Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Georgia Lee Sings the Blues Down Under (1962)

Your version of Flash is out of date. Upgrade now if you'd like to access our high quality videos.
May contain names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Email a link to this page
To:
CC:
Subject:
Body:
clip
  • 1
‘Yarra River Blues’

Clip description

'Yarra River Blues’ is one of two Australian tracks to feature on Georgia Lee’s 1962 album ‘Georgia Lee Sings The Blues’.

Curator’s notes

‘Yarra River Blues’ and ‘Down Under Blues’ are the two Australian songs on an album featuring jazz standards like 'Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen’. This track was recorded in Melbourne by Crest records and showcases Georgia’s crystal-clear voice, individual phrasing and haunting style.

The opening lyrics of the song suggest the singer has lost her baby to the Yarra River, which 'swept him out to the deep blue sea’. It seems appropriate for a homegrown blues song to be highlighting the dangers of the Australian environment, a common theme in films like Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), and especially only a few years before prime minister Harold Holt would be swept out to sea in Victoria, never to be seen again.

At the time, Lee was labeled the ‘Original Diva of Jazz and Blues Down Under’. In 1999 the album was re-released, her voice sounding just as fresh. The full track listing for the album is:
1. Beale Street Blues
2. Pete Kelly’s Blues
3. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
4. Careless Love
5. Yarra River Blues
6. Basin St Blues
7. Born to be Blue
8. Blues in the Night
9. Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen
10. Down Under Blues
11. St Louis Blues

Oh Yarra River took my baby from me
Yarra, Yarra River took my baby from me
And she swept him out to the deep blue sea

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer ‘Yarra River Blues’ from the music Georgia Lee Sings the Blues Down Under as a download.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before downloading the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions. All rights are reserved.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may save, copy, print, distribute or download materials for your own personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes. Commercial exploitation of materials on this website is prohibited.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

Right click on the link below to download the audio file:

yarra90s1_bb.mp3

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer this clip in an embeddable format for personal or non-commercial educational use in full form on your own website or your own blog.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before embedding the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions. All rights are reserved.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may save, copy, print, distribute or download materials for your own personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes. Commercial exploitation of materials on this website is prohibited.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

Copy and paste the following code into your own web page to embed this clip: