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Australian Christmas Carols

A phone interview with a Junior Red Cross member who was in Ernst's Red Cross Circle led me on another research track. She told me that Ernst's pride in Australia was obvious at Christmas time with the regular singing of Australian Christmas Carols. I was given two clues:  
a) written by a Melbourne man  
b) one carol was about 'Brolgas dancing'. 
I believe the lyrics they sang were those written by ABC staff writer John Wheeler to music by William James. 
       
THE CAROL OF THE BIRDS
1. Out on the plains the brolgas are dancing
Lifting their feet like warhorses prancing
Up to the sun the woodlarks go winging
Faint in the dawn light echoes their singing

Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day.
2. Down where the tree ferns grow by the river
There where the waters sparkle and quiver
Deep in the gullies bell-birds are chiming
Softly and sweetly their lyric notes rhyming
Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day.
 
3. Friar birds sip the nectar of flowers
Currawongs chant in wattle tree bowers
In the blue ranges lorikeets calling
Carols of bush birds rising and falling
Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day. 

Christmas carols traditionally remind us of holly, ivy and snow, but William James, Australian composer and Musical Director of the A.B.C., and John Wheeler think there should be some typically Australian carols, and have written a group, "Five Australian Carols," simple and effective, describing the Australian Christmas "of golden weather, the birds that hail the glad tidings, and of air that is Christmas Carols not thick with snow but dry with summer heat." (1948, December 9). Albany Advertiser. 

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