9 Sept 2008

Australian Folksongs

The AO folksong rotation uses a CD by American/gospel/bluegrass/country group, Homestead Pickers.


The AO selection of folksongs is excellent, featuring selections from Ireland, Australia, Scotland and Canada, as well as America. The problem is, being a real Aussie, I'm not too fond of American/gospel/bluegrass/country music, not too fond of it at all.

We prefer to use the wonderful series of CD's and accompanying books produced by the ABC:


Sing is the ABC's enormously successful and long-lived primary school music education program - so long lived that I fondly remember it from my school days. I even remember most of the song lyrics!!

For more than 40 years, Sing has been the leading resource for music educators throughout Australia and New Zealand. We use the Sing Book as well as the excellent recordings. A Sing Activity Book rounds out the programme, but is not really necessary for a CM education, and takes too much time, in my humble opinion.

One of the advantages of the Sing recording is that the lyrics are acceptable for kids - not always the case with some of our adult bush bands!!

In AO1 we study Australia, three songs per term. We memorise the lyrics over the term, and sing folksongs once a week. Jemimah performs these as part of her end-of-term concert during exam week.

This was our AO1 list:
  • Waltzing Matilda
  • The Drover's Dream
  • The Wild Colonial Boy
  • Flash Jack from Gundagai
  • Along the Road to Gundagai
  • Ryebuck Shearer
  • Bound for South Australia
  • Six White Boomers
  • Three Drovers (an Australian Christmas Carol)

We also learn a series of songs remembering our diggers for ANZAC Day in AO2 - I'll post on our ANZAC Day programme leading up to the event!


  1. Hi I have just found your blog! With your folk songs is this the order you learned them in? How long did you spend on each song?

  2. Hi Aliadelaide!!

    Yes, this is the order we learned them. We studied each for about a month, but didn't move on until the one before was learned off by heart.

    Some are more difficult than others. Six White Boomers is easier to remember than the Three Drovers, for example; Along the Road to Gundagai is easier than Flash Jack.

    We play them often during the day, or particularly in the car when travelling. That helps cement them without too much difficulty!

    Thanks for visiting my blog - hope it is helpful to you.


  3. Hi Jeanne
    I'm back this year thinking again of getting the Sing cd's. Could you tell me if they come with the songbook or if you have to purchase separately?
    happy new year

  4. Hi Alison,

    Nice to see you. Thanks for dropping by.

    There are two CD volumes, a song book and a teacher's guide. I've never used the teacher's guide though. Each CD volume contains two CDs - one with words; one an instrumental version. Be sure to get both volumes.

    If you give me a week or two I plan to review 2010's selection, but I have not yet listened to more than the first few songs myself yet.

    Hope this helps.


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