Phyl Lobl

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Many years ago, when singing in a backyard in Beaumaris (Victoria), a nearby resident knocked on the door and suggested the following marriage of words and tune. His name was Dick Bell. It seemed an appropriate thing to do. I've adapted a verse to be a chorus and made some more minor changes. Bellbirds are a signal of nearby water to thirsty bushwhackers. 

 

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BELLBIRDS

(Henry Kendall 1839-1882 Tune Traditional Spinning Wheel adapted Lobl)

By channels of coolness the echoes are calling,
Down the dim gorges I hear the creek falling,
It lives in the mountains where rock and the sedges,
Paint with their beauty the banks and the ledges,
The silver voiced bellbirds, the darlings of daytime
Sing in September the songs of the Springtime,
When rain and the sunbeams shine mingled together,
They start up like fairies that follow fair weather.

Softer than slumber sweeter than singing,
Notes of bellbirds running and ringing,
Over creeks till the bushland has heeded the warning,
For bellbirds will tell of the wings of the morning.


October the maiden of bright yellow tresses,
Loiters for love in cool wildernesses,
Loiters knee deep in the grasses to listen,
Where dripping rocks gleam and leafy pools glisten,
When fiery December sets foot in the forest,
The need of the wayfarer presses the sorest,
With ring and with ripple for ever and ever,
Bellbirds direct them to spring or to river.

Often I sit looking back to a childhood,
Mixed with sights and the sounds of the wild wood,
Longing for power and the sweetness to fashion,
Lyrics with notes like the heartbeats of passion,
Songs interwoven of lights and of laughter,
Borrowed from bellbirds in far forest rafters,
So I might keep in the city's grey alleys,
The beauty and strength of the deep mountain valleys.

 

 

 
 
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