Lyell Sayer & Clem Parkinson – Two Up (1983)

frontcover1Clem Parkinson & Lyell Sayer have become to be regarded as an important part of the Australian folk community. These contemporary songwriters are still “having very pointed things to say about social issues” and they still form a key part of a tradition of writing from the