The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #1808   Message #622631
Posted By: Bob Bolton
07-Jan-02 - 07:56 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Outside Track (Henry Lawson)
Subject: RE: Outside Track - Henry Lawson
G'day hrothgar,

You're pretty right in that ... there are some Paterson poems that have worked well as ballads ... Clancy of the Overflow has had a few settings - some made it onto the top 40 charts! Artesian Waters has a couple of good tunes ... one shuffled back into 'ballad' form and the other meticulously crafted to fit Paterson's poetical form ... and both work well. But, by and large Paterson is great reciting, not great ballads.

Lawson, on the other hand, thought of his poems as songs ... and often referred to them as such. He didn't actually sing ... having a hearing defect that would have made such a course most unwise ... but oldtimers have said they heard Lawson sung more often in the bush than recited. I tink modern tune writers/setters are just following in the established folk tradition (I've even written the odd tune for a Lawson lyric, myself). But then, I'll recite Henry's Scots of the Riverina as a verse introducion to Wee Eric's No Man's Land ... and practically have myself weeping ... if not the audience!


Bob Bolton