The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90351 Message #2113752
Posted By: Rowan
28-Jul-07 - 10:55 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Kookaburra - possible copyright info.
Subject: RE: Origins: Kookaburra - possible copyright info.
I missed this thread until today so didn't see JennieG's offer. If you ever decide you don't want it Jennie, just PM me.
And Jeri is right about it being a round; I'd never even questioned the notion as I'd never heard it sung as anything else. Even the playground parodies were sung by the kids as a round (forgive the grammar) so I was interested to see others had encountered sequential verse formats.
When teaching bush dances to adults (even to adolescents) around Oz I had no trouble with the audience responding to invitations to take the floor with a partner and then explaining the different figures in terms of "Gents" and "Ladies"; everyone understood that it was implied that one's partner would, routinely, be of the opposite sex. Because much of the bush dance tradition came via mining camps and shearers' contexts where women were scarce, there grew a tradition of "buck sets" composed entirely of males; those playing the women's parts would thread a scarf through their belt at the hip. It seems it has always been more acceptable for women to partner each other without any need to signify who was dancing which part.
The point of the tale is that, in my experience with younger children at such dances in Oz (mostly at schools; in audiences with lots of age groups there was never any problem) the younger sproglets would be resistant to participating if there was any notion that they would be required to dance with someone of the opposite sex, or even hold hands with them. So, although the call would be to "Grab a partner and form a set/circle/etc" the instructions would be for the taller person in each couple to be "a kangaroo" and the shorter to be "a wallaby"; if arches were involved in the dance they would need to have a kangaroo partnered with a wallaby. Subsequently all the called instructions used "Kangaroos" and "Wallabies" instead of "Gents" and "Ladies". Full participation and never any confusion.
Apologies for the thread drift but I thought it relevant to Azizi's post about culturally dependent interpretations.