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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - January 6, 2013



Today we look at AUSTRALIA’S only unique musical instrument ..
(not counting the lagerphone!)

Can anyone tell us the most obvious TABOO about the didgeridoo?
Females should NOT play one
Can anyone tell us the TABOO about how to rest a didgeridoo ?
Always Standing Upright
To which official party in the western orchestra does the didgeridoo belong?
Brass or AEROPHONE - it produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes

Song 'Australia' from the Galah Occasion Album

Authentic Aboriginal didgeridoos were used traditionally in communities in Northern Australia.Usually made eucalypts which are relatively hard or sometimes from a native bamboo. Most often the main trunk of the tree is harvested, though a substantial branch may be used instead. Termites attack these living eucalyptus trees, removing only the dead heartwood of the tree, as the living sapwood contains a chemical that repels the insects.

Once a suitably hollow tree is found, it is cut down and cleaned out, the bark is taken off, the ends trimmed, and the exterior is shaped; this results in a finished instrument. This instrument may be painted or left undecorated. A rim of beesax can be used as a mouthpiece to maintain an airtight seal and make for an easy ‘embrasure’.

Jim Haynes

Australian Flag

How Australian are you?
Can you play the didgeridoo?
Could you go naked in the bush and still survive?
Can you cook a kangaroo?
Spear a barramundi too?
Do you know which plants to eat to stay alive?

Was dad a shearer or a drover?
Or did your family come over
From Europe or Asia just last year?
How Australian can you get?
Can you ride a surfboard yet?
When we beat the Poms at cricket do you cheer?

How Australian are you?
Can you make a wallaby stew?
Did your great-great-granddad come on that first fleet?
Was he a convict? Is it true?
Was he a redhaired bloke called ‘Blue’?
Did he hop around with chains upon his feet?

How Australian am I?
I’ll drink a beer and eat a pie
And me granddad owned some cattle, and some sheep.
How Australian was yours?
Did he fight in any wars?
Did he die at Gallipoli or in his sleep?

Was your granddad true blue?
Was your dad a digger too?
Any explorers in your family tree?
A pioneer or two?
Just a bushranger will do.
Does that make you more Australian than me?

What’s your Aussie claim to fame?
Do you have an Aussie name?
‘Oodgeroo Noonuccal’, ‘Namatjira’, oh, they’re easy.
But ‘Victor Chang’ and ‘Jenny Kee’,
They sound Australian to me.
Like ‘Ettingshausen’, ‘Dipierdomenico’ and ‘Campese’.

So how Australian are you?
Are you Aussie through and through?
If you can’t do all these things are you an Alien?
Well maybe we should start
With how you feel, inside your heart,
’Cos there are twenty million ways to be Australian.


Tune in to hear Jim on 2UE every Sunday at 10.30 am


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