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October 7th, 2005

Aloha Zarathustra

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
Mark Twain


Dear Folks,

The Hawaiian word, Aloha, has to be the greatest single word every conceived. Made up of two shorter words: Alo = presence and Ha = (Divine) breath. Aloha: {noun-transitive verb, noun-stative verb} Love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity; greeting, salutation, regards; sweetheart, lover, loved one; beloved, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, lovable; to love, be fond of; to show kindness, mercy, pity, charity, affection; to venerate; to remember with affection; to greet, hail. Greetings! Hello! Good-by! Farewell! Alas!

" More than a greeting, it is a blessing. To be ONLY used with sincerity: "'Aloha' could not be thoughtlessly or indiscriminately spoken, for it carried its own power. No Hawaiian could greet another with 'Aloha' unless he felt it in his own heart. If he felt anger or hate in his heart, he had to cleanse himself before he said 'Aloha'." ~ Queen Lili'uokalani

Some news: Some of my new songs are currently finalists in the homestretchs of the Australian Gospel Music Songwriting Awards and the 2005 Roddy Read Memorial Songwriting Contest and short-listed for the second Peace Songs for a Better World CD. DIFFICULTWOMEN will be appearing at the Maldon Folk Festival in October and the Woodford Folk Festival in December (see WEBSITE for details).


Favourite Reader Comments of the Week

Dear Joe,
Re: Strawberry Moon, by Mary Oliver
Thanks for another lovely poem Joe - my favourite part of your newsletter.

Dear Joe,
Re: People have died laughing


Morningstar graduate Steve Stine, known as 'Friar Tuck' in Digger circles, died laughing at a joke he had read on his computer monitor back some years ago. No, it wasn't your newsletter, Joe, you'll be glad to know. I'm quite interested in laughter, and once devised a scale of types of laughter that might interest you:

Ten Laughter Discharge Levels

Number 1: guffaw - unh-hunh-hunh
Number 2: titter - heh-heh-heh
(a). snicker
(b). snigger
Number 3: giggle - hee-hee-hee, ghee-ghee-ghee
Number 4: chuckle - hunh-hunh-hunh
(1) cackle - yak-yak-yak
Number 5: laugh -
(1) hah-hah-hah
(2) yuck - yuk-yuk-yuk
(3) crow - haw-haw-haw
Number 6: belly laugh - ho-ho-ho
(1) with snort - on inhale
Number 7: bray - haw-haw-haw
Number 8: bellow - hoo-hoo-hoo
Number 9: scream - Eeeeeeeee!
(loss of urethral sphincter control)
Number 10 shriek - Aiiiiiiiii!
(loss of anal sphincter control)
Number 11: die laughing
from Ramon Sender

(Note: I just noticed that the word Number and Number ( i.e. numb, number and numbest) are spelled the same. I don't know why I mention it - it seemed important at the time.)


Favourite Reviews of the Week

Peace Songs - For A Better World
This collection of acoustic songs from international artists promotes peace wonderfully. The folksy "Gift (One Iraqi Child)" from Aussie Joe Dolce is particularly timely and thought provoking.
Reviewed by Mark E. Waterbury

Shaddap You Face
Joe Dolce is the finest recording artist of the 20th Century. Musician, philosopher and master of political satire. How is it possible that Nietzsche wrote "Zarathustra" having never met Joe Dolce? Buy this -- you will not regret it. Todd Feely (UK) Amazon.com


Shaddupa You Face Shudded Up!
The early 80's,I was working on a VERY steep slope on a banana farm up the back of Mullumbimbi with some Italian farmers. The little tranny blared out from its spot on the old fence post . . . Shadduppa You Face started playing. The huge blue singletted Italian boss stood up, swatted the tranny into a thousand pieces with a bear like paw and said "I hate-a that bloody song!!" No one said a word......
David Lovegrove


Joe Dolce - Shadduppa You Face
I went to Texas to get away from that song and some rotten tyke phoned up the radio station in Houston and got them to play it. I nearly drove the car into a bridge.




A woman went to the undertakers to have one last look at her dearly departed husband. The instant she saw him she starts crying. One of the undertakers strides up to provide comfort in this sombre moment. Through her tears she explains that she is upset because her dearest Albert was wearing a black suit, and it was his dying wish to be buried in a blue suit. The undertaker apologizes and explains that traditionally, they always put the bodies in a black suit, but he'd see what he could arrange.

