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Radum, scadum, rubbidio! : voices and piano

by Michael Atherton (1980)

Radum scadum

Out of Print

This item is out-of-print. We regret that it cannot be purchased from the Australian Music Centre.


Radum scadum / Michael Atherton.

Library shelf no. CD 40 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

I was a member of the Renaissance Players between 1974-1981 and composed a few light music songs for its Christmas Pudding concerts, including 'Radum, Scadum, Rubbidio!', which is a parody of the English cumulative song, 'Green grow the rushes O'. I Australianised it to celebrate and mimic our animals, and included the archetypal swagman and his jumbuck.

Winsome Evans, the 'domina' of the Renaissance Players, augmented my piano accompaniment, with her consummate keyboard continuo skills. I played guitar and blues harmonica in the first performance and sang in the chorus. In addition, I provided stage directions based on the gestural habits and vocal sounds of each animal mentioned in the song.

I remember vividly the wonderful soprano, Sue Falk, who sang the kookaburra verse, adding her own riotous 'kooka' calls. And then there was Stephen Bennett, a man with a marvellously mellifluous bass voice. He did a great swagman.

Performances of 'Radum, Scadum, Rubbidio!' will benefit from a workshop approach, exploring the song's theatrical possibilities. Performers are free to substitute different animals, and the song may be performed with any number of verses. The only proviso is that a performance should be fun, ocker, and given to a bit of cheesy pantomime.

Work Details

Year: 1980

Instrumentation: Voices, piano.

Duration: 7 min.

Revised 2014

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