The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3254   Message #16015
Posted By: Alan of Australia
09-Nov-97 - 04:18 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Woolloomooloo Lair
Subject: RE: LYR REQ: Woolloomooloo Lair
Here are some definitions pasted from my Macquarie (Australian) Dictionary CD ROM:

larrikin (see below)
n. Colloq.
1. a lout, a hoodlum.
2. a mischievous young person.

lair [2]
n. Colloq.
1. a flashily dressed young man of brash and vulgar behaviour.
2. to dress up in flashy clothes (oft. fol. by up).
3. to renovate or dress up something in bad taste (fol. by up).
4. lair it up, to behave in a brash and vulgar manner.

6. Colloq. a fool; one who is easily duped.
13. Colloq. stupid: a mug lair, mug copper, a mug alec.
[ME mogge, from Scand.; cf. Swed. mugg, D mugge]

mug lair
n. one who is vulgarly flamboyant in dress and behaviour. Cf. lair [2].

n. Colloq.
1. a trick; lurk; scheme.
-rorty, adj.

As I understand it the origin of larrikin goes back to about the 1850s when a police constable in a Victorian (an Australian state) country town stated in court that the defendant was "larkin' about". His Irish accent made it sound like larrikin to the Aussies in the court and the term stuck. The Irish have had a huge effect on our culture, often unwittingly........

Another definition of mug would be sucker - there's one born every minute.

Rort is a word usually found in the same sentence as politician these days.

I'm not too sure about "in the van". Possibly if he was not in gaol he was in a police van (horse drawn).

Aussie suburbs can't be much different from North American ones. Any suburb less than about 25 years old is full of 3-4 bedroom brick veneer houses (a single wall of bricks built around a timber frame), built-in double garages and swimming pools.

My lagerphone is a branch of a gum tree about 5 ft long. It has about 60 nails with large flat heads each with three beer bottle tops held in place by a washer below the head. The direction the tops face alternates. The plastic insert in the top must be removed or they will deaden the sound. Boil the tops for a while to soften the plastic and scrape it out while still soft. It was easier years ago when it was cork. My "bow" or beater is a small axe handle with notches cut along one side with a spacing of about an inch. The lagerphone needs a nail free space from about 18 inches above the floor (so you can beat the crap out of it) to above a comfortable position for your left hand to hold it. It also needs a good solid rubber door stop screwed to the bottom to allow it to bounce nicely off a wooden floor. The only tradition I know of is that you are supposed to drink all the beer yourself. They are said to be more fun to make than to play.

Some lagerphones are made from a broom handle - a bit too light for my liking. Some have a wooden shape e.g. the shape of Australia fastened near the top and covered with bottle tops on nails. Anything goes really. I don't know of any web photos.


Hard to tell if that would be The Bushwackers, I don't have all their recordings. The only two bands I've heard do The Woolloomooloo Lair were The Bushwackers and The Larrikins. Most bush bands would have Clancy & The Overlanders in their repertoire, but your tape could easily be The Bushwackers.