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Warren Fahey Presents The Australian Bush Orchestra


Warren Fahey is a musical jack-of-all-trades. Oral historian, prolific record producer, broadcaster, visual artist, writer, journalist and legendary performer of bush songs. He is best known as the founder of Larrikin Records and Folkways Music. His great passions in life are Australian folklore and music and he has been presenting music and history programs on ABC radio and television for over 40 years. Author of over 20 published books including ′When Mabel Laid the Table′, ′Diggers Songs′, ‘Classic Bush Yarns’, ‘The Balls of Bob Menzies′ and, in 2010, ‘Australia: Its Folk Songs & Bush Verse’ which is currently being released by ABC Books as a series of three e-books.

Warren Fahey’s latest project, The Australian Bush Orchestra – Music For Bush Dance & Campfire is a celebration of Australian colonial instrumental music evocative of woolshed dances and the iconic bush campfire. Snippets from Fahey’s oral recordings, mostly from his field collecting in the early 1970s, bring the music to life connecting the past with the 21st century. These rare actuality recordings of musicians, all born in the 19th century, add a stamp of authenticity to the music and, Fahey hopes, an appreciation of the ongoing role of traditional music in Australian life.

The tunes, including some collected by Rob Willis, John Meredith and Warren Fahey, come from the Oral History & Folklore Collection of the National Library of Australia, and also from sheet music published in the 19th and early 20th century. There are lively traditional bush tunes and music that accompanied popular dances such as the schottische, waltz, polka and barn dance. They are part of the Australian music story that has all but disappeared in time.



1. The Pioneer Schottishe (or Alligator Hop)
2. Bottle-o Schottische
3. Old Dan Tucker
4. Green Leaves Polka / The Girl I Left Behind
5. Ebb Wren’s Schottische / Life Gets Tedious Polka
6. Galopede
7. So Early In The Morning / Donkey Riding
8. The Bulletin Polka
9. Jenny Lind Polka / The Black Cat Piddled In The White Cat’s Eye
10. The Banks OF The Condamine
11. Susan Colley’s Varsoviena / Cunnamulla Stocking Jig
12. Australia Jim / Mudgee Schottische
13. Merryland’s Jig / Murray’s Hornpipe
14. Ask Old Brown For Tea / The Campdown Races 15. Varsoviena / Put Your Little Foot Here / Eileen McCoy’s Varsoviena No. 1
16. Pop Goes The Weasel
17. The Gatadon Polka
18. Starry Night For A Ramble / Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane
19. George Kyle’s Schottische / Cosgrove’s Schottische
20. The Springtime It Brings On The Shearing
21. The Gumtree Canoe
22. Girls Of Ivory / Manchester Galop
23. Merrily Danced The Quaker’s Wife
24. Davy Davy Knick Knack / Rakes Of Mallow
25. The Bullocky’s Ball
26. The Colonial Polka
27. The Farmer He Chased His Wife With A Broom

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