I recently stated that I was working on this album but, thankfully, Alan from Sydney has now provided a very good rip of the album; a task I was finding very difficult because of a close-to-death LP. Many thanks Alan.
This album was a follow-up the his "First Hundred Years" LP. Alex did not actually wait out the 200 years (1988) and this LP was released on the 200th anniversary of the discovery of eastern Australia and the claiming of Australia for Britain by Captain James Cook in 1970.
Alex Hood might not be the best of the Australian Folk singers but he is surely one of the most dedicated and prolific. I have always admired his work and enthusiasm. He is still a regular performer today.
This is definitely one of my favourite Australian folk albums which accounts for why my copy was so worn out (I actually bought it in 1970). The songs, of course, supposedly come from the period 1888 to 1970 and are a mix of traditional, oldies and some modern compositions written specifically for the album. Actually, the album notes advise that the song "Just before the Battle, Mother" was collected in Australia near Canberra and was thought to be about the Boer War. Of course, it is the very well-travelled song written during the American Civil War. The notes on Waltzing Matilda completely overlooks that "Banjo" Paterson penned this song in 1895 and it was published as sheet music in 1903. This track is close to the original. Thankfully, our folk singers avoid the later Marie Cowan version which is the one most Australians know.
The track "Dinki Di" is practically identical to the version my grandfather, a First World War veteran of the Western Front, used to sing but Australian Army personnel have continued to adapt this song to subsequent wars and actions.
"Lord Gort" and "How'd Yer Be?" are two well-known recitations (at least to we older ones) very well performed by Alex. Additionally, there are four tracks written by Larry King with some involvement by Alex.
A very enjoyable album.
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