Saturday, 27 February 2016

Extracts from Singabout - the early songwriters - Dorothy Hewett (1923-2002) & Merv Lilley (1919-2016 )









The Bush Music Club published many new songs & poems in Singabout, Journal of Australian Folk Song between 1956 and 1967. This series lists the works of these songwriters and poets and provides biographical information where possible.





 Interview with Merv Lilley by Alex & Annette Hood, held in the National Library
Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/40138369
  • Alex Hood talks about Merv's songs, published by the Bush Music Club; a misunderstanding with John Meredith; how he met Dorothy Hewett; meeting Zoe O'Leary from "Realist Writers"; advice given about how to write; meeting Dorothy in Melbourne when she wrote "Bobbin Up"; being regarded as a "Revisionist"; the Australasian Book Society; being asked by Dorothy to go to Perth to learn to write poetry; communicating through John Meredith.
Biography
  • Merv Lilley is a well known writer of prose and verse. His connections with progressive left wing artists and writers, along with his years of experience working around the country as a farm labourer, cane cutter, station hand, seaman and professional boxer have given his writings an authentic and penetrating quality, which show him to be a true chronicler of his life and times. His working partnership with Dorothy Hewett forged a common concern and love for the Australia of the working people. He has been very active in writers' organisations and many of his poems have been set to music and are part of many singers' repertoires.

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Videos  

A Lyrical Afternoon at Varuna, The Writers' House Katoomba, In celebration of the life and work of Norman Talbot, Dorothy Hewett and Merv Lilley was held on the 15th September 2012.


A Celebration of the Life and Work of Dorothy Hewett (1923-2002)
A Celebration of the Life and Work of Merv Lilley by his daughter
 
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Wikipedia article on Dorothy Hewett 



Dorothy Hewett with seashell (photo courtesy of Rozanna Lilley) 

Obituary of Dorothy Hewett  Sydney Morning Herald obit


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Rozanna Lilley's album of
family photos on Flickr


Merv Lilley & Dorothy Hewett (photo courtesy of Rozanna Lilley)

Biography of Merv Lilley on The Vulgar Press website







Merv Lilley, age 96 years (photo courtesy of Rozanna Lilley)



ABC Lateline, Late night news & current affairs, September 2003
Transcript of Merv Lilley's Story

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Dorothy Hewett

Ballad of Norman Brown by Dorothy Hewett  (tune - the Collier Laddie) Singabout 2(3)






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Merv Lilley  (8 songs)



Singabout 1(1), p.7



Cane Killed Abel
by Merv Lilley    Music: Chris Kempster 1(1)



We Gave A Fair Go by Merv Lilley, another version of his popular Ho - Give a Go. 1(1)






The Bushwhackers
singing Ho Give A Fair Go at the first Singabout night, 1955

Left to right - Harry Kay (mouth organ), Brian Loughlin (lagerphone), Alec Hood, Jack Barrie, with John Meredith (accordion) behind Alec. 
Singabout 1(1), p.5, published January 1956.

The first Singabout night was held sometime between October & early December 1955 on a very rainy night (source - December 1955 Newsletter)



The Farmer up a Tree
by Merv Lilley (tune Jimmy Riddle) 1(1)



Bound for Darling Harbour
by Merv Lilley (music included) 1(1)




Eight Bells
by Merv Lilly   (tune - Ring the Bell, watchman) 1(2)




The Rona's Last Trip by Merv Lilley   Music: John Arcot 1(4)



Definitely Barred by Merv Lilley 3(1)



Farewell Snowy Lamb - words, Merv Lilley, (tune - The Dying Stockman) 3(2)






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2 comments:

  1. It's just wonderful to know of these old songs,to a new chum like myself.I'd like to hear them.Any recordings available?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Micheal, some songs have been recorded, & I've contacted the family to see if they know of recordings of the others.

      The 3 traditional tunes used could be found in tune books, or online. John Arcott's is unlikely to be found online, but a musician could play it & Chris Kempster's tunes for you.

      Ballad of Norman Brown
      Recorded by John Thompson http://ozfolksongaday.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/norman-brown.html
      Recorded by Tony Suttor, 1974 http://australianfolk.blogspot.com.au/2009/03/warren-fahey-and-others-man-of-earth.html - MP3 of LP Men of the Earth, 1974. John Thompson's blog has recordings of 365 Australian songs.

      Cane killed Abel music by Chris Kempster (Google has lots of biblical references!)

      Give a Fair Go http://bushmusicclub.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/australian-bush-songs-wattle-recordings.html
      Mark Gregory's Folkstream website has a complete listing of Wattle Recordings, but record A4 The Bushwhackers - Give a Fair Go/Rabbiter might not have been issued

      The Farmer up a Tree (traditional tune Jimmy Riddle)

      Bound for Darling Harbour (Roaring Forties CD, Life of Brine, 2009 http://members.optusnet.com.au/~roaringforties/index)

      Eight Bells (tune Ring the bell watchman)

      The Rona's Last Trip (music by John Arcott)

      Farewell Snowy Lamb (tune The Dying Stockman)

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