ArtView January 2016 - Page 34

Shaddap You Face and Percy Grainger’s Country Gardens Essay by Joe Dolce Joe Dolce is a singer, songwriter, composer and poet. Writer and performer of the most successful Australian song in history, Shaddap You Face. In 2015 and 2014 his poetry appeared in Best Australian Poems. In 2014 he was shortlisted for both the Newcastle Poetry Prize and Canberra Vice Chancellor’s Poetry Prize. Winner of the 25th Launceston Poetry Cup. Published in Meanjin, Monthly, Southerly, Cordite, Canberra Times, Quadrant, Australian Poetry Journal, Overland, Contrappasso, Not Shut Up (UK), Tupelo Quarterly (US) and Antipodes (US). Recipient of the Advance Australia Award. Only music journalists and radio station programmers use the terms Novelty Song and One-Hit Wonder to categorize music. Let‘s take a brief look at how these terms came about, and why they are so elitist, and inaccurate. The Novelty Song The term originally arose in Tin Pan Alley to describe one of the three major divisions of popular music. (The other two categories were ballads and dance music.) Novelty songs achieved their greatest popularity during the 1920s and 30s. Outside of the music business, in the real world amongst common people, there really is no such thing as a novelty song. Take these well-known examples for instance all considered novelty by the industry: "The Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton "Dang Me" by Roger Miller "Don't Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin "I Am the Walrus” by The Beatles "Short People" by Randy Newman