Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kookaburra sits in an old gum tree

from w
From the papers – fuss over a line in a kid’s song about a kookaburra.

Kookaburra sits in an old gum tree
merry merry king of the bush is he
laugh kookaburra laugh kookaburra
gay your life must be.

The fuss is about copyright of a kid’s song, and a riff in the great song Down Under. There’s a tiny riff in Down Under that resembles the Oz kid’s song sung at numerous Scout campfires or when a family goes on a long drive in the car. There’s a kerfuffle about who owns the tune. Well, I thought it was a folk tune in the public domain but apparently it was written in about the 30s by a teacher for a jamboree who DID get it listed as copyrighted and Larrikin many years later bought the rights. What a fuss about one line of a song. It seems rather silly to me. The story is in Saturday’s Age newspaper but it has been an on-going saga. There's a website from several months ago discussing it and showing a small video.

Down Under|Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree| copyright |legal ...
25 Jun 2009 ... Did Men at Work's Down Under rip off the children's classic Kookaburra Sits in an Old Gumtree? Listen and see. ...

And the song Down Under is at YouTube -

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