The Fiddle Music of Joe Yates

By Catherine Ovenden, Wendy Hodgins, Steve Cook, Barry McDonald and Jeremy Dunlop

  1. Hill End
    Turon River Mazurkas
    Mr Ivery
    Skillet Pot
  2. Wooden Whistle
    Wonky Clock
    Paddy O’Carroll
    Lachy McGrath
  3. Come Where The Wattle Are Blooming (song)
  4. Elder Statesman (air)
    Elder Statesman
    Bonnie Schottische
  5. Third At Doomben
    Drover Set Tune
    Button Hole Set Tune
    Loose Change
  6. Putcha Little Foot
    Silver Bells
  7. Sweet William (song)
  8. May Eleven
  9. The Weird
    Blow Ye Winds Southerly
    The Halting
  10. Polly
    The Spotted Hen
    Sparrow Hop
  11. Cheer Boys Cheer (me Mother’s Got A Mangle) Schottishe
    High Low Loopy Schottische
    There Was An Old Woman
    Silver Eye

One comment

a bit of background info on Joe Yates

"Old Joe" Yates is regarded as one of Australia’s richest sources of rare colonial dance music and songs. Yates was recorded by field collectors John Meredith, Chris Sullivan and Mike Martin throughout the 1980s and over 150 separate tunes and songs were documented as a result of these interviews. Yates grew up in central New South Wales and remained in the region for the duration of his life. He was born into a musical family and learnt to play music aurally, teaching himself to play the fiddle and flute at a young age. Both his father and grandfather were fiddle players and his ten siblings also learnt to play various instruments including the mandolin, violin, English concertina and German concertina. Yates learnt many popular dance tunes from his grandfather, who came from Yorkshire to Australia about 1850 and became a pioneer gold prospector near Bathurst. He also learnt much of his material from his father and siblings including comic music-hall songs popular at the turn of the century. Yates regularly played for local and regional dances and was locally renowned as a dance caller. Many of the tunes collected from Yates were not identified by name, but rather the dance style that they represented. Such styles included jigs and reels, hornpipes, strathspeys, polkas, varsoviennas and waltzes. These tunes were characteristically passed down aurally through many generations and in this way much of the dance music popular in the NSW goldfields from the period 1850-1950 has been preserved. Yates was fourteen when he left school and worked at various occupations throughout his life, mostly as a farm labourer. He had a comprehensive knowledge of flora and fauna found in the district and toward the end of his life he wrote and published two books. The first was a compilation of his own poems titled Out Sofala Way, and the other a book of stories and observations of the bush called A Bushman’s Scrapbook. [National Library of Australia website]