Ask Warren Fahey a question


You would not believe the crazy questions I have been asked over the years. Well, sometimes they seem crazy but this is a crazy world we live in. I am always happy to try and answer queries about Australian history and folklore. Obviously I don’t always have the answer but I might be able to steer you in the right direction. Recently the NSW Water Board asked me if there were any songs from the first quarter of the 20th century that mentioned the Water Board – I said it was highly unlikely (but not impossible). I did search my files, especially songsters and found songs about local councils, the Fire Brigade, gas lighting etc., but no songs about the Water Board. My next step was to check TROVE – no Water Board songs. But I did find some songs from the music hall tradition that might be useful for their music request (they were making a short film for one of their heritage sites that supplied water to Sydney’s north shore). Another request asked about songs about dentistry – yes, I had some from the 19th century. Many of the questions I receive relate to old songs half-remembered and these are always fun to follow-up as they show how songs change and variations circulate. Getting asked these somewhat sideways questions usually makes me think about areas of history and folklore I hadn’t considered. Ask me questions and maybe the answer will end up on this site! So, never feel shy about asking me questions.