The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90351   Message #2045839
Posted By: Bob Bolton
08-May-07 - 02:40 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Kookaburra - possible copyright info.
Subject: RE: Origins: Kookaburra - possible copyright info.
G'day Jim Lad,

I hope that Azizi is still looking in on this thread ... but it was one year and three days back that she made her sole posting!

As far as pursuing A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson for Australian songs, I don't think she will find more than a small fraction of his verse set to music, compared to the poetry of Henry Lawson. Waltzing Matilda is a special case ... 'Banjo' wrote it as lyrics to a tune he just heard played by Christina Macpherson, in 1895. His poem "The Bushman's Song" is collected with a tune (and usually called "Travelling Down the Castlereagh") ... but most of his poems are written in very much "poetic" schemes that don't lend themselves to easily becoming songs.

Conversely, Henry Lawson mostly wrote in four-square ballad form - and many more of his poems went straight into song form, as soon as they were published - and many more have been set to tunes, new or old, in the Australian "Folk Revival" (including one set by me!).

Lots of songs came from the Australian colonial period and the Gold Rush ... and the attentions paid to that gold by bushrangers! However, very few made any easy transition to other countries and cultures until the world "folk boom" ... and the biggest publishing area - the USA - is more geared (at its corporate end, anyway) to dealing with new (copyrightable) material.