Tuesday, 17 April 2012

16 April 1942–”Our air raid shelter”, a US look at Australia & cotton dresses part 3


On 16 April 1942 Jack Davey recorded the song 'Our Air Raid Shelter'.  At the time his was a very familiar voice on Australian radio and newsreels, as he had joined 2GB in Sydney in 1934 after starting, like many radio personalities, on the vaudeville stage, in his case at Wollongong in New South Wales.

air raid  jack

Here are the lyrics – I love that ‘granny’ is still waring a bustle!:

'Our Air Raid Shelter'

We’ve got a house down by the sea,
We’ve been busy with the ARP,
We’ve built a place where we can hide,
Now it bulges when we get inside.
There’s no more room now in our air raid shelter,
There’s Aunt ‘n Gran ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.
And when the sirens sound we all run helter-skelter,
Just Aunt ‘n Gran ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.
Of course it isn’t very big, and it isn’t very long,
And it isn’t very deep, and it isn’t very strong.
So if a bomb drops take a quick look up at heaven,
For Aunt and Gran and Dad and Mum and me.
It’s made of bags filled up with sand,
And all the neighbours lent a helping hand,
When it was built, we raised a shout,
We rushed in and now we can’t get out.
There’s no more room now in our air raid shelter,
There’s Aunt ‘n Gran ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.
And when our friends drop in it makes it such a welter,
For Aunt ‘n Gran ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.
Old Granny’s causing us concern, though she doesn’t care a bit,
For her bustle sticks outside and may get a direct hit.
And if she pulls it in it makes it worse than ever,
For Aunt ‘n her ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.

You can listen to part of it here. The accent is very larrikin Aussie, be warned!

While I wast trying to find a video of this song, which I now don’t think exists, I found this cute little American movie about ‘what Australia is rally like’.  It is set in Sydney, and some things are pretty accurate, except tea, and not beer, was the most popular drink of the time.  The American accent is so slight compared to now.


tea, I swear!

cotton 3

Above is part 3 of the cotton frock series. Sweet!

Go put a bee in someone’s bonnet!

Deb xxx

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