Okay, I’m going to start publishing song by song all the songs I’ve written. Would like to do this in a book but not sure if there is the demand.

Probably one of the very best songs I’ve written, certainly one of the most daring was `African Summer.’ I wrote it one day when I was living at Coldwell St in Bicton not long after returning from the UK. I wanted to do aurally what impressionist and expressionist artists did on canvas – to assault the listener with an emotional non-linear experience. The Gerald Manly Hopkins words flowed out of me – and this sudden concept of Perth as a weird corruption of Africa loomed in front of me – maybe it was the works of the painter Henri Rousseau, I don’t know but it resulted in something unique – especially thanks to the other guys, who all captured the vibe brilliantly and somehow managed to sing the chant all the way through live. This really is a very original and unique song and I’m proud of it.


AFRICAN SUMMER (Warner 1977) (hit link for the song)

African summer African summer

I’m stretched out on Scarborough beach

Can’t find my way to the OBH

In this Australian summer

What’s the connection between an African summer?

Might as well be wildebeest in the savanna

My t-shirt sweated through in this African summer

My rent’s overdue I feel like a beer how about you

In this African summer.

I caught a boat up the Zambesi or the Swan

Caught a swan up the Botswana bwana

In this Indian summer

Indian Ocean swimmer swummer swam under the narrows in an

African summer

I learned about G for giraffe in the sparse primary convent school

In the early 1960s so don’t try and trick me

This is an African summer

The shark alarms are ringing me home

Ringing my neck ringing with sweat

Like a hippo rhino on the Limpopo in an

African summer

The man, the woman, the man, the nightclub, the nightclub

The John Travolta, the drink beer, the man, the woman.

African night African night

Jumping like chimpanzees in their Staggers and Lees in this

African heat

Humidity under the table in the nightclub

In this African heat

Mosquitos and cars, cars and mosquitos

Neon bananas in an African summer.

I caught a boat up the Zambesi or the tsetse or the Swan

Caught a swan up the Botswana bwana

In this African summer

Now smell my skin producing vitamin D

By the sea and the blare of the radio

Says there’s one inch to go

In this African summer, African summer, African summer.

4 Comments on AFRICAN SUMMER

  1. Have always loved this song. It is so unique and so hypnotic. Still play this album regularly. Thanks so much for the music.

    • Well thank you Alan. Yes, I really didn;t know where the song was going when I wrote it – almost all in my head by the way because it was just the chant. It was one of those songs where you discover the destination as you travel.

    • I really wanted to split a book into several categories because I think the jump between say a funny song about an AFL footballer and Oklahoma is too steep, and people might also enjoy seeing how I think of my songs – although many would be across various categories (eg: personal songs – Australian – monologues could apply to Mugs Game; female pop songs to Kilamanjaro (a song I wrote for my wife to sing) But the reason for the alphabet is purely that with 600 songs it is hard to keep track!

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