This old music hall style tune had a song that told a sinister story: A few kids had been convinced to help whitewash a wall at the Hobart Brickworks tower near Battery Point. As a joke, one of the workers laced their lunch with white wash lime– resulting in poisoning and at least one death.
This song came to Tasmania from Suffolk where it was was written in 1896.. about whitewashing walls….when there was an incident in Tasmania where children recruited to whitewash the Hobart Brickworks wall were given lime wash in their lunch sandwiches and fell very ill with at least one death…. new local darker words were adapted…there is an English version (Slap Dab) recorded by Cyril Poacher in the first part of the 20 century, but there is also an American version recorded in the 1920s by The New Arkansas Travelers. Marjorie and Steve perform the tune to the Tasmanian version.
Known around Australia’s as a collector and reviver of traditional Tasmanian music music Steve Gadd also writes songs with an ear to local history. As well as his folkloric music Steve Gadd is well known as a finger-style guitarist and banjo player. He has performed and or supported international masters of the genre.
Marjorie Gadd is a well known classical violinist, folk fiddler and teacher. Marjorie and Steve cofounded the Tasmanian Heritage Fiddle Ensemble and are the musical directors of that ensemble. Together and separately they have written several books on Tasmanian Folk tunes.
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