The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90351   Message #2227278
Posted By: sian, west wales
03-Jan-08 - 06:13 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Kookaburra - possible copyright info.
Subject: RE: Origins: Kookaburra - possible copyright info.
I looked this thread up as we've had an enquiry re: Kookaburra copyright here at trac. I see that 'GUEST,boborch' mentioned a possible Welsh connections, and it may be that s/he had been reading a rather wobbly Wikipedia entry on the subject.

Dr Rhidian Griffiths at the National Library of Wales says that the Welsh words were only published to the tune in 1989. If the words are old (and they don't sound as if they are) they wouldn't have been sung to that tune. One of our best musicologists, Phyllis Kinney, says, "I suspect that the Welsh words were written to fit the tune rather than the other way around --- the metre is not a typical Welsh folksong metre and the 'Kookaburra' lines with their masculine endings are quite the opposite of Welsh traditional verse."

It's been recorded at least twice.

I actually used to work for someone in the 1980s who, with several friends, wrote Welsh words to a number of popular English-language 'campfire songs' for use with Welsh young people. I don't know if the Welsh version of Kookaburra is 'one of theirs'.

sian