MRS FLORENCE BRYANT
Mrs Bryant’s family were ‘share farmers’ and in the interview she talks about early bush life including:
Later on tape Mrs Bryant explains papering walls with newspaper, which was replaced when it got ‘shabby’ and how they devised games using the news copy and pictures.
Talks about old time recreation especially dances mentioning music on the concertina and how they danced the old time waltz, lancers, first set and her favourite, the waltz cotillion.
Talks about singing at dances and especially the popular songs like ‘It’s a bit, bit, bit too hard’, ‘Wee Doch & Doris’ and ‘Only a Leaf’
Talks about transport to dances. “The family would walk five miles to the hall. Recalls family’s first car (Chevrolet). “We would stay all night and go from dance to work.”
Talks about Sunday night singabouts at home with anything up to 20 people around the piano.
Talks about Mother playing the Jew’s harp and explains technique of instrument – “like blowing on a comb and tissue paper’
Talks about the concertina – “Boys used to call them squeezeboxes” and they were very popular at dances.
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Talks about dances and the jolly Miller which commences with a couple’s waltz then changes to a march tune – the couples now form a circle (like a progressive barn dance form) and the band plays and couples sing:
The Jolly Miller
There was a jolly miller
“Dance commences with couples waltzing like in a barn dance then the music changes to a march time and the couples form a circle.
This Little Piggy
This little piggy went to market
How I recall my dear old mother, putting me to bed
Years have passed and it’s still my favourite poem
Only A Leaf
Sings part and adds “This girl was engaged to this fellow and he came home and found her in the arms of another man – her brother!”
The Luggage Van Ahead
Just Plain Folk
First line: To a mansion in the city came a couple old and grey
The Black Sheep
First line: There was a man, who had three sons, both Jack & Tom were sly
The Wattle Song
Four Little Pussy Cats