Can teenage Boys Appreciate Classical Music?
by Nathan Deane (aged 16)

The simple answer to this question is, of course they can. Teenage boys can do anything they set their minds to.

I'd never really listened to any music other than rock and pop until I met Robbie. Robbie's a classically-trained pianist so, naturally, he knows heaps of stuff about all different types of music. He was a bit embarrassed about letting me hear him play the piano, at first, because he thought  I'd think he was weird. I've got to say I was pretty curious and, probably because of that, along with the fact that I already admired him so much, I really listened to the first piece he ever played for me. That's how I got hooked. You see, you've got to put a lot more concentration into appreciating classical pieces than you do for any other type of music because the composers put so much technique, skill and emotion into their work. Some classical music has what's called a 'program'. That just means it's meant to paint a picture or tell a story - a bit like a poem. You can't just listen to music like that in the background: You've got to really put some effort into understanding what the composer is trying to say to you.

Okay, so classical music may not be your thing. That doesn't mean you have to be totally ignorant of it though. Adults are always criticising us teenage boys for being too narrow minded. We've got to stop that from happening by broadening our horizons - and music is a good place to start. All the great composers were once teenagers themselves and many of them, such Mendelsohnn and Mozart composed great works while they were still teenagers.

Our friend Darren Collins says that too many kids we know are like sheep and just follow what everyone else does. Maybe he's right. One thing's for sure, the world doesn't need more sheep! Music is a very personal thing. We don't expect everyone to be like us, but we do hope that other boys don't do stuff just because all their mates seem to be doing it.


Classic Music
by Robbie White (aged 16)

As you know, Nath and I are right into classical music. Here's the first piece Nath ever heard me play on the piano:

Traumerei by Robert Schumann played by Arthur Rubinstein

Here's another of our favourites (but if you want to hear the whole thing you'll have to buy the CD):

Violin Concerto in E Minor by Felix Mendelsohnn played by Isaac Stern

Another favourite composer of ours is Ralph Vaughan Williams. Here are some pieces by him that we really like:

English Folk Song Suite

Fantasia on Greensleeves

The Lark Ascending


Nath's Songs

In The Expanding Family Nath sings a song called The Rest of the Day's Your Own for the old folk at the Shell Bay retirement home. Here are the words - they're really clever, but you can see how hard they'd be to learn:

The Rest of the Day's Your Own
Written by Jack Lane

One day when I was out of work, a job I went to seek
To be a Farmer's Boy.
At last I found an easy job at a half-a-crown a week -
To be a Farmer's Boy.
The farmer said 'I think I've got the very job for you,
Your duties will be light for this is all you've got to do:
Rise at three every morn,
Milk the cow with the crumpled horn,
Feed the pigs, clean the sty,
Teach the pigeons the way to fly,
Plough the fields, mow the hay,
Help the cocks and the hens to lay,
Sow the seed, tend the crops,
Chase the flies from the turnip tops,
Clean the knives, black the shoes,
Scrub the kitchen and sweep the flues,
Help the wife, wash the pots,
Grow the cabbages and car-rots.
Make the bed, dust the coals,
Mend the gramophone,
And then if there's no more work to do -
The rest of the day's your own.'

I scratched my head and thought it would be absolutely prime
To be a Farmer's Boy.
The farmer said, 'Of course you'll have to do some overtime
When you're a Farmer's boy.'
Said he, 'The duties that I've given you, you'll be quickly through,
So I've been thinking of a few more things that you can do:
Skim the milk, make the cheese,
Chop the meat for the sausagees,
Bath the kids, mend their clothes,
Use your dial to scare the crows,
In the milk put the chalk,
Shave the knobs off the pickled pork,
Shoe the horse, rake the coal,
Take the cat for his midnight stroll,
Cook the food, scrub the stairs,
Teach the parrot to say his prayers,
Roast the joint, bake the bread,
Shake the feathers up in the bed,
When the wife has got the gout,
Rub her funny-bone,
And then if there's no more work to do -
The rest of the day's your own.'

