Saturday, 30 April 2011

David Hutchison, author of 'Snakes Don’t Die Until Sunset'

What song would the narrator/protagonist of your story sing at a karaoke bar and why?

My story, which is set in the mid to late 1930s, is based on my own childhood, but is substantially fiction. In those days, of course, karaoke was unheard of. Also, at that time we were probably becoming fearful of the then militaristic Japan, and would have been reluctant to adopt anything arising from that nation, although we still bought cheap Japanese manufactured goods, including toys. However, my mother took me and my three brothers to a community sing-along — I have forgotten the actual name given to these gatherings — that were held in the Perth Town Hall every week during part of the year. If my memory is correct, the compere of these functions was Dave Howard, a popular Perth saxophonist in those days. We might have gone several times; we certainly did not go every week.

At these functions, everyone in the audience was urged to join in singing the popular songs of the era — such as ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ — which were very tuneful. The words of each song were projected on a screen. A white dot bounced on each word in a line to the rhythm of the music. This was intended to encourage everyone to sing in tune. This would have been of little help to me, as I was born tone-deaf.

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