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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bob Bolton Lyr Req: The Gum Tree Canoe (Steele/Winnemore) (71* d) RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe 03 Feb 13


G'day "Twisted Bough",

Your observation and possible interpretation of that enigmatic last verse of your original song and its native variants illustrate just how much history can underlie the oral transmission of songs!

The ponderings on the different meaning(s) and interpretation(s) of the folk on different sides of the racial divides has a resonance with something I was told about the popularity of "Black-Face Minstel" songs and music in the Australian 'Gold Rush' era of mid - late 19th century.

I have heard it suggested that the style of music that grew up among real-born "Black-face" musicians, when it became widely popular, in its Americam 'home', was restricted ... in "professional performance" to whites - with "black" make-up and assumed costume.

The music that spread out here, in our Australian 'Gold Rush' era, was, apparently, perfomed here by truly African-descended musicians and singers, as well as American performers 'blacked-up'

I have heard that many of the African-descended perfomers did so well, over here, that they stayed here and, often, prospered. One researcher suggested that those who did well included several who went on to be buy hotels .. and become wealthy publicans!

I really need to track back and try to pick up the threads of that particular intriguing possibilty from the glorious free-for-all of the Gold-Rush era, the demise of the convict system and the gaining of democracy ... if not quite to the degree we need still to pursue!

Regards,

Bob


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