Phyl Lobl

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Derby is an old tin mining town on Tasmania’s East coast. The walls of the local hall were lined with pressed tin which really spread the sound around. The caretaker told me of activities regularly held in the hall over the years. They reflected those I had experienced in a small hall at Newham near the base of Hanging Rock (yes THAT Hanging Rock) which made this an easy piece of nostalgia to write.

 

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DERBY HALL

Words & Music: Phyl Lobl

On a dampened Derby morning when the clouds string out like washing
And you see the mine bones pushing through the patches in the fog.
Past the dinosaured remains you can hear the old time tunes,
Floating far beyond the mullock and the ragged heaps of slag,
'Varsoviana' and 'Mazurka 'bouncing off the tin lined walls.
Paint in faint and fading pictures memories of the Derby Hall.

From the concerts came the sounds of La Paloma played on gumleaf,
The songs of Gladys Moncrief, cover versions by the score.
Lilting Irish tenor voices that had just begun to harden,
While sopranos murdered fairies at the bottom of the garden,
'Road To Mandalay' and 'Aves' bouncing off the tin lined walls.
Paint in faint and fading pictures memories of the Derby Hall.

When the boys went to the fighting serving under foreign skies,
There were memorable evenings of farewells with sad goodbyes.
And when the boys came back again the welcomes were the same,
Though there weren't so many of them, just that list of golden names,
But the 'Last Post' and 'Revielle' bouncing off the tin lined walls.
Paint in faint and fading pictures memories of the Derby Hall.

What a proud and wondrous moment when the 'queen-of-queens' was crowned,
How they'd laboured over dresses matching trinkets they had found.
There was taffeta with laces, marcasite with pearls,
Such a powdering of faces for the prettiest of girls,
'Fox Trot', 'Gypsy Tap' and Tango bouncing off the tin lined walls.
Paint in faint and fading pictures memories of the Derby Hall.

There were fetes with stalls and toffees and fancy dress parading
With costumes a kaleidoscope of shifting shapes and shading.
But now there is the TV and in these later days,
The hall is used for indoor cricket, sport and exercise,
Shuttle cock and plastic ping pong bouncing off the tin lined walls.
Paint out faint and fading pictures memories of the Derby Hall.
Paint out faint and fading pictures memories of the Derby Hall.

 

 

 
 
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