Tie me kangaroo down, sport
(By Rolf Harris 1957)

(The first part of the song is spoken)
There's an old Australian stockman lying dying
And he gets himself up onto one elbow
And he turns to his mates who are gathered around
And he says:

Watch me wallabies feed, mate
Watch me wallabies feed
They're a dangerous breed, mate
So watch me wallabies feed

All together now
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down

Keep me cockatoo cool, Curl
Keep me cockatoo cool
Don't go away from the fool, Curl
Just keep me cockatoo cool

All together now
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down

And take me koala back, Jack
Take me koala back
He lives somewhere out on the track, Mack
So take me koala back

All together now
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down

Let me abos go loose, Lou
Let me abos go loose
They're of no further use, Lou
So let me abos go loose

All together now
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down

And mind me platypus duck, Bill
Mind me platypus duck
Oh, don't let him go running amuck, Bill
Just mind me platypus duck

All together now
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down

Play your didgeridoo, Blue
Play your didgeridoo
Oh, like keep playing till I shoot through, Blue
Play your didgeridoo

All together now
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down

Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred
Tan me hide when I'm dead
So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde
And that's it hanging on the shed

All together now
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" is a song written by Rolf Harris in 1957 which became a hit
across the world in the 1960s. Inspired by Harry Belafonte's calypsos, it is about an Australian
stockman on his deathbed. The song is one of the best known and most successful Australian
songs.

Rolf Harris offered four unknown backing musicians 10 percent of the royalties for the song,
but they decided to take a recording fee of 28 pounds between them because they thought
the song would be a flop[1]

The recording of the song, with Rolf Harris, peaked at Billboard position #3 in 1963. Harris re-recorded it along with
The Wiggles in 2005. It is still popular today as a children's song.

The fourth verse was removed circa 1960, because of its use of the word Abo, a now offensive slang term for
Aboriginal Australians, and because of its implied racist context.
(I did post it here in the song)

The verse appears to make light of Aboriginal servitude and captivity in that the stockman emancipated his captives
only at his death, when they were "of no further use" to him. In addition, because the rest of the song refers to
animals in captivity, some listeners might infer a comparison of Indigenous Australians to animals or their
characterization as subhuman. The offending verse did not feature in later versions of the song. In 2006 Harris
expressed his regret about the original lyrics.

The distinctive sound of Harris's original recording was achieved by the use of an instrument of his own design
called the "wobble board", which gives off a gloop-gloop sound, like water going down the drain.

The first wobble board

The first wobble board was created by Rolf when he was trying to dry the background board for a painting. The
painting was on hardboard and in an effort to dry the painting he used a heater to heat the hardboard and dry the
base paint. As it was drying Rolf felt the board and it was so hot he burnt his finger. To prevent the board busting
into flames Rolf picked up the board and held the board between his palms and wobbled it to cool it. Rolf kept the
painting wobbleboard and it toured the world with him. This all happened in 1957. In 1960 the wobble sound was
included on the record "Tie me Kangaroo down Sport" which became an instant international hit for Rolf. When the
orginal wobbleboard began to crack Rolf replacd it with the "Stairway to heaven" board currently in use.
Rolf's Website


What's a wobble board and how do you make one?

Rolf Harris gives this answer on stage and during interviews.
"The first wobble board was made of 2 foot by 3 foot 1/10th inch thick hardboard, although they can be made
slightly smaller. There is a slight indentation in the middle of each short side so the hands don't slip when playing.
This needs to be as wide as the hand and about 1/4 inch deep. It is played, not by gripping the board with the
fingers, but by propping it between the palms of the hands and bouncing it, accenting every second beat, or off
beat, as it's called. If you haven't got a really good sense of rhythm, don't try to play one.


Kangaroe-eiland


Dit is het geluid van een haastige kangoeroe
Radeloos, redeloos, reddeloos
Want tijdens haar middagtukkie
Is zoonlief uit 's moeders buidel geslopen
Nieuwsgierig naar de wijde wereld
Nu gaat ze rond bij haar buurvrouw, en ze vraagt

Heije Henkie gezien, Sien
Heije Henkie gezien
Nee, maar misschien tante Stien, Mien
Heit die Henkie gezien

En met z'n allen nou
Op een kangoeroe eiland, waar je kangoeroes vindt
Zoekt een kangoeroe moeder naar d'r kangoeroe kind

Ach wat is dat kind snel, Nel
Ik sloot m'n ogen een tel
En toen zonder vaarwel, Nel
Kroop 'ie uit m'n buidel

En met z'n allen nou
Op een kangoeroe eiland, waar je kangoeroes vindt
Zoekt een kangoeroe moeder naar d'r kangoeroe kind

Laatst nog kreeg 'ie een jojo
In m'n buidel cadeau
Hahaha, nou ik sprong als een vlo, Jo
Dat ding dat kriebelde zo

En met z'n allen nou
Op een kangoeroe eiland, waar je kangoeroes vindt
Zoekt een kangoeroe moeder naar d'r kangoeroe kind

Oh, ik ben toch zo ongeruus Truus
Ik ben toch zo ongeruus
Pa gooit me zonder excuus Truus
Als ik zo leeg thuis kom uit huus

En met z'n allen nou
Op een kangoeroe eiland, waar je kangoeroes vindt
Zoekt een kangoeroe moeder naar d'r kangoeroe kind

Oh kijk nou weer eens aan, Sjaan
Wat 'ie nou weer het gedaan
Hij was, en dat lapt 'ie me nou altijd
Tussen m'n voering gegaan

En met z'n allen nou
Op een kangoeroe eiland, waar je kangoeroes vindt
Gaat een kangoeroe moeder met d'r kangoeroe kind
Met d'r kangoeroe kind


Harris/André Meurs
Wallabies.
Cockatoo
Koala congo line
Australian Aboriginals
Platypus duck
Didgeredoo
Rolf Harris and his "Stairway
to Heaven" Wobble board.
Rolf Harris


Kangaroo island
The words are quite different, and kind of funny,
so I did a quick translation. Sonja

This is the sound of a rushed kangaroo
Desperate, irrational, lost
Because during her midday nap
Junior sneaked out of his mothers pouch.
Curious about the outside world.
Now she is going to all the neighbors, and she asks:

Did you see little Henry, Sien
Did you see little Henry
No, but maybe aunt Stien, Mien
did she see little henry

And now all together
On a kangaroo island, where you will find kangaroos
A kangaroo mother is looking for her kangaroo child

Oh, what is that child fast, Nel
I close my eyes for a second
And then without a fare well, Nel
He sneaked out of my pouch

And all together now
On a kangaroo island, where you will find kangaroos
A kangaroo mother is looking for her kangaroo child

Recently he got a yo-yo
in my pouch as a present
Hahaha, that made me jump like a flea, Jo
That thing tickled so much

And all together now
On a kangaroo island, where you will find kangaroos
A kangaroo mother is looking for her kangaroo child

Oh, I am so worried, Truus
I am so worried
Pa, throws me without any excuse, Truus
out of the house if I come home so empty

And all together now
On a kangaroo island, where you will find kangaroos
A kangaroo mother is looking for her kangaroo child

Oh look now at this, Sjaan
What he has done again
He was, and he does it all the time
in between my lining

And all together now
On a kangaroo island, where you will find kangaroos
Goes a kangaroo mother with her kangaroo child
With her kangaroe child