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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

The Kookaburra Song

By Marion Sinclair in 1932

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Kookaburra Song on

Marion Sinclair wrote the song in 1932 for a contest being held by the Victorian Girl Guides.

The competition was for an 'Australian round' song. Her song, the Kookaburra Song won and was introduced by Marion at the World Jamboree in Frankston, Victoria in 1934. It was instantly a hit with the girls and has become a much loved song all over the world.

This is a fun children's song. A gum tree is a name for the eucalyptus tree. There are more gum trees than any other kind of tree in Australia.

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The Kookaburra song was involved in a copyright dispute with the Aussie band Men at Work over their song (I come from the land) Down Under.

Listen to the music

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Eating all the gum drops he can see.
Stop Kookaburra, stop Kookaburra
Save some there for me!

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Counting all the monkeys he can see.
Laugh Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra
That's not a monkey, that's me!

Alternative verses

Kookaburra sits on the electric wire,
Jumping up and down, with his pants on fire.
Ouch, Kookaburra, ouch! Kookaburra,
Hot your tail must be!

Kookaburra sits on a rusty nail,
Gets a boo-boo in his tail.
Cry, Kookaburra, cry, Kookaburra,
Oh how life can be!

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Eating all the gum drops he can see.
Laugh Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra
Gay your life must be!

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