singing songs about the olden days

We enjoy a sing-a-long in our car, I think most people do, because in these sound- tight spaces our voices must be loud and it feels good to sing like that.  The sound must come from the gut; roar, to cut through the drone of the engine and the little voices squealing in the back seat.  Lately, we have come across a beauty of a sound bite that has singing appeal to all ages strapped aboard and it doubles as a Tasmanian history lesson.

“Martha Hayes, Oh Martha Hayes…”  Have a listen a work out how this lag fits into the picture. Image

This is the album pictured!  Performed live as part of the Dark MOFO event earlier this winter.  The Vandemonian Lags was standing ovation material, captivating and roused feelings that earlier people in this island must have felt or something a bit like it.  So, the historical element is purely convict stories and one about the Launceston Hospitals secret past doubling as a brothel.  Didn’t learn that fact at Grammar!

Some of the stories, such as the convict boy who was transported for stealing a book nearly move you to tears.  Ripped away from his family to a land bound prison, not the treasured Tasmania we know today but ‘the wild’.

In our car, you’ll hear young voices recount the tale of a convict that walked “from the Derwent to the rolling river Tamar!”  And its one of those catchy, bush dance type ballads where you want to swing your elbows free from the car seat restraints. Image



Author: Lucy Taylor

Explorer of writing and place, with roots in the beautiful North West coast of Tasmania. Mother of wild boys, and wife of another. Blogging for another place to write about things that interest me and guide me. Also working on a novel and available for freelance copywriting in spare moments.

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