Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ballads of the Bush

I have written about my time in the Blue Mountains Musical Society. There was a family involved. Ruth often took leading parts and still does, she is taking the part of Mother Superior in the production of 'Sound of Music' this month. Arthur was in the chorus with me. They had a teenage son, Gavin. Gavin moved onto bigger things taking the role of Gavroche in the Sydney production of Les Miserables and going on to even greater things as a singer, pianist and composer. He has been studying for a PhD at Oxford.

Yesterday I took my sister to a production of his titled 'Ballads of the Bush'
Gavin has set to music many of the poems written by famous Australians A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson, Henry Lawson, C. J Dennis and others. We had a wonderful time.
Even non-Australians would know Paterson's poem 'Waltzing Matilda' which was sung (the original tune, not one by Lockley) at the end of Act 1 with audience participation.

Some of the great poems I have known since primary school days.
The Geebung Polo Club still raises a chuckle.

I could probably recite Clancy of the Overflow along with them.

Henry Lawson had a more sober view of life as seen in Faces in the Street and the very sad The Water Lily depicting the harshness of life in the bush.

I am not so familiar with C.J. Dennis and find his writing in the vernacular a bit hard to follow.

The program ended with 'My Country Australia' which Gavin has written and since expanded into a symphony. It is based on the poem 'My Country' by Dorothea Mackellar which all Australians know. Hardly a dry eye in the house.
I have found on youtube Gavin's composition 'My Country Australia' with Gavin singing and conducting. My sister, who is more patriotic than me was quite overwhelmed.

1 comment:

cath said...

So glad you enjoyed it:-) He's quite a talented little bugger most of the time =P