Category Archives: Blog Post

Open Letter to Julia Donaldson

Since 2018 I have been setting the lyrics of children’s books by Julia Donaldson to music and publishing them on my un-monetized YouTube Channel. This started out because I noticed the link between Phil Ochs fabulous setting of Alfred Noyes … Continue reading

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Will the real Ned Kelly please stand up?

I recently did this recording of a song about Ned Kelly written by Australian singer Trevor Lucas in the 1970s. The song was performed by Fotheringay in the UK (played here without Trevor, who passed in 1989) and later picked … Continue reading

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Colin Dryden: Troubadour – Collected by Jean Memery

I did think I had finished my research on Colin Dryden, but this week I received an email  from Jean Memery, with the attached collection of stories from the residents of Beechworth in Victoria, from the time that Colin spent … Continue reading

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Happy 156th Birthday Mr Yeats

For Yeats Birthday this year, I recorded a setting of the poem The Two Trees. I purchased Loreena McKennitt’s album The Mask and Mirror very close to when it came out in 1994, but had never realised the lyrics to … Continue reading

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Shanty on the High Seas (from your bedroom)

This year I recorded an album of Harry Potter inspired Sea Shanties, Muggles Ahoy!. This blog post will describe the process and equipment involved in creating an album like this. One of the Harry Potter shanty re-writes that I did … Continue reading

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Building an Anglo-Saxon Lyre – Prototype I

For I long time I have had an aspiration to make stringed instruments, but the tools and time required to carve the headstock and neck from solid timber, or steam, set and glue the body in complicated curves has always … Continue reading

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Four Treasures of Ireland

I have been working my way through The Secret Rose and Other Stories, which is a compilation of several short stories and essays by William Butler Yeats. As a ballad collector and writer I was very pleased to find many … Continue reading

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Ye Sons of Australia

Ned Kelly was executed at Melbourne gaol on 11 November 1880. While I don’t consider myself and Australian songwriter (I was born in New Zealand, and am more drawn to the songs of Ireland and Scotland), it was a little … Continue reading

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Alistair Hulett Memorial Concert – Sydney 2020

It would have been just after 9:30pm, some two hours into the concert, which had been ticking along at a good pace, thanks to Margaret Walter’s highly efficient direction. The air conditioning, which probably does a good job cooling the … Continue reading

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Love in a Tub – Roud#556

I have been listening to Rachel McDonough’s renditions of ballads from the Francis Child collection for about four years. These ballads are mostly of English/Scotts/Irish origin from the 1600-1700s or earlier. While many of these ballads were revived/re-discovered in the … Continue reading

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