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By Marcus; Australian Institute Of Aboriginal Studies; Brunton, Marylouise Breen

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I don't care who knows, I'll work for m y dough, And I'll spend i t as I please. I was cuttin' a rug, they threw me i n the jug, As the magistrate looked down, 40 OUR PLACE OUR MUSIC He said 'Youngie Doug, you're a wine-lovin' mug A n d you're a menace to the town' H e said 'I'll put you away, in a cell you will stay Until you learn some sense' Well he cursed and cried, said m y doggone hide Wasn't worth eighteen pence. '64 B u t Dougie Young also sings of his ideal Aborigine: the smart stockman, full blooded a n d proud of it, holding his own among the other stockmen in 'The Land Where t h e Crow Flies Backwards': (Chorus) l&-, Pm tall, dark and lean, and every place I've been The white man calls me Jack It's no crime, I'm not ashamed I w a s born with m y skin so black When i t comes to riding rough horses, Or working cattle, I'll m i x i t with the best, I n the land where the crow flies backwards A n d the pelican builds his nest (The crow in the old bush joke flies backwards to keep his eyes from filling with dust )The song's words are mostly spoken, as in talking blues or some music hall and operetta, and there are some defiant lines on the way the white man who is so critical of Jacky has taken over the country and doesn't know how to run it: The white man took this country from me; He's been fighting for it ever since.

From the LP Wrong Side of the Road, Black Australia Records, 1981, through EM1 15. Baldwin Spencer, 1899, quoted in Strehlow, 1971:7 16. Letter to the Editor, The Adelaide Advertiser, 7 April 1983 17. CJ Ellis, 'Integration and Disintegration', Australian Societyfor Education through the ArtsBulletin, Vol 3, No 5, May 1968:5 The same article tells how casual theft of sacred objects meant that initiation ceremonies could not be performed and therefore generations of young men could not be married to tribal women 18.

Singers are accompanied by whatever is available: beating or tapping,guitars, mouth organ, concertina and gumleaf Often they make their own instruments. There have been some really weird and wonderful ones, some very difficult technically to make and operate, taking years of practice Gumleaf playing is still common among Aboriginal people along the river and on t h e southern reserves. At Wallaga Lake in New South Wales, I heard Alec Walker and Clem Parsons playing gumleaf in real counterpoint while also dancing and foot tapping Alick Jackomos wrote in 1971 of t h e touring choir and gumleaf band of Wallaga Lake, Cummeragunga and Lake Tyers in the 1930s and 1940s: CHESTER: They were also in demand at weddings and dances where a gumleaf band and a piano were sufficient to provide all the music required During the Depression years and until a few years ago it was common to see one or two Aborigines busking in country towns and in Melbourne 36 Gumleaf playing happens spontaneously i n Aboriginal churches, perhaps to t h e accompaniment of harmonium or piano Pastor Doug Nicholls did it, Pastor Ben Mason of the Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship does it and in his Adelaide years, Yami Lester, now of the Pitjantjatjara Council and Mimili Station, was well known for gumleaf playing among some of Adelaide's white churches TOURING COMPANY PERFORMANCE The fourth main source of music was the touring company performance-the commercial shows which were seen not only in the cities but in the country towns They came from England and the USA, playing music hall shows, minstrel shows, variety comedies, classical and semiclassical music, operas and operettas They attracted big audiences, but their music was more likely to reach Aboriginal people indirectly, from the local whites who had learned it CHESTER: The staple musical fare, common to all these shows, was the household song, that is, an air or ballad used by the touring singer to promote the published version for drawing room use, and by the publishers to promote the singers The need for home entertainments made a vast market throughout the Western world for these ballads They were typically narrative songs with chorus, similar in form to the bush ballads but with more sentiment, more 'arty' harmonies MARY: OUR PLACE OUR MUSIC PLATE 5 23 GurnIeaf players at Lake Tgers, Victoria, in the 1930s.

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