More ditties from the Dave Warner songbook

Continuing my trek through the 600 + songs I’ve written, today I’m going cabaret. Yes, I know my best known (and probably best loved) songs are the hard-core, rock, monologues but I love to write in all styles. I guess as a kid, I was lucky enough to have a mum that played everything from musicals to jazz on our phonogram. ‘South Pacific’ lived alongside Dakota Staton. So I grew up with 360 degree musical exposure, not much classical I admit but there were the ballet records.

After I did my one-man show `Australian Heroes’ in Sydney in 1987 I toyed with idea of doing more comedy and cabaret shows. When John Ryan (aka Johnny Leopard) joined me I did a few stand-up shows but never performed these two tunes. The first is original, the second to the tune of `These Foolish Things’.

THE ABC (1988)

C                  Am                      F           G   

What would we do without our darling ABC

C              Am                      F                           G

Who’d highlight castles from the sixteenth century?

C                          Am               F                                 G

And specialise in specials on the plight of chimpanzees

C                   Am                  F              G

Night after night after night after night

C                                     F            G7    C

If we didn’t have the ABC to put us right

Who’d employ John Jost but the darling ABC

There’d be no other post for his flagrant vanity

And how would academics ever make TV

Night after night after night

If we didn’t have the ABC to put us right


There’d be no sports reports with a modicum of wit


Just a great black hole where Drew Morphett used to sit


There’d be no investigative slinging of manure


Just a large downturn in pastel Walpamur


There’d be no Schilberger no smug Ollie

Am                                           G7

No Clive Hansen just Fred Stolle

And how could we live without our darling ABC

Playing seven Mozart symphonies – all concurrently

And who’d bore us silly with repeat British comedies night after night after night

If we didn’t have the ABC to put us right!


A STUDENT MUST BEAR (To These Foolish Things)

A broken dunny in the next apartment

A mattress harder than the Darling ‘scarpment

A rusty old syringe

These are the things

A student must bear

A reefer stuffed inside an unused textbook

A wine-stained essay and a tutor’s vexed look

A quick tequila binge

These are the things

A student must bear

No place, to park

Full bus and squeeze

Rock bands in refectories

Your head on an unflushed lavatory

Shingles, herpes aids and maybe typhoid

Are little blights that heighten students’ life voids

Scabies flu and mange

This is the range a student must bear

And through it all the certain knowledge

That on your last day when you quit the college

Your prized degree attained

You’ll start again

to loiter in the queue –

The dole was meant for you

Post student blue.

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