Along the Road to Gundagai

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Along the Road to Gundagai"
song by Peter Dawson
Published Allans Music
Released 1924
Recorded 1923
Genre Australian folk, country
Writer Jack O'Hagan
Cover versions
Jack O'Hagan

"Along the Road to Gundagai" is an Australian folk song written by Jack O'Hagan in 1922 and was first recorded by Peter Dawson in 1924, O'Hagan performed his own version later that year.[1] It is well-known among Australians, and one of a small number of pieces which are considered to be Australian folk tunes. Gundagai is a rural town of New South Wales. In May 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), as part of its 75th Anniversary celebrations, named "Along the Road to Gundagai" as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time.[2][3] It was used as the theme to the Dad and Dave radio show.[4]

In 2007, Peter Dawson's 1931 recording of the song was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry.[5]

History[edit]

Jack O'Hagan (1898–1987) was an Australian musician from Fitzroy, Victoria who was working at Allans Music in Melbourne where he played sheet music for potential customers.[4] O'Hagan started writing his own songs in 1916 with "Along the Road to Gundagai" appearing in 1922 on Allans Music which was written for voice and piano, with ukulele chords.[6] It was first recorded by Peter Dawson in 1924 in London before selling some 40,000 to 50,000 copies in its first three months.[4] O'Hagan performed the song later that same year.[7] Since that time it has been performed by numerous Australian artists and used in various contexts.[1] It was used as the theme to the Dad and Dave radio show.[4]

It is well-known among Australians, and one of a small number of pieces which could be considered an Australian folk tune. The town of Gundagai is in a rural area of New South Wales. In May 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), as part of its 75th Anniversary celebrations, named "Along the Road to Gundagai" as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time.[2][3]

Despite writing about the town, O'Hagan first visited Gundagai in 1956 when he was guest of honour at its centenary celebrations.[8]

Lyrics and music[edit]

The first line of the chorus is instantly recognisable, due to its use of rhyme and motif:

There's a track winding back
to an old-fashioned shack,
Along the road to Gundagai.
Where the gum trees are growin'
and the Murrumbidgee's flowin'
beneath the starry sky.
Oh my mother and daddy are waitin' for me
And the pals of my childhood once more I will see
And no more will I roam 'cos I'm headin' right for home
Along the road to Gundagai.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""Along the Road to Gundagai" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "APRA/AMCOS 2001 Top 30 Songs". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 November 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Kruger, Debbie (2 May 2001). "The songs that resonate through the years" (Portable Document Format (PDF)). Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  4. ^ a b c d "John Francis 'Jack' O'Hagan (1898-1987) Song Composer". 150 years: 150 lives (Brighton General Cemetery). Travis M Sellers. 15 September 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  5. ^ National Film and Sound Archive: Along the Road to Gundagai on australianscreen online
  6. ^ "Along the road to Gundagai [music] / Jack O'Hagan ; arr. Fred Hall". National Library of Australia. Archived from the original on 14 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Along the Road to Gundagai (1931) clip 1 on ASO". Australian Screen. National Film and Sound Archive. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Llewellyn, Marc (4 February 2007). "Beyond the Tuckerbox". Travel (Australia) (News Limited (News Corporation)). Retrieved 10 June 2010. 

External links[edit]