Cinderella
Cinderella

Cinderella, my sixth album, with this one comprising eighteen of Henry Lawson’s lesser-known poems (such as ‘Cinderella’) that I have set to music. The album features a variety of backing instruments, including violin, cello, piano, harp, piano accordion, harmonica, mandolin, glockenspiel and percussion.

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Cinderella

After completing my John Shaw Neilson album, ‘The Walking of the Moon-Woman’, later than planned due to Covid lockdowns in Melbourne, I lost no time embarking on my next album of lesser-known poems by Henry Lawson. I hoped to complete if before the end of 2022 to celebrate the centenary of Lawson’s death in 1922, but time defeated me –  due to our multiple lockdowns again – and I finally launched the album in 2023 and 2024.

I chose the name ‘Cinderella’ as I thought it was a word one would never associate with Henry Lawson, and I found his poem of the same name quite intriguing with its sad and whimsical message about the loss of fairies and handsome princes. Other poems by Lawson that I chose to set to music and record cover a wide range of themes – from his nostalgia and love of nature (as in ‘The Stringy-Bark Tree’ , ‘Eurunderee’, ‘The Lily and the Bee’ and ‘The Song and the Sigh’) to poems for or about his two children, Jim and Bertha, to more light-hearted verse about love and bushranging (‘Mary Lemaine’ and ‘The Drover’s Sweetheart’), and a few sadder poems. These last included ‘The Cliffs’ and ‘The Light on the Wreck’ plus ‘To Hannah’ (his lost love) and ‘There’s a Bunk in the Humpy’ (about an old man’s rift with his son) and the rousing ‘The Route March’ written in 1915 during World War One, which was great fun to record and perform with multiple instruments and sound effects. Hopefully, my album will help to promote Henry Lawson as a poet as much as a short story writer and to keep his verse living on.