The next day she returned to the undertakers to have one last moment with Albert before his funeral the following day. When the undertaker pulls back the curtain, she manages to smile through her tears, as Albert is resplendent in a smart blue suit. She says to the undertaker, "Wonderful, wonderful, but where did you get that beautiful blue suit?"
"Well, yesterday afternoon after you left, a man about your husband's size was brought in & he was wearing a blue suit. His wife explained that she was very upset as he had always wanted to be buried in a black suit," the undertaker replied. The wife smiled at the man.
He continued, "After that, it was simply a matter of swapping the heads."
(thanks to Dai Woosnam)



The Pub With No Beautiful Dreamer


This year, as most of you know by now, is the Triple Silver Anniversary of Shaddap You Face - 25 years since the song was released in 1980, 25 years since it became the biggest seller in Australian music history - and, more importantly, 25 uninterrupted years that it has held that record. (You may have heard recent rumours that the sales record was broken by a local pre-schooler - but I assure you it hasn't. The figure to beat is 350,000 and Little Tony got close but . . . NO BACALLA!)

I am certain though that the sales record itself WILL be broken in the next couple of years - as long as Australian Idle and shows like that force-feed musical flavours of the week into the brains of impressionable kids, with b-grade songs that are hummed one year - and forgotten the next.

But the longevity record - of 25 uninterrupted years - will NEVER be broken in one of these kind of steroid-hyped karoake contests. It will require a genuinely memorable SONG with an IDEA (gasp!) that can capture the imagination of people across the spectrum of age groups and hold it for over a quarter of a century. I hope I'm around to see it but the sex, drugs, rock and roll, single malt whisky and garlic may have taken their toll by then. We'll see.

Anyway, the previous longevity holder in Australian music was Slim Dusty's recording of The Pub With No Beer, for 23 years, written by Gordon Parsons, recorded in 1957, and the only Gold 78 rpm record in Australian music! - until the run was interrupted, in 1979, by Up There Cazaly. I noticed how the melody for The Pub With No Beer seemed to be 'borrowed' from Stephen Foster's classic Beautiful Dreamer. (See APRIL NEWSLETTER)

Here's some correspondence I received from Bob Bolton about this anomaly:

G'day Joe,

You reckon [you]: "... have only met a handful of people that have recognized that the tune for one of Australia's most well-known songs, 'The Pub With No Beer,' is identical to the verse melody for Stephen C. Foster's, 'Beautiful Dreamer!'  ..."

Yeah, we had noticed ... and also noticed that Gordon Parsons pinched the words (well, the first few stanzas for sure ... maybe a bit of writing [from] his mates in the later stanzas ... but he started from Paddy Sheahan's 1944 original!

This is my reply, back in 1999, to a thread in Mudcat Café (www.mudcat.org) - with a germane quote from the Bush Music Club's Singabout - Journal of Australian Folk Lore. Regards, Bob

- x - X - x - x - X - x - x - X - x - x - X - x -

RE: Extra verses for Pub with no beer

That last verse sounds suspiciously like it could have come from the original poem, published in a Queensland paper, 1 January 1944 (after the Battle of the Coral Sea had been won and victory celebrations consumed every drop of rationed beer) by Paddy Sheahan.

The song is just a quick re-edit and reduction by Gordon Parsons, who then pinched half of Stephen Foster's Beautiful Dreamer for a tune.

I'll dig out the original 1944 words (published back in the 1960s in Singabout magazine and probably in my anthology Singabout - Selected Reprints) and you can mine them for extra verses.

Bob Bolton

Subject: Lyr Add: A PUB WITHOUT BEER
G'day again,

OK, on second reading (and not a little excavating back down to deep distant levels of what used to be my memory) I accept that the extra verse may have come from an extended version that I might have heard back in the 1950s, when Pub With No Beer was on the hit parades. There were plenty of parodies about then ... some of them were almost clean enough for mixed company ... and some of them were most definitely not!

Singabout - Journal of Australian Folksong, the Bush Music Club magazine of the 1950s/60s caused a stir in those straitlaced days by printing one called The Pub with no Dyke (which, back in those different days, meant that it had not been provided with toilet facilities). Correspondence on the matter ranged as far afield as a defence by Pete Seeger.

Anyway, this is the text of the original poem, from Singabout Vol. 4, Number 1, 1960 (also on p. 66 of Singabout - Selected Reprints, ed. Bob Bolton, Bush Music Club, Sydney, 1985:


It is lonely away from your kindred and all
In the bushland at night when the warrigals call,
It is sad by the sea where the wild breakers boom,
Or to look on a grave and contemplate doom,
But there's nothing on earth half as lonely and drear
As to stand in the bar of a pub without beer

Madam with her needles sits still by the door,
The boss smokes in silence, he is joking no more,
There's a faraway look on the face of the bum,
While the barmaid looks down at the paint on her thumb,
The cook has gone cranky and the yardman is queer,
Oh, a terrible place is a pub without beer.

Once it stood by the wayside all stately and proud,
'Twas a home to the loafer a joy to the crowd,
Now all silent the rooftree that often times rang
When the navvys were paid and the cane cutters sang,
Some are sleeping their last in a land far from here.
Oh, a terrible place is a pub without beer.

