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Lyr Req: Give Me a Home among the Gum Trees

The Fooles Troupe 17 Feb 07 - 09:39 PM
Muttley 17 Feb 07 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Texas Guest 18 Feb 07 - 03:22 AM
Waddon Pete 18 Feb 07 - 12:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Feb 07 - 12:18 PM
Rowan 18 Feb 07 - 05:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Feb 07 - 06:13 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Feb 07 - 06:51 PM
Bob Bolton 18 Feb 07 - 09:53 PM
Jim Dixon 01 Nov 07 - 08:37 PM
Rowan 01 Nov 07 - 10:57 PM
RamblinStu 02 Nov 07 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Bob Brown 13 Mar 08 - 08:44 AM
Joybell 13 Mar 08 - 08:01 PM
Rowan 13 Mar 08 - 09:29 PM
Joybell 13 Mar 08 - 11:22 PM
Andrez 14 Mar 08 - 04:23 AM
Fergie 14 Mar 08 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Bob Brown 14 Mar 08 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Ralph Kerle 23 Nov 08 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,LlayneRobertson 03 Feb 09 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,marion johnson 20 Feb 09 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,Mik 11 Mar 10 - 10:29 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Mar 10 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,Paul Pritchard 07 Jul 10 - 03:57 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Jul 10 - 02:09 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 09:39 PM

mulling - related to 'mulled wine'...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Muttley
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 10:42 PM

Sorry McGrath and Foolestroupe - 'Mulling' in the Aussie vernacular is the preparation of marijuana prior to putting it in a reefer or bong.

Muttley

I do know the others and they are used, but in the context - I believe it is the 'dope' application referred to here.

Besides in Aussie, the term for 'chilling out' on the verandah and using the same term would be to "go out and mull OUT on the porch"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 03:22 AM

It's a late sleepless night in Texas so you get my bits on this song.
I pass myself off as a folksinger of American, Irish, Scottish and
Canadian songs and I cover a fair enough amount from each country for
the claim to be true. In 2006 I got the bright idea of thinking that it would only be a good idea to include Australia in the group so I went out and searched locally and found an album titled, "Big Aussie
Album," by a guy named Lazy Harry.

Now, I don't know much about Australia and even less about Lazy Harry,
but off of the album I've chosen to work up, "Where The Dog Sits On The Tuckerbox," "Redback On The Toilet Seat," "I Still Call Australia Home," "Man From Snowy River," and yes, "Home Among The Gum Trees." I already do "Waltzin' Matilda" because of requests for it in pubs and such. I have also found that around St. Patrick's Day - when we do a lot of "non-Irish" Irish gigs - the, "Road To Gundagai" fits in quite well in the middle of "It's A Long Way To Tipperary," and it gives me an opportuninty to speak a bit about the historical relationship between Australia and Ireland.

I grew up in Detroit, Michigan but didn't realize until well into adulthood that I am a country boy at heart and can very much relate
to, "Home Among The Gum Trees," and I for one do not infer from the song that that's the way Aussies are. I can believe that the song holds the feelings of it's author or someone he knew but one certainly cannot expand that to gain some sort of insight as to what Australians are about. Hey, you can have your big city and all it's
trappings;...now where did I put that Colorado map? It was just here a minute ago,...I wonder if Murphy took it,...well,...it's gotta be..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 12:05 PM

Hello,

"John Williamson (and yes, I am biased), I believe does the best version..."

I agree wholeheartedly....If you have not had the pleasure of hearing him, I would recommend it as something to do before too long has passed!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 12:18 PM

Just had a look in an online dictionary of Aussie Slang, and it came up with this:

Your search produced 1 results for 'mull' - stunned mullet
adjective:- used to describe the look on someone's face who has absolutely no idea what you are talking about.


I grant that's not too helpful - but I thought I'd share it anyway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Rowan
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 05:01 PM

I'm reminded that I missed my opportunity at Christmas to get the disc details of Captain Rock's LP and the "words" to the Verse in French doggerel. And the thread droppped out of sight without me responding to Joybell; it's a small world sometimes.

And I'm surprised McGrath's search didn't reveal "mullet" as a type of haircut reputed to be favoured by what Sydneysiders dismiss as "westies".

