The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10342   Message #71040
Posted By: Bob Bolton
15-Apr-99 - 03:30 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Gentle Annie (Australian version)
Subject: RE: Australian 'Gentle Annie' - history?
G'day Ferrara and all,

I remebebr this song mainly sung by Poms (English who have not yet had the sense - or compulsion - to move to Australia). When Vin Garbutt was out some years back he sang this and I think he told one of his inimitable introductory tales about the way this song got shuffled from one country to the next ... and ended up in Australia until Martin Wyndham-Read took it back to England ... and now he (Vin) was bringing it back!

I'm sure the song is full of inuendo of which we miss the meaning. I know some references are from the days before federation ... a secondary meaning to the mutton "not being packed in New South Wales" can be seen to be a reference to state taxes and smuggling (OK ... and possibly other things!).

I'm off for a few days, but will look at the recorded origins and see how dates and references all fit together. The Australian use and treatment of songs from the American popular culture in the 19th century is an area that has been seriously neglected for far too long. The best known folksong outside folkie circles (Click go the shears) is a parody of an American song written to celebrate the end of the Civil War. Lots more in the same vein (or, at least, drift). It's time someone mined the mother-lode.


Bob Bolton