They can hang to their coupons for sugar and tea,
And the shortage of sandshoes does not worry me,
And though benzine and razors be both frozen stiff,
What is wrong with the horse and the old fashioned ziff,
'Mid the worries of war there's but one thing I fear,
'Tis to stand in the bar of a pub without beer.

Oh, you brew of brown barley, what charm is shine,
'Neath thy spell men grow happy and cease to repine,
The cowards become brave and the weak become strong
The dour and the grumpy burst forth into song,
If there's aught to resemble high heaven down here,
'Tis the place of joy where they ladle out beer.
Ingham, 1944. Dan Sheehan


The Dangers of Thinking


It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then ­ to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone ­ "to relax," I told myself ­ but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. That was when things began to sour at home.

One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

Then, I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment didn't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors ... They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I registered to vote as a Republican.
(thanks to Dai Woosnam)



            What is a Yankee?
             The same as a quickie, but a guy can do it alone.

             What is the difference between a Harley and a Hoover?
             The position of the dirt bag.
             What do you get when you put 50 lesbians and 50 politicians
             in a room together?
             100 people who don't do dick.
             What do you call a smart blonde?
             A golden retriever.

             What do attorneys use for birth control?
             Their personalities.

          Why is it so hard for women to find men that are sensitive,
             caring, and good-looking?
             Because those men already have boyfriends.

             What makes men chase women they have no intention of
             The same urge that makes dogs chase cars, they have no
             intention of driving.

             A brunette, a blonde, and a redhead are all in third grade.
             Who has the biggest boobs?
             The blonde, because she's 18.
             What did the blonde say when she found out she was pregnant?
             "Are you sure it's mine?"

             Why does Mike Tyson cry during sex?
             Mace will do that to you.

             Did you hear about the dyslexic Rabbi?
             He walks around saying "Yo."

             What would you call it when an Italian has one arm shorter
             than the other?
             A speech impediment.

             What's the difference between a southern zoo and a northern
             A southern zoo has a description of the animal on the front
             of the cage along with... "a recipe."

             How do you get a sweet little 80-year-old lady to say the
             F... word?
             Get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell *BINGO*!

            Why is there no Disneyland in China?
             No one's tall enough to go on the good rides
(thanks to jim testa)




Anyone like anagrams? Here's some good ones:

Tom Cruise gives:
i.e. Scrotum
I'm so cuter
I'm sore. Cut!
Mr So-cutie

Russell Crowe gives:
Orwell's curse
Slower ulcers

George W Bush gives:
Huge S.O.B. Grew!
Ogre hugs web.
Bugger, who's 'e?
Ugh! Sewer bog!
Whose bugger?
Where bugs go.
GWB: Huge sore
Grew bogus, eh?

Osama Bin Laden gives:
Is a banal demon.
A damn alien S.O.B.
Means a bad lion.
I abandon males.
O damn! A lesbian.
Solid banana! Me?
Bad as Lenin, Mao.
A mad, inane slob.
Bad animal nose.
Is lame and a nob.
Maiden on a slab.
O! A damnable sin.
An Islam bad one.



Rose Petal Ice Cream

petals of 3 fragrant organic roses
half cup milk
3 and a half cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
quarter cup rosewater
a few drops red food color, optional

Wash the rose petals in cold water and pat dry. In a heavy, non-reactive saucepan, place petals of 2 roses, milk, cream, and half cup of the sugar. Place over medium heat and heat to just under boiling. Let steep about a half hour to infuse.

Combine the egg yolks and the remaining half cup of sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk until thick and pale yellow. Bring the rose/cream mixture back to a near boil and whisk quarter of the warm mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then pour all of the egg mixture into the rose milk. Add the rosewater and red food colour and continute whisking until well blended. Return to a clean saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Strain into a bowl and chill on ice. Pour into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer finished ice cream into bowl and add the torn petals from the remaining rose. Fold into ice cream and pack into freezing container.



This evening, the sturdy Levi's
I wore every day for over a year
& which seemed to the end
in perfect condition,
suddenly tore.
How or why I don't know,
but there it was: a big rip at the crotch.
A month ago my friend Nick
walked off a racquetball court,
got into his street clothes,
& halfway home collapsed & died.
Take heed, you who read this,
& drop to your knees now & again
like the poet Christopher Smart,
& kiss the earth & be joyful,
& make much of your time,
& be kindly to everyone,
even to those who do not deserve it.
For although you may not believe
it will happen,
you too will one day be gone,
I, whose Levi's ripped at the crotch
for no reason,
assure you that such is the case.
Pass it on.
~ Steve Kowit ~
 (The Dumbbell Nebula)