Works in the Herald 1933

A Herald correspondent has suggested that, in order to ease the strain on the Centenary Entertainment Committee, we should import from America, a negro band of "hot rhythm Harlemaniacs" (second rate for the sake of cheapness), which, he declares would act as a "very potent draw."

One may be forgiven for objecting that, while a certain air of novelty might be lent to a purely Australian Centenary by employing American negroes to discourse Afric jungle melodies, nevertheless --

Let's go!
Ow!  Wow!  Let us melodise --
An' harmonise.
Beneath these sunny skies
Let us sit
For a bit
An' jest so-lil-o-quise
Whar de silbery Yarra streams;
Let us dream dem old-time dreams:-
T'ink of Mistuh Batman --
Hot stuff, shuah 'nuff, dat man --
He sailed right to dis shoah
(Yes he did; Ah know he did)
An' he come foh nuthin moah
But to bring mah baby --
Don't mean maybe --
He built a little hut
Foh nuthin' else but --
By de sea,
De sobbin' sea,
Foh to bring mah baby --
Mah li'l sugah baby,
Centenary Mary, to me-ee.
Oh, gee!

While admitting, of course, that the contention may be quite wrong -- concerning the desirability of an essentially Australian setting for an essentially Australian celebration -- one feels, nevertheless, that to introduce such an exotic note into the proceedings might be deemed by some to be --
Pass me a saxaphone!

Oo-o-o!  Oo-o-o!
Ah, dunno what to do.
Ah', feelin' blue.
Ah'm trem'lin in mah shoes
Case I got --
I got 'em, hot --
I got dem centen-airy blues.
Ah'm sittin' by de Yarra
(Ona jetty made ob jarrah)
Whar it flows down to de dea;
An' Ah know Ah didn't oughtah,
But ah'm gazin' at de watah
Case my sweetie's gawn from me.
Of, heah mah noos --
An' please excuse --
Case I got dem centen-airy bloo-oos.

Beneath de moon Ah sit an' croon An' Ah'll jest be cole meat soon. An' Ah'm takin' off mah shoes (Dey is far too good to lose) Case I got dem centen-airy blues An' Ah shibbers to mah marrah, Foh Ah'm goin' in de Yarra Ah'm a-goin' on mah last long cruise. Dig mah bed bofe deep an' narra, When dey drags me from de Yarra, When dey pulls me from dat ooze.

One might be excused for thinking that some ten or twelve hours of jazz and syncopated rhythm pulsating through the length and breadth of the continent daily was quite enough to --

Saay! What's eatin' you now? Pipe down, you big stiff! C'mon, boys, give him de woiks!

Herald, 30 October 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002