The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke
|Author||C. J. Dennis|
|Publisher||Angus & Robertson|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||113, plus 14 pages of Glossary|
|Text||The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke at Wikisource|
The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke is a verse novel by Australian novelist and poet C. J. Dennis. The work was first published in book form in 1915 and sold over 60,000 copies in nine editions within the first year.
The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke tells the story of Bill, a larrikin of the Little Lonsdale Street push, who is introduced to a young woman by the name of Doreen. The book chronicles their courtship and marriage, detailing Bill's transformation from a violence-prone gang member to a contented husband and father.
- A Spring Song — Bill is discontent but he doesn't know why. He attributes it to the season. He sees a girl whom he describes as his ideal partner.
- The Intro — Bill attempts to talk to the girl, Doreen, but she rebuffs him because he is a stranger. Bill finds out that she works in a pickle factory, and arranges for a man he knows who works there to introduce them. They talk, and later arrange a date.
- The Stoush O' Day — Bill reflects on how time has flown since he met Doreen.
- Doreen — Bill promises Doreen that he'll give up drinking.
- The Play — Bill takes Doreen to see Romeo and Juliet.
- The Stror 'at Coot — A man who wears a boater hat hangs around Doreen. Bill takes offence and fights him. Doreen breaks things off with Bill.
- The Siren — Bill goes to a party and Doreen is there. She sings a song about unrequited love which affects Bill. He follows her outside, and they make up.
- Mar — Bill meets Doreen's mother, who calls Bill "Willy", as her future son-in-law must be respectable. She and Bill begin talking about wedding plans, and Bill's job.
- Pilot Cove — Doreen and Bill go to see the priest to talk about the gravity of marriage.
- Hitched — Doreen and Bill's wedding ceremony. They set off on their honeymoon.
- Beef Tea — Ginger Mick encourages Bill to drink and gamble, and Doreen's feelings are hurt. Bill takes himself outside for a long time, and comes back in, feeling sick. He falls asleep and wakes up to Doreen feeding him beef tea - a staple of invalid cooking - and Bill is astonished that she has forgiven him.
- Uncle Jim
- The Kid
- The Mooch o' Life
The first portion of the novel, The Stoush O' Day, was originally published in The Bulletin on 1 April 1909. All bar two of the remaining chapters were also published in that magazine between 1909 and 1915.
The completed work was first published in book form in Sydney on 9 October 1915.
- Publication details
|First Edition||Sydney||9 October 1915||2,500 copies|
|Second impression||Sydney||2 November 1915||5,000 copies|
|Third impression||Sydney||6 December||5,000 copies|
|Fourth impression||Sydney||25 January 1916||5,000 copies|
|Fifth impression||Sydney||22 February 1916||7,000 copies|
|Sixth impression||Sydney||1 April 1916||5,500 copies|
|Seventh impression||Sydney||30 May 1916||11,000 copies|
|Eighth impression||Sydney||1 April 1916||5,000 copies|
|Pocket edition||Sydney||25 September 1916||10,000 copies|
|Tenth impression||Sydney||7 October 1916||8,000 copies|
|Eleventh impression||Sydney||24 October 1916||5,000 copies|
|Twelfth impression||Sydney||17 November 1916||5,000 copies|
|Thirteenth impression||Sydney||2 May 1917||5,000 copies|
|Fourteenth impression||London||1 July 1917||5,000 copies|
|Fifteenth impression||Sydney||1 August 1917||5,000 copies|
|Sixteenth impression||London||21 May 1918||5,000 copies|
|Seventeenth impression||Sydney||14 June 1919||3,000 copies|
|Eighteenth impression||Sydney||31 August 1919||3,000 copies|
|Nineteenth impression||Sydney||20 April 1920||3,000 copies|
|Twentieth impression||Sydney||31 August 1920||3,000 copies|
The book is dedicated "To Mr and Mrs J.G. Roberts". John Garibaldi Roberts was a book-loving public servant working with the Melbourne Tramways Company when he was introduced to C. J. Dennis by R. H. Croll in 1906. He was later to provide much material and emotional support to Dennis during the writing of this work. Dennis later took to calling them "Dad" and "Mum".
C.J. Dennis went on to publish three sequels to this novel: The Moods of Ginger Mick (1916), Doreen (1917) and Rose of Spadgers (1924).
Film, TV or theatrical adaptations
Two film versions of The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke have been produced: a silent version in 1919 written and directed by Raymond Longford, and which featured Arthur Tauchert as Bill and Lottie Lyell as Doreen; and a "talkie" version in 1932, directed by F. W. Thring from a screenplay by C. J. Dennis.
A ballet version of Arlen's musical was choreographed by Robert Ray, with Albert Arlen's music freely arranged by John Lanchbery. This was presented by The Australian Ballet in 1985, and they presented it on their tour of the Soviet Union.
- taken from Twentieth Impression
- "Foreword to 1st edition". Middlemiss.org. 1915-09-01. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Ian F. McLaren, 'Gye, Harold Frederick Neville (Hal) (1888 - 1967)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition, Copyright 2006, updated continuously, ISSN 1833-7538, published by Australian National University
- The Sentimental Bloke (1919) at the Internet Movie Database
- The Sentimental Bloke (1932) at the Internet Movie Database
- The Sentimental Bloke television adaptation (1976) at the Internet Movie Database
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