A musical adventure to Australia with fun songs about kangaroos, didgeridoos and so much more! Features a kid-friendly Australian recipe.
Australian Playground is a collection of songs that will transport listeners to the magical landscapes of the land down under. Featuring music from some of Australia’s most compelling children’s musicians, Aboriginal groups and singer-songwriters, Australian Playground exemplifies the diversity of Australia’s peoples, cultures, animals and environments.
With “Marrtjina” The NEO and Garrangali invite listeners to embark on a whimsical excursion to a hidden swimming-hole oasis. Marrtjina means “Let’s Go!” in the Aboriginal Yonlgu language from Arnhem Land in north central Australia. A long time boat captain from the islands just off Australia’s northern coast, Seaman Dan adds his unique blend of American style blues and Torres Strait islander music to the collection with “Mango Rain,” which features the strumming of a ukulele alongside Seaman Dan’s bluesy vocals. From Australia’s Central Coast, Joe Hall and The Treehouse Band capture the spirit of childhood in Australia with their song, “Loose Change,” which is all about the joys of a being a kid with no responsibilities beyond just having fun.
Garrangali, which translates to “descendants of the crocodile,” is an Aboriginal band hailing from the remote expanses of North East Arnhem Land. Their song, “Mirri,” features the mystical sound of the didgeridoo and refers to the strings made from a dawu tree, which symbolizes the ancestral pathway connecting two Aboriginal clans. Bob Brown and his friend Wally Johnson wrote “Give Me a Home Among the Gumtrees” in 1974, and it has since become an Australian classic. Today, Bob Brown works as a schoolteacher and performs for children of all ages.
Don Spencer is a famous Australian children’s television presenter who has been writing and performing songs for over fifty years. His song, “Kangaroo (The Super Marsupial),” is an ode to Australia’s iconic, hopping mammal. On her original song, “Random Acts,” Melbourne based singer-songwriter Rosie Burgess sings about how a word or act of kindness has the power to make a person’s cloudy day turn bright. The Band of the South Australia Police was established in 1884 as a volunteer brass band to perform at public parks, gardens and government functions. The band performs “The Road to Gundagai,” an Australian folk song written in 1922, in the style of New Orleans Dixieland jazz.
An Australian folk band from northeast Queensland, Kamerunga takes its name from a small town in the region. They perform the song, “Seisia,” the title of which refers to a piece of land on the northernmost tip of Australia known for the natural beauty of its environment. Probably Australia’s best-known song, “Waltzing Matilda” tells the story of a migrant “swagman” who “waltzes” along the countryside looking for work. On this collection, the song is performed by Lazy Harry, a Melbourne native who now lives in the historic town of Beechworth in the foothills of the Australian Alps.
Australian Playground features a regional recipe for Damper Bread, a food staple for Australian stockmen and drovers (Australian cowboys) in their long treks through the remote outback.