A peaceful day

Phillipians 4:4-8

For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light shall we see light. Psalm 36:9

AO5 Term 3 Folksongs

Posted by Jeanne

I'm feeling a little nostalgic this term as we sing our new folksong, Pokarekare Ana.  It's a song I learned myself at school back in 1975 as part of the wonderful Sing Programme, the music curriculum that has been part of Australian primary schools since the late 1950s.
Back in 1975 I was in grade six, my final year of primary school.  My teacher was Mr Burgess, a purple trousers wearing, bald headed bachelor whom I remember as being at least sixty, but given the inability children have in correctly ageing the ages of adults, all I can confidently say is that he was probably older than my parents.  He was an old-school type teacher, even then, fond of the 'ruler' and the 'strap', and a firm disciplinarian. Spelling tests and times tables are my main memories of his class; that and sitting in spelling ability order up the room.  If you were one willing to listen and to learn though, as I alway was, then Mr Burgess was always fair.  I have very fond memories of my year under his care and direction.

In hindsight I find it surprising that gruff old Mr Burgess would have embraced the Sing Programme so keenly, but of all the years that we used this programme, it is the songs from his particular year that stand out most in my mind. I even remember the little wireless radio sitting up the front of the class. Most of them remain my favourites and I still know the lyrics to Andy's Gone with Cattle, Christmas Day, The Court of King Caractacus, The Drover's Dream, The Keeper, If I had a Hammer, Macnamara's Band, Ob-la-di Ob-la-da, The Pushbike Song, The Toreador Song and Tie a Yellow Ribbon, all of which were taught in that one year.  My friend, Ruby, also remembers this programme fondly.  I wonder how many of these you remember, Ruby.

Sing song books are still being produced.  Keep an eye out for them around November of each year along with their accompanying CDs.

We're doing a term of New Zealand folksongs this time, and it has been a challenging term to put together.  Pokarakare Ana was a given, of course, as was Now is the Hour, which has sold millions of copies and is popular throughout the world.  The other selection was more difficult.  I was looking for an upbeat song to balance these old slow serious ones and had quite a bit of trouble finding something.  I also wanted something in English, feeling that one and a half Maori songs was enough.  Taumarunui on the Main Trunk Line was suggested by a few, but having been written as recently as 1957, it didn't really meet my criteria.  In the end I've decided on Dulcie and the Moa, but I would value your alternatives if you have them.  According to my New Zealand sister-in-law, New Zealand's sense of national pride came in later than Australia's, so we're thinking that that probably accounts for the dearth of earlier songs. 

Anyhow, without further ado, here are our songs for the final term of AO5.

Now is the hour when we must say goodbye.
Soon you'll be sailing far across the sea.
While you're away, oh, then, remember me.
When you return, you'll find me waiting here.

Sunset glow fades in the west. Night o'er the valley is creeping.
Birds cuddle down in their nest, soon all the world will be sleeping.

Now is the hour when we must goodbye.
Soon you'll be sailing far across the sea.
While you're away, oh, then, remember me.
When you return, you'll find me waiting here.


Ruby said...

Jeanne, alas I finished Primary School in '74 and my Singing and Listening with June Epstein days were over :-( Never the less, I do know Andy's Gone with Cattle, The Drover's Dream, If I had a Hammer, Macnamara's Band, Ob-la-di Ob-la-da, The Pushbike Song and Tie a Yellow Ribbon.
The above clips all have that haunting Maori sound which almost brings tears without know the words!(except on the way to Rotorua!)

Jeanne said...

The reason I like to study three folksongs from a country is that I think you hear links like the one you describe that are missed when songs are sung alone. There are some great songs in our youth, aren't there.

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