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Good Old Australia

Date: 1914-1918
Overall: 250 x 340 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00018490

User Terms

    'Good Old Australia' is a patriotic song celebrating Australia's effort in World War I. The cover features a lithographic print of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) light cruiser HMAS SYDNEY (I) depicted from the portside under steam. The booklet's interior pages contain lyrics and music. SYDNEY was a famous Australian vessel that was celebrated for its defeat of the German raider SMS EMDEN in 1914.

    SignificanceThe cover design of this booklet featuring HMAS SYDNEY reflects the national pride associated with this and the other ships of the RAN that existed in Australia after its formation in 1911. This music is representative of patriotic songs written in celebration of Australia during World War I.
    HistoryDuring World War I many patriotic songs were written celebrating the Australian landscape, character and military personnel. Louis Benzoni, the composer of this song wrote a similar work focused on New Zealand.

    HMAS SYDNEY was one of three light cruisers built for the Royal Australian Navy in 1912. On 4 October 1913, SYDNEY entered Sydney Harbour in the company of six naval vessels that comprised the First Australian Fleet Unit. HMAS SYDNEY became known for its defeat of the German cruiser EMDEN in a heated battle near North Keeling Island on 9 November 1914.

    Sheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of their production. The widely distributed pieces were fairly cheap to buy, making them popular purchases for the general public. Music was an integral part of people's social life in the home and at public outings such as balls, recitals, concerts and theatres.

    The lyrics read as follows:

    'I have a song to tell you,
    I have a toast to tell;
    Not of an English sweetheart,
    Nor of an Eastern belle;
    But 'tis a song of gladness,
    And I would live my days;
    Singing to you my Country,
    I'm proud of you always

    CHORUS -
    Good old Australia,
    'Neath skies so blue;
    Ever I'm dreaming,
    Old land of you;
    My heart is near you,
    Where'er I roam;
    Good old Australia,
    My Home, Sweet Home.

    Egypt may hold her wonders,
    France has her castles bold;
    England her power and glory,
    As in the days of old;
    Search all the wide world over,
    None can with you compare;
    Good luck to old Australia,
    Echo it everywhere.'

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Good Old Australia

    Primary title: Good Old Australia

    Related People
    Publisher: G H Wood

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