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John Dengate interviewed by Warren Fahey in the Warren Fahey collection [sound recording]
Bib ID 3585477
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Dengate, John, 1938-2013, Interviewee
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2004 
3 digital audio tapes (ca. 195 min.) 

Warren Fahey collection.


Interview 2004: John Dengate talks about growing up in Carlingford; his ancestors; great grandfather arriving as convict (1790's); his family history; teaching in bush (1950's); meeting singer Brian Mooney; learning a large part of Brian's repertoire; learning to play classical guitar; attending art school (1960's); torn between music and art; meeting the Bush Music Club; meeting John Meredith, Alan Scott, Frank Maugher, Jamie Carlin and Brian Loughlin; meeting Duke Tritton the great traditional singer; writing original songs to the tunes of traditional songs; his first performance at a club; collecting folk music; the original Sydney Bushwhackers Band; Ken Grennlagh (flutist); his marriage (1964); Duke Tritton and his singing style; Noel Rickards; Bob Menzies; his songs moving into the folk revival; other singers performing his songs; Declan Affley; his perspectives on our culture; the Australian language; folk revival, folk clubs and early festivals; being honoured with life membership of Bush Music Club; relationship of songwriting and poetry; Paterson and Lawson's influence; favourite poems; the frustration of writing poetry; range of subjects he covers in his poems; songwriting competitions; pastiche, poetry and song; Harry Robertson; his intention with political songwriting; John Howard as a song subject; Labor Party and Latham; eccentrics; his career as a Sydney busker; teaching himself the tin whistle; the importance of music to his life.

Interview 2005: John Dengate talks about the Eureka Stockade anniversary and its current political ramifications; the 150th anniversary of rail; the current state of unionism; his views being 'outdated'; refusing to use Americanisms in his speech; writing to newspapers; how he writes and his inspiration; going to the cricket and how he wrote a poem; how he is a republican; the bawdy tradition in Australia; the history of treason songs; the Australian sense of humour; the gentrification of Australia by women; Robbie Burns; how the tradition of bawdy has died out; women and bawdy; racism in song; the Tolpuddle Martyrs project; what 'the bush' means to him; what the term 'bush' means today; how Henry Lawson represented the bush.

Partial contents
  • Recorded 2004, TAPE 1, Sings songs and recitation: 'The croppy boy'
  • unidentified song
  • song about Bob 'Pig Iron' Menzies
  • unidentifed song about Menzies
  • 'Say You'll Nay Come Back Again'
  • song about Andrew Peacock 'The minister for the army'
  • 'Thanks to the Yanks'
  • sings of Irish influence
  • recites 'The answer's Ireland'
  • 'Federal Treasurer lay dying'. TAPE 2, Sings songs and recitation: recites own poem 'Convict Sawpits, Epping'

Recorded on October 28, 2004 and March 10, 2005 at Glebe, N.S.W.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Summary (7 p.) 
Subjects Dengate, John, 1938-2013 -- Interviews.  |  Folk singers -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Poets, Australian -- Interviews.  |  Satirists -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Bawdy songs -- Australia.  |  Penny whistle music.
Other authors/contributors Fahey, Warren, Interviewer


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    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 5555/2
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 5555/2 (summary)
    Copy: Summary
    Special Collections Reading Room

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