Perhaps I've lived in the wrong culture, but I've only ever used the term "mull" as a verb, to mean either heat wine with spices (making mulled wine) or to go and ponder (mull over) some thinking. But them St Andrews and Christmas Hills were indeed places where a joint wasn't just a building.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 06:13 PM

Ambiguity is something to be cherished in a song. Adds texture.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 06:51 PM

It's possible that simply the wrong word was used - as folkies, aren't we used to that sort of thing?

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 09:53 PM

G'day McGrath,

If you had looked at the 'Cat's own "Aussie Glossary" you would have found:

mull: Grass (the kind you smoke)   
mull up: Roll a joint and smoke it

... although we seem to have missed the (nowadays) ubiquitous "mullet" haircut!

The Aussie Glossary was principally the work of (the late) John of Brisbane - and I came into it to give a bit more explanantion / background to some of the historical terms. My main concern was the words found in older Australian songs, which were fairly short of both "mullets" - and "mull-ups"!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Nov 07 - 08:37 PM

It strikes me as odd that this song contains both "verandah" and "porch" – two words that I thought were synonyms. Furthermore, I thought that, depending on what part of the world you came from, you might call it either a "verandah" OR a "porch" but it would be unlikely that both words would be in your everyday vocabulary—sort of like "pavement" vs. "sidewalk."

Am I wrong? Do these words mean something different in Australia?

(In Minnesota, people always call it a "porch." If you called it a "verandah" people would think you're not from around here, or else being very pretentious.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Nov 07 - 10:57 PM

Jim, you're right in that the terms have considerable overlap, even here in Oz but, depending on your background (both regional and temporal), they do invoke different things to many.

Leaving aside the requirements of scansion in the song, a small covered area just outside the entrance to the house might be called either porch or verandah but one that was large enough to have a group seated in it would usually attract the term verandah. That's the use of the two terms where and when I grew up; the back porch of our house in Melbourne was about 1m x 1m, whereas the front verandah was about 2m x 3m.

In O, we probably had more contact (via colonial connections) with people who had some connection with Burma, and so had more exposure to the term "verandah", a Burmese word that became applied to such structures.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: RamblinStu
Date: 02 Nov 07 - 05:11 AM

As Muttley says "John Williamson (and yes, I am biased), I believe does the best version..."

I too must agree.

It was in 1988 when I was on a trip to Oz that I first heard of John Williamson and his version of Gum Trees. I loved it, brought a couple of his albums, and enjoyed them too. This rekindled my interest in music, so much so that I decided to start playing again.

I have not looked back since, I still enjoy playing and after nearly twenty years I still perform Gum Trees, from time to time, in clubs around South East England, and it still goes down well. People always enjoy a light hearted, fun song with good sing along chorus, so let's not get too "deep and meaningful"

Have fun

Stuart Pendrill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Bob Brown
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 08:44 AM

Funny coming across this thread after all this time. By way of introduction my name is Bob Brown, aka Captain Rock who wrote the song Give Me a Home Among the Gumtrees with Wally Johnson in 1975, amd first recorded the song on my Captain Rock album called Buried Treasure. Wally and I had parted ways by this time. It was written as a tongue in cheek song and originally performed as part of a comedy act we were doing at the Flying Trapeze Cafe in Fitzroy Melbourne. In 1982 Bullamakanka found a copy of the album in a reduced sale bin in a music shop in NSW and re recorded it. It became a hit. John Williamson subsequently recorded it and so many others that it is now amongst to most recorded Australian songs of all time.

When we wrote it the Australin government were proposing a song writing contest to have a new national anthem following the decision to scrap God Save the Queen. In my comedy act at the time I played an ex pat living in Paris on an Arts council grant who claimed the song came flushing through my mind when sitting on the loo in the Louvre.

First time I sang it people started singing the chorus loudly after one 2 verses. Burkes Backyard picked it up as their theme song and used it for 17 years.

For the record Wally sadly died about 12 years ago, but not in an accident as someone suggested.

Also the original song contained no reference to mulling up on the porch, or rabbits running round. Bullamanka added these for some reaon. Maybe they didn't like the original lyrics which were meant as one contributor has mentioned to be tongue in cheek.

