Diggers – Songs of Australians at War


Songs of the Australians at War. Compiled by Warren Fahey.

In “Diggers songs” Warren has provided the definitve overview of the songs that the Australian Digger and his femal;e counterpart, sang in the eleven wars we have been volved in.

The songs are the real thing rather  than being the work of the tin pan ally songwriters. The Songs are often bawdy, heartfelt and chockfull of frustrationand camaraderie that ios war.

Above all, these songs are tribute to the men and women who worked and fought for Australia and peace.

About the artist: Offering a unique repertoire of rare broadsides, goldfields minstrel songs, old bush songs, larrikin ditties, children’s rhymes and songs about early city slickers. Warren Fahey is joined by fellow ‘larrikins’ Marcus Holden, Clare O’Meara and Garry Steel. Warren Fahey ‘Diggers’ Down through the years the Australian soldier became respected as a reliable fighter, a mate when a mate was the difference between life and death and, above all, the Australian soldier was considered to be a ‘larrikin’ who saluted but would not doff his hat to no man. He was an Aussie, he was Cobber, he was Pongo, he was Curley and Bluey and he was Digger. Australians have fought in 11 wars. It seems incredible but 11 times we have marched away to the sound of the bugle and every time it was a call to join our allies and ‘mates’ at arms. We fought in the famed Maori Wars of Taranaki and the Waikato, a contingent of gallant lads travelled to the Sudan wars and then our Lighthorsemen galloped into the Orange Free State and the Boer War. Next came the so called ‘Boxer Rebellion’ and then the first and second World Wars. We glibly believed that the second World War was the ‘war to end all wars’ but we were wrong and our troops were once again called to battle in lands too close to the home front – Malaya, Malta, Korea and Indonesia and these were all followed by the horrors of Vietnam. As if to remind us that war is always ‘just around the corner’ our troops rallied in 1990 to confront the threat of yet another uprising in that war-torn zone known as the Middle East. 16 years later, they’re there again. This recording is a unique oral history of the songs that the Australian soldiers sang. Warren Fahey ‘Diggers’ War is always a frustration and the songs, ditties, parodies, poetry and stories serve many well-earned roles as a morale booster to facilitate camaraderie, to educate and to assimilate ‘new recruits’ and to allow that necessary ongoing de-fusing of tension. As with other periods of history when all is not well, like times of economic recession and depression, the songs tend to be short and not so sweet, and, army songs being what they tend to be very much to the point – boots and all! This collection mainly comes from the first and second World Wars however, there is no doubt that many of these same songs were sung by the ‘Diggers’ who marched away to Korea, Malaya and Indonesia. As our entertainment patterns changed so too have our soldier songs and the collected material from the Vietnam War tends to be songs about air fighter planes, raids and gas bombs. The later songs still use parodies however, they are chiefly American popular songs. Warfare has also changed dramatically and this might explain why there are so few songs from the Gulf War. I guess it’s hard to sing when you’re sitting alone in a computerised fighter plane with one finger cocked on a button. Warren Fahey

2 in stock

SKU: TN575-62 Category:

Additional information

Weight .100 kg
Dimensions 14 × 12.5 × 1 cm


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