Penny Davies & Roger Ilott | Timeless Land: Songs of a Restless Country

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Folk: Free-folk World: Australian Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Timeless Land: Songs of a Restless Country

by Penny Davies & Roger Ilott

Brilliant stories from Australia's history brought to life by two of Australia's best folk performers.
Genre: Folk: Free-folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ballad of Eureka
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
4:22 $0.99
2. Pig & Whistle Roll
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
3:35 $0.99
3. Bare-Legged Kate
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
3:15 $0.99
4. Ringer
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
3:05 $0.99
5. Windy Gully (Song for Mt. Kembla 1902)
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
3:53 $0.99
6. Riverina Dreaming
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
3:45 $0.99
7. Ballad of 1891
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
3:27 $0.99
8. Queenstown
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
2:47 $0.99
9. Saturday at the Races
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
3:48 $0.99
10. The Whistling Train
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
3:37 $0.99
11. A Trawler's Tale
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
2:57 $0.99
12. Timeless Land
Penny Davies & Roger Ilott
2:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
BALLAD OF EUREKA Bob & Margaret Fagan introduced us to Ballad of Eureka when they recorded it on Restless Music's third album, Workers in the Field - Volume 1. The words of Ballad of Eureka were written by teacher/historian Helen Palmer, and were set to music by Doreen Bridges.
In 1854, gold miners, at Ballarat, Victoria built a stockade at the Eureka Goldfield, to protest against unfair licensing laws, and harassment by corrupt Police. The blue and white Eureka flag that flew above the stockade on December 3rd, 1854, when soldiers attacked and killed many miners, has become a symbol of protest for democracy, and rebellion against authoritarian laws.
Vincent P. Brophy recorded his debut album, Down To the Sea in Ships, at Restless Music in 1986. The songs were inspired by the ships and the maritime history of the Illawarra area where he spent many formative years.
The Illawarra Steam Navigation Company served the south coast of NSW from 1858 to the early 1950s. The company visited ports between Sydney and the Victorian border. Besides transporting passengers, the ISNC also carried produce and livestock, and was known colloquially as the 'Pig and Whistle Line'. It was said Pig & Whistle boats would wait an hour for a pig, but not a minute for a passenger.
Sydney songwriter, John Dengate was known mainly for his satirical songs. He wrote this poignant song about his mother, Kate, who experienced a great deal of history throughout her long life. We recorded John on a project for the NSW Railway Unions in 1985, and also on Wilderness - a compilation that we produced for the Wilderness Society in the same year. We first sang Bare-Legged Kate in a concert with Gordon Bok & Carol Rohl, in Rockport, Maine, USA, in 2015, and couldn’t believe we’d never thought of singing the song before.
RINGER We were fortunate to have a long friendship and creative collaboration with Australian folklorist and writer, Bill Scott. After we re-located Restless Music to Storm King, Queensland in 1987, we recorded two albums of Bill performing some of his songs and poems - Hey Rain (1990) and Songbird In Your Pocket (1992). We recorded our own performances of many of Bill’s songs on Opal Miner – Songs of Bill Scott (1999). Ringer is from Bill’s book of poetry, Brother & Brother (1972).
During our time in Balmain in the 1980’s, we recorded several albums for John Broomhall, who also contributed songs to various Restless Music compilations. We have recorded many of his songs on our own albums. John set many Australian poems to music, including this powerful poem by Wollongong poet, Conal Fitzpatrick.
The Mount Kembla Mine disaster happened on July 31st, 1902. An explosion of gas and coal dust, ignited by flames used as torches, killed 96 mine workers. Most of the dead are buried in the remote Windy Gully cemetery,
We recorded six albums for Gary Shearston at Restless Music, Storm King, Queensland, during the last eight years of his life. He wrote and recorded prolifically during this period, always with the expansive environment of Australia as a background. Gary spent some time working as an Anglican minister in the Riverina and, when we recorded the backing track for this song in 2013, Gary felt it captured the essence of that landscape, describing the arrangement as a "mini-symphony".
BALLAD OF 1891 Helen Palmer and Doreen Bridges wrote this historical tour de force. Doreen (the leader of Sydney’s Unity Singers) had been friends with Helen since their time in the air force. Doreen set both Helen's ballads to music in early 1951 for the Unity Singers’ repertoire. Since then both songs have been interpreted by many Australian singers.
In January, 1891, Queensland shearers began a strike to protect their union’s pay and conditions. The strike spread, and, for a few months, central Queensland was a place of civil unrest as striking shearers armed themselves and gathered together in camps. Soldiers were brought in to protect non-union labour, and to arrest strike leaders. The strikers were eventually forced to come to terms – but the strike is considered to have been the catalyst for the formation of the early Australian Labor Party.
QUEENSTOWN Jill Stevens sang in Sydney Folk Clubs in the 1980’s, and recorded two albums - Desert Rain (1987) and Lifeline of the South (1989) at Restless Music. Jill is a geologist, as well as a songwriter, who has always been passionate about ecological issues.
The mountains surrounding Queenstown have exposed pink and grey conglomerate rocks due to the removal of trees for smelter fuel and years of exposure to smelter fumes. High rainfall helped to erode the topsoil back to the rock, creating a strangely beautiful, yet disturbing landscape.
Craig Edmondson started out as a solo singer-songwriter around Sydney in the 1980’s and performs still. He made his first album Bondi Road at Restless Music in 1987 – a collection reflecting life in Sydney at the time. This song was always a favourite of ours - humorously evocative of a specific time and place.
THE WHISTLING TRAIN Enid Hamilton is a Soldier Settlement child from Queensland’s Granite Belt. Now in her 90’s, Enid was part of our Oral History Project, In Search of the Fruit Train, in 2015. Enid inspired this song with her childhood memory of the comforting sound of the train’s whistle across the remote paddocks.
A TRAWLER'S TALE Len Hopkinson, of Tin Can Bay, wrote to us suggesting, "… you should write a song about prawn trawlers", and he included a five page hand-written account of a near-death experience he had while working on a trawler I love a challenge - thanks Len!
TIMELESS LAND Phyl Lobl is a singer/songwriter and teacher who has been active as a performer at Folk Festivals, mainly in Australia, since just before the first National Folk Festival 1967. She describes herself as a Cultural Maintenance Worker who documents the Australian Experience through folklore. We met Phyl often during our time in the NSW folk scene, and recorded Phyl and her husband, Geri Lobl, on Skeleton Flats , in 1987. This song captured us as soon as we read the lyrics – it summarises the history of this restless country in a few potent verses, and shows us where we’re heading if we don’t act for the survival of the planet.



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