I would hate anyome to think it is a nationalistic song. At best it is a song longing for those long rememebered and often longed for hippy days of Eltham and St Andrew in the mid 70's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 08:01 PM

Hello Bob. So nice to hear from you. We lived in Warrandyte (Eltham's neighbour)for a while and your song had become firmly fixed there by the 80s. It was our most requested "Aussie song" for many years.
It's a lot of fun -- unpretentious -- I like that in a song.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: Rowan
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 09:29 PM

G'day Bob!
I echo Joybell; it's nice to hear from you. If you read it from the beginning you'll probably have been reminded of Disie; she's now married to Ian Simpson and lives at Nariel.

You'll also have realised that I have the task of trying to decipher your doggerel (and probably quite random) French; a la Clive Champion's song(s). Would I be asking too much to get you to post the French yourself?

And G'day to you again, Joybell! One day I'll get to the Western District again, if only to revisit Arapiles, but I''l let you know so I could visit you. I found out recently that a colleague (whose daughter will be accompanying mine to the National) lived at Natimuk and was the fire spotter for the Arapiles fire tower when a student.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 11:22 PM

Hello Rowan. We'll look forward to seeing you one day.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: Andrez
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 04:23 AM

Well what an amazing meander this thread has taken! Since coming back to Melbourne 2 years ago I live in the inner 'burbs but still manage to truck on out to St. Andrews for the saturday country market every month or so.

Somethings have changed, some haven't but it isnt hard to see and feel is an echo of times gone by. The seventies and eighties were great times across the district: Smiths Gully, Panton Hills, Cottlesbridge, Dunmoochin, Kangaroo Ground, Christmas Hills, Laughing Waters etc, etc.

One hazy memory out of many is that of Colin Hay with shoulder length hair carrying a guitar and singing long before the whole Men At Work thing happened with such a global bang.

Funny too how so many paths have crossed at Nariel as well.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: Fergie
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 08:56 AM

G'day Bob

Welcome to Mudcat. I lived in Oz during the seventies and early eighties. My daughter was born in Sydney in 79 and I used to sing your song to her when she was distress. It would calm her down straight away. I'll see her this weekend (we live in Dublin now) and I'll sing Home Among the Gum Trees to her and see if she still remembers it.

It's great to hear from you,

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Bob Brown
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 10:33 PM

HI Joy, Rowen, Andrez and Fergie. How well I remember those places, Laughing Waters especially has some very happy memories sitting by the river, underneath a willow tree on a summer afternoon. It was like a fairy land and brings a smile to my face everytime I think about it. Fergy I must tell you that I was in Dublin middle of last year. I was flown there for 4 days by an Airline that was starting a direct route form Dublin to Sydney, to do a one off Australiana type gig in front of this massive shopping complex catering for the New Irish (the wealthy ones of whom there are now plenty as the Irish PA guy was quick to point out). Pity your daughter wasn't there as I sang Gumtrees and tried to teach the Irish audience the hand actions. They picked them up pretty quickly although I am sure they didn't have a clue what I was on about.

Andez I really can't write down the French verse in words as I can barely spell in English, let alone French, besides which so much of its charm is dependent on the delivery.

Best wishes to all
Bob Brown


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Ralph Kerle
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 06:39 AM

Hey Bob,

You may recall I was the owner of the Flying Trapeze Cafe in 70's in Melbourne where you regularly featured as the main act. Indeed I seem to recall you might have been the first show after I bought the place.. I have started a Facebook Group entitled the Flying Trapeze Art Gallery and have been collecting photos from Brunswick Street and the Flying Trapeze Cafe shows during that period and would like to invite you to become a member of the group. Can you email me at rkerle@gmail.com so I can send you an invitation.

