Tuesday 20 November 2012

Bush Music Club Newsletter Vol.1, no.1, October 1955

Click images for larger size.
Bob Bolton has been searching through our Archives & gathering items of interest. It is amazing what our founders & founding members accomplished in the first 12 months.

The newsletter was not illustrated but pictures of relevant items have been added.



Vol. 1. No, 1 ___________ October, 1955.__
The Bush Music Club is one year old this month. in that time we have helped set up several singing groups and folk music ensembles; we have published a dozen “BUSHWHACKER BROADSIDES”, and. our affiliated groups have performed at many functions. To celebrate our birthday we have decided to bring out two new regular publications. “SINGABOUT” will be our new club magazine. It will appear quarterly, beginning in January. In between issues of “SINGABOUT”, our “BUSH MUSIC CLUB NEWSLETTER” will keep you informed of all our activities.
Our series of illustrated songsheets with music has proved so popular with our audiences and subscribers, that we have difficulty in keeping up supplies.
Those published so far are:
1) The Old Man. Kangaroo; (2) The Old Bark Hut; (3) Jim Jones at Botany Bay;
4) The Rabbiter's Song; (5) Ho, Give a Fair Go; (6) Hungry Jim the Miner;
7) Wally the Weatherman; (8) The Black Velvet Band; (9) The Bold Kelly Gang;
10) Bound for Darling Harbour; (11) Farewell to Greta.
Numbers 1, 4. and 5 are out of print. Numbers 2, 3, 6 and 7 are in their second edition. Others in preparation are:- Australia on the Wallaby, The Bullockies Ball, Cane Killed Abel, Ye Sons of Australia, The Kellys, Byrne and Hart, Stringybark Creek, Kelly was their Captain etc.. “BUSHWHACKER BROADSIDES” cost 3d. each, or 2/6 a dozen, They are obtainable from Alex Hood, 19 Hughes Street, Potts Point, N.S.W,

More and more people are finding that it is more fun to sing and play as a team than to give solo items, “Bushwhacker” type groups are flourishing in Brisbane, Melbourne and Newcastle. The Lithgow ‘WOMBATS”, with their imaginative style and live wombat mascot, are achieving fame on the western coalfields, and a new group has just started on the south coast. In Sydney, the “ROUSEABOUTS” beginning to steal the show from the “BUSHWHACKERS”. For those who like choral singing, the PEOPLES’ CHOIR, led by Paul Wi1liams and the WEST SYDNEY SINGERS, led by Ken Hansen are providing a good field to work in. Some of the groups have already affiliated with the BUSH MUSIC CLUB. Has yours? The Affi1iation fee is 10/- per year per 50 members. Send your application to the Club
Secretary: Alan Scott, 57 Crown Street, Woolloomooloo, N.S.W.
Our first song book was such a success that it sold out in a few weeks.
We have decided to produce them regularly, and the next one will be six “SONGS FROM THE KELLY COUNTRY. It will consist of six special “BUSHWHACKER BROADSIDES” of traditional Ned Kelly songs, with foreword, bound in a colourful illustrated cover. It will be issued. in an edition of 250 copies on November 11th, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the death of our national folk hero. The price is 2/6 and advance orders may be placed with our broadside distributor.

Every Friday night Sydney members of the Club gather at Video Studios, 149 Castlereagh Street, for the purpose of learning and trying out new songs and rehearsing old ones. There is usually an unusual collection of musical instruments, and informality is the key-note. In addition to the musical items there are always plenty of volunteers with recitations and yarns, Traditional bush songs are interspersed with modern topical and work songs, and we learn at least one new song a week, Visitors are always welcome.

Twenty pages of songs, old and new, complete with music - articles, features, parodies, photos, folk and square dance tunes and calls, competitions and news! It’s all yours for two bob • SINGABOUT is your club magazine, Send news, articles, songs and photos of your group or yourself, to the editor:-
John Meredith, 5 Henry Street, Lewisham, N.S.W.

Send your cash donations, subscriptions and bulk orders to the manageress:-
Karin Winter, 15 Chelmsford Ave., Lindfield, N.S.W.

The deadline for material for the first issue is November 30th.
SINGABOUT” will be on sale the first week in January. Prices: - Single copies, 2/-; per year 7/6. Bulk orders 18/- per doz.
The first five hundred subscribers will receive a free copy for each one ordered - one for you and one for a friend,
On page two you will find the words of a ballad by Mick Lawson, popular coalminer poet. We want to print it in the first issue of “SINGABOUT”, as a song. All you have to do is write a tune, or set it to a traditional tune. The prize? £5/5/-. Closing date November 30th.

“IT’S LOVELY DOWN THE PIT, LAD” - by Mick Lawson,

The miner is a happy lad, he lives a lovely life.
He dearly loves the owners so he never gets in strife.
The miner is a 1ucky lad, he lives a life so free
And now each morning, with his crib, he gets a pot of tea.

So hasten to the pit-head lads, and let’s go down the mine.
For a miner’s life is a lovely life, oh a miner’s life is fine.
So drop us down the pit winder, drop us down below

We’ll pick and drill and shoot and fill then homewards we will go.
It’s lovely down the pit my lad, there’s nowt so much to do
Save drill a hole and shoot the coal and shovel all day through.
And if tha’s feeling tired lad, why don’t get in a rage.
Just think that in a few hours more you’ll ride up in the cage.
So give three cheers for the Coal Board and the men who own the mine.

For a miner’s life is a lovely life, the job is really fine.
He drops down in a lovely cage and when he’s in his bord
He just fills twenty ton or so and rides up like a lord.

Of course, at times, we have a ‘fall’, we don’t care much for that
For several tons of rock or coal will smash you rather flat,
But on the other hand. lad, it’s really only fair
To say we’re safe from hailstones, so we’ve got something there.

It’s lovely down the pit lad, but in spots it’s rather dark,
But if we fall flat on our face we treat that as a lark.
It’s lovely down the pit lad, a really bonzer show.
Oh a miner’s life is a lovely life - why don’t you have a go?

Last Chorus:
So hasten to the pit-head lads, and let’s go down the mine
For a miner’s life is a lovely life, oh a miner’s life is fine.
So drop us down the pit winder, drop us down below
We’ll pick and drill and shoot and fill then homewards we will go.
Then homewards we will go lads - at least we’re hoping so.

Melody line only of one verse and chorus, plus last line of last chorus is required. The tune may be original or an arrangement of a non-copyright traditional tunes. The executive of the Bush Music Club shall be the judges and their decision will be final. The winning tune will become the property of the BUSH MUSIC CLUB. There is no entry fee. Fill in this form and enclose it in a sealed envelope, bearing your pen name,
Attach to MS which must only bear the pen name of the entrant.

Send entries to: Editor, “SINGABOUT”, 5 Henry Street, Lewisham, N.S.W.
Name ……………………………… Address ………………………………………………….
Pen Name ………………………………………………………………………………………
I agree to abide by the above rules,
Entrant’s signature ……………………………………………………
CLOSING- DATE: November 30th, 1955.

Published for THE BUSH MUSIC CLUB by A. Scott, 57 Crown St., E. Sydney,

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