I thought it was a shame to take his money, you can bet
To be a Farmer's Boy,
And so I wrote my duties down in case I should forget
I was a Farmer's Boy.
I took all night to write 'em down, I didn't go to bed,
But somehow I got all mixed up and this is how it read:
Rise at three every morn,
Milk the hen with the crumpled horn,
Scrub the wife every day,
Teach the nanny-goat how to lay,
Shave the cat, mend the cheese,
Fit the tights on the sausagees,
Bath the pigs, break the pots,
Boil the kids with a few car-rots,
Roast the horse, dust the bread,
Put the cocks and the hens to bed,
Boots and shoes black with chalk,
Shave the hair on the pickled pork -
All the rest I forgot, somehow it has flown,
But I got the sack this morning,
So the rest of my life's my own.

After his success with The Rest of the Day's Your Own, my music teacher, Mrs Davis, suggested that Nath sing I've Been Everywhere. I've copied the words below. Unless you're Australian you mightn't be able to pronounce all the names - but just imagine trying to remember them all and sing them to a really fast tune without getting tongue-tied - Nath had it off perfect in a day. He's a genius:

I've Been Everywhere
by Geoff Mack 

Well, I was humpin' my bluey on the dusty Oodnadatta road, 
When along came a semi with a high and canvas-covered load. 
(Spoken) "If you're goin' to Oodnadatta, mate, um, with me you can ride." 
So I climbed in the cabin and I settled down inside. 
He asked me if I'd seen a road with so much dust and sand, I said 
"Listen, mate, I've travelled ev'ry road in this here land." 
Cos "I've been everywhere, man, 
I've been everywhere, man. 
'Cross the deserts bare, man; 
I've breathed the mountain air, man. 
Of travel I've had my share, man. 
I've been ev'rywhere. 
Been to: 
Tullamore, Seymour, Lismore, Mooloolaba
Nambour, Maroochydore, Kilmore, Murwillumbah, 
Birdsville, Emmaville, Wallaville, Cunnamulla, 
Condamine, Strathpine, Proserpine, Ulladulla, 
Darwin, Gin Gin, Deniliquin, Muckadilla, 
Wallumbilla, Boggabilla, Kumbarilla, 
I'm a killer. 

(Spoken) "Yeah but listen here, mate, have you been to..." 
I've been to Moree, Taree, Jerilderie, Bambaroo, 
Toowoomba, Gunnedah, Caringbah, Woolloomooloo, 
Dalveen, Tamborine, Engadine, Jindabyne, 
Lithgow, Casino, Brigalow and Narromine, 
Megalong, Wyong, Tuggerawong, Wangarella, 
Morella, Augathella, Brindabella, I'm the feller. 

(Spoken) "Yeah, I know that, but have you been to..." 
I've been to Wollongong, Geelong, Kurrajong, Mullumbimby, 
Mittagong, Molong, Grong Grong, Goondiwindi, 
Yarra Yarra, Boroondara, Wallangarra, Turramurra, 
Boggabri, Gundagai, Narrabri, Tibooburra, 
Gulgong, Adelong, Billabong, Cabramatta, 
Parramatta, Wangaratta, Coolangatta, what's it matter? 

(Spoken) "Yeah, look that's fine, but how about..." 
I've been to Ettalong, Dandenong, Woodenbong, Ballarat, 
Canberra, Milperra, Unanderra, Captain's Flat, 
Cloncurry, River Murray, Kurri Kurri, Girraween, 
Terrigal, Fingal, Stockinbingal, Collaroy and Narrabeen, 
Bendigo, Dorrigo, Bangalow, Indooroopilly, 
Kirribilli, Yeerongpilly, Wollondilly, don't be silly. 

I've been here, there, ev'rywhere, I've been ev'rywhere. 
(Spoken) "Okay, mate, you've been ev'ry place except one, and ya don't need my help t'get there." 

This site rated TB
(Teenage Boys only)
Ordinary boys can do extraordinary things
Sheep-free zone
(for guys who don't just follow the flock)