Kind regards,
Ralph Kerle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,LlayneRobertson
Date: 03 Feb 09 - 03:12 AM

hey bob
i know it was 13 years ago when u made a surprise phone call to me... an i been trying hard 2 get hold of u since then.... as i moved to perth to be with mum LYNN madden aka ROBERTSON . which i had my daughter there ... mum keeps asking me if ur mum meryl's still around [ which i doubt it now ]. surprise 4 me as i still got your old mobile number..
as u gotta know mum got married back in 2004 and was gunna try get in touch with to see if u could do something 4 me but 4 ur old friend lynn..
i'd give u my email address but won't on here..
but when u get this a reply then i'll give to u
i'm living in doncaster an often drive past ur mums house
anyhow gotta go talk soon
    LLAYNE ROBERTSON
BOB IF U GOT A WEB SITE LET ME KNOW AS U ARE THE HARDEST ONE TO FIND ON HERE
   LR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,marion johnson
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 05:43 AM

hi the original home among the gumtrees was across between our home in st andrews and my parents home in eltham. sadly buttermans track st andrews has been burnt in the recent bushfires. i really question now the wisdom of building a house anywhere near a gumtree.
we moved to murwillumbah nsw in the late 70s when wally became a hare krishna and i thought it was a reasonable idea too.
we have 4 beautiful grown up children. wally died in 1995 of pneumonia so he did not get to meet his beautiful grandchildren. all 8.
all the kids are musical and perform often both indian and western styles.
his youngest son ryan is a talented guitarist, singer and songwriter and is studying guitar at scu. grandaughter kalyani has a beautiful singing voice, plays keyboard and writes.
drug references were never in the original song and as wally was a vegetarian he used to change the roast part when he performed.
captain rock was a hilarious vaudevillian act. hi bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Mik
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:29 PM

My uncle played in Bullamakanka, so I can confirm that the 'mull up' lyric does indeed refer to the smoking of marijuana. 'Mulling up' is act of chopping up a marijuana bud and mixing it with tobacco, prior to rolling it in a cigarette paper, or alternatively smoking the 'mull' through a water pipe or 'bong'. It's a social thing where you sit down, relax and chat while someone prepares and then offers around the smoke, hence "later on we'll settle down and mull up on the porch".

My uncle and most of the guys in the "Bullas" lived in the hills amongst the bush just inland of Tweed Heads, NSW, a place that is quite laid back, where music and pot smoking is part of the culture. I think it's good that they modified the lyrics to impart a little of what living in the bush meant to them.

Living in rural Victoria as a kid, I had no idea what 'mull up' meant and neither did anybody else. Grandma knew, but just avoided the question, and as a scout leader got her boys to sing 'later on we'll settle down and drink mulled wine on the porch'! I asked my cousin, down on a rare interstate visit, what it meant and he said 'mixing up cigarette smoke' and 'something that adults did'. There it stayed until sometime in my 20's when I found myself up in the NSW hills, at my cousin's place, sitting on the porch in the evening, watching the wombats come out to play, while he... mulled up. It was one of those moments.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 09:54 PM

"Mull up" is a new one on me. I do know some Brits who use the phrase "skin up," however. I wonder where that phrase comes from? Is a cigarette paper called a "skin"? Are the two terms related somehow? (Besides meaning the same thing, I mean.)

I don't think we Americans have any phrase ending in "up" for this particular activity.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Home among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Paul Pritchard
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 03:57 AM

Wow. Brings back memories.
Specifically of Captain Rock performing with a female accomplice in the Student Union Cafe on a Student Union Night at Melbourne Uni in what must have been 1975.
They did "Give Me A Home", and everyone sang along.
I also remember the finale, which was a wonderfully theatrical version of Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock", with Captain Rock miming climbing the stairs.
One of the best gigs I've ever been to.
The whole audience was stoned, of course.
Thanks Bob!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give Me a Home among the Gum Trees
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 02:09 PM

The National Library of Australia has the sheet music, described thus:

HOME AMONG THE GUMTREES [music] / words and music by Wally Johnson and Bob Brown
[Sydney] : Rosebery, N.S.W. : Mushroom Music ; distributed by Music Sales Australia, [1988], c1975

Other libraries give the following additional information:

First line : I've been around the world a dozen times of may be more [sic].
Chorus first line : Give me a home among the gumtrees.

'The current single from Bullamakanka Mercury 6437150' --cover.
'First released by Captain Rock-Buried treasure L35718' --cover.


There are several videos at YouTube.


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