Diary of a song Pt 2


The Diary of a Song Pt.2

A Gothic Australian Folk Song?

I'm on a bus, travelling between Inverloch and Toora in South Gippsland on my way to board a boat, a cruise around Wilsons Promontory to get close up to the nearby seal islands and the magnificent Skull Rock.

It is early, the sun is shining and as so often happens with some free time and brain space I am thinking about words and melodies. I have some words to begin with, something with a with a hint of defiance:

'Let me die before my children...'

I like this line, it is strong, and what parent wants to pre decease their offspring?

'On the wind my ashes fly...'

Who wants a proud monument or stone of remembrance in a cemetery?

Australia's colonial history has done a lot of forgetting or deliberate wiping away of this continents human history. But it is something that has occupied fair chunks of my imagination and this is where this song is coming from and where it's going to.

And so to the melody.

The music player in my mind kicks in with a cool tune going with the words but... here is where obsession kicks in.

I'll go over and over a tune until I've worked out where it's from, and if not a rehash, what it resembles, (which is almost better because in my reasoning I think it lessens the chance of being blindsided by the later realisation of an unconscious copy.)

I have to be satisfied it's original enough to labour over lyrics.

But I already know where this melody is from.

It's 'Wayfaring Stranger'.

One of the great songs that's survived the centuries.

One of those melodies that's like the hills. It's always been there and generations have harnessed it's beauty.

It's public domain and I'm tweaking it by using a different chord structure thinking in my pride I'll make it my own.

This satisfies me, for now.

So, I have a title hook and main lyric: 'Where the Curlew Cries'.

I have the chorus mapped out and an overall theme and feel.

It's like a gothic Australian folk song.

Is that a well worn genre?





Diary of a song Pt 1


One night I wander out to the back yard on a moonless, starry, beautiful night.

It is the wee small hours in the semi rural outlier that is Monbulk in The Dandenong Ranges.

While out there I hear the blood curdling screams of a woman in a mortal struggle for her life.

The sound is coming from the property directly behind.

The impact is immediate. It is physical, visceral, it puts ice in my veins and it is all I can do to run inside to alert my sleeping partner and insist she come and hear for herself.

Of course by the time it takes to get outside the cry has stopped.

I'm mocked and jeered as much for my amorphous imagination as well as being the cause of being needlessly torn from the comfort of bed.

The following day provides no clues to the previous evenings sounds – there are no Police vans, no fuss, nothing.

What did I hear?

The most likely explanation is that it was a bird.

Some type of owl or maybe a curlew, but that's unlikely in Victoria.

Nevertheless that sound left it's mark, and that mark was to be the germ of a song.




The Diary of a Song

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