case of the expert knowledge of musicologists, folklorists and cultural historians.

    I have no doubt in believing that the majority of Australians who sing Kookaburra in kindergartens, schools and football clubs (including parodies) firmly believe Kookaburra to be a folk song, of unknown origin, and existing in the public domain for anyone to use.

    During the 1980s I was a member of the Australian Government’s Committee of Inquiry into folklife in Australia. One of the other members of the Committee, Dr Keith McKenry, met and spoke to Miss Marion Sinclair, the writer of the song. We had previously had no idea that Kookaburra had a known author.

    Some songs have known authors, but when ‘the folk’ take them to their hearts, they become folk songs. We know that Banjo Paterson wrote the words to Waltzing Matilda, but now it’s regarded as Australia’s national song. It belongs to all of us.

    Gwenda Beed Davey

  34. Sydney’s Bush Music Club is approaching it’s 60 anniversary. We will be celebrating over the next 3 years!
    http://bushmusic.org.au/bmc_history.html

    BMC was founded in 1954 and is Australia’s oldest surviving folk club, and the second-oldest known club in the English-speaking world.
    http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=136900 Long Lived Folk Clubs

    One of our early members, Chris Woodland will be speaking on our first 10 years at the 2012 Folklore Conference, and the club will be presenting a 90 min Themed Workshop at the National Folk Festival, 2-3.30pm Easter Saturday.

    ————————–
    Themed workshop blurb

    Celebrating the birth of Australian Bush Music with a concert that revisits history in the making.

    Join the members of Australia’s oldest (and possibly the world’s second oldest) folk club, the Bush Music Club in a musical celebration of their roots.

    In the lead up to the Bush Music Club’s 60th Anniversary in 2014, we take you on a trip down memory lane to the days when the Australian folk song “The Drover’s Dream” was on the top of the Hit Parade. It all began in 1952 when John Meredith and several friends (aka the Heathcote Bushwhackers) started performing the songs they remembered from their earlier years. In 1953 they joined the cast of ‘Reedy River’ and contributed to the great success of it’s Sydney run. By 1954 the Bushwhackers were so popular that they founded the Bush Music Club to cater for all the aspiring “Bushwhackers”, with the aim of re-popularising Australian folk songs and encouraging the composition of new songs contemporary in theme & traditional in style. Within a few years there were Bushwhacker-style bands across the country and Australian Bush Music was born.

    —————————

    Long lived folk clubs (as at 25th January 2012)

    San Francisco Folk Music Club (US) – founded 1948
    Bush Music Club (Aus) – founded 1954
    Topic in Bradford (UK) – founded 1956
    The Folksong Society of Greater Boston (US) – 1959
    Victorian Folk Music Club (Aus) – 1959
    Swindon Folksingers Club (UK) – Jan 1960
    Stockton folk club (UK) – 1962
    Aberdeen Folk Club – 1962
    Birtley Folk Club – 1962
    Herga (UK) – 1963
    The Pick’n & Sing’n Gather’n (US – NY state) – pushing 50
    Grimsby Folk Club – 1964
    Cutty Wren Folk Club, Redcar (UK) – 1965
    Folk at the Royal Oak, Lewes (UK) – 1965
    Black Diamond Folk Club, Birmingham (UK) – 1964
    Southport’s Bothy Folksong Club (UK) – 1965
    Orpington Folk Club (UK) – 1965
    Whitby (UK) – similar age to Orpington
    Folklore Society Of Greater Washington (US) – 1965 ‘only’ 45½
    Croydon Folk Club (UK) – 1967
    Durham City Folk Club – 1969
    Fleetwood – 1969 (40 slightly interrupted years)
    Calgary Folk Club (Can)- 1972
    Islington Folk Club (UK) – 1972
    Llantrisant Folk Club (UK) – 1980
    Somers Traditional Folk Club (UK) – 1981

    —————————

    Sandra Nixon
    Hon. Secretary
    Bush Music Club Inc
    GPO Box 433
    Sydney NSW 2001
    website – http://www.bushmusic.org.au/
    photo website – http://my.opera.com/BushMusicClub/about/
    email – bmcmail1954@gmail.com

    • Tony Suttor permalink

      Hi Sandra,

      To add to your list, the Top End Folk Club in Darwin NT began on 13th April 1971.

      Tony Suttor

  35. I keep finding new (to me) newspaper reports concerning Frank the Poet. The latest comes from a serialised book by Grosvenor Bunster published in the Mount Gambier newspaper The Border Watch, in 1884. Chapter XIV contains the following

    … And then Tom Grist was sent for, and invited to drink the healths of those present-all his warm friends, as they took care to impress upon him; after which Tom’s health was proposed by Falkland, and heartily pledged by all, even the ladies joining in the toast. Then Fowler told how Tom had saved his life, by dragging him from the rushing waters of the Murrumbidgee, and somehow it came out that the Australian was in great request in the sheds at shearing time on account of his vocal abilities. This made the ladies insist upon hearing an Australian bush song; and though Tom at first blushed like a, peony, and sternly refused to gratify the general request, he was not proof against the gentle entreaties of Rose. Therefore, after explaining that ” the song was written by a drunken tramp—Frank the Poet they called him—as came to Nundle one season, and gave him a copy of it for a pound of tobacco,” Tom favoured his patrons with the following:—

    SONG OF THE STOCKMAN.

    The song follows but it is nothing like MacNamara’s compositions so was most likely written by Bunster. Nevertheless reports like this indicate the popularity of Frank the Poet and his works in Australia and there are now quite a number of them. I have placed such reports as well as studies of MacNamara online at frankthepoet.com

    see

    http://www.frankthepoet.com/2011/01/articles.html

    cheers

    Mark

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