Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Yarra Moments
Like all rivers, the Yarra is more than water. It flows with love and memories and rites of passage. Sample musings from those who know and love the Yarra

I was looking for photos of the Yarra. When I lived downstream, I'd walk around the high cliffs opposite the Breweries with m'dog every day, sometimes humming the Whirling Furphies' My Brown Yarra which was released when when Doug was about two. My black dog used to jump into the river collecting bacteria in his ears, sometimes retrieving frisbees sometimes running with the wolves bears. To have buried him within that well marked territory would have been quite fitting.
There is more on the song among the stories at Yarra Moments
Over 17 years the song that began as “a nasty little poem” has become Melbourne’s unofficial anthem. “Somehow it clicks with people’s memories and hearts. Expats have been in tears when hearing it overseas because, I think, it’s a song about home, rather than just about the Yarra
(you can hear it here)

And there is a great(dane) dog tale in Horace Sierak's wonderful My Half at Rudder
As time went on, Pete grew up alongside my brother and I. He would join us for swims in the river during the summer months when it was hot. He particularly enjoyed sharing in a canoe ride whenever anybody would take him.


Anonymous said...


boynton said...


(I did hear from someone (not a bot)that they couldn't post a comment yeaterday, and he was going to shout me a question I think.)

Tony.T said...

I'm sitting here wondering if I've ever heard "Melbourne's unofficial anthem".

boynton said...

It's a grand old Jag?

Tony.T said...

Not even a happy stream at Hawthorn.

boynton said...

But it is a happy stream at Hawthorn

(Sorry for non-melburnians/non AFL-song enthusiasts for the lapse into strange football-code here.)

Tony.T said...


boynton said...

I rarely have an aim y'know.

(Meanwhile this thread is meandering way off course...)

Nabakov said...

I've never heard "My Brown Yarra" either. Actually it does sound like a naughty post-match shower song though.

However, some hip new band looking to revive the the whole mid-late sixties punk thang a la "Nuggets" could rework The Standells "Dirty Water" thus.

I'm gonna tell you a story
I'm gonna tell you about my town
I'm gonna tell you a big bad story, baby
Aww, it's all about my town

Yeah, down by the river
Down by the banks of the river Yarra (aw, that's what's happenin' baby)
That's where you'll find me
Along with lovers, fuggers, and thieves (aw, but they're cool people)
Well I love that dirty water
Oh, Melbourne, you're my home (oh, you're the Number One place)
Frustrated women (I mean they're frustrated)
Have to be in by twelve o'clock (oh, that's a shame)
But I'm wishin' and a-hopin, oh
That just once those doors weren't locked (I like to save time for
my baby to walk around)
Well I love that dirty water
Oh, Melbourne, you're my home (oh, yeah)

Because I love that dirty water
Oh, oh, Melbourne, you're my home (oh, yeah)

Well, I love that dirty water (I love it, baby)
I love that dirty water (I love Baw-stun)
I love that dirty water (Have you heard about the Strangler?)
I love that dirty water (I'm the man, I'm the man)
I love that dirty water (Owww!)
I love that dirty water (Come on, come on) [fade]"

- with apologies to Ed Cobb.

boynton said...

That's great.
(And he was a Mouseketeer)

I like one of the comments there by Hoctor:
you yuppies shouldn't make it all about you the song has nothing to do with your Boston/LA bullshit...they were from LA and the song is losely based on their producer Ed Cobb's (and author of one of the greatest rock and roll songs ever) experience in and around Cambridge MA one drunken night, he found them playing covers in a bar when he got back to LA and produced their records and Brenda Holloway and others, learn something you boomer schmuck and youngins

also how about:

Yarra River
Yarra River is in my mind and in my eyes
Yarra River
Yarra River is in my blood, it's the place I love

Got no time for explanations
Got no time to lose
Tomorrow night you'll find me sleeping underneath the moon
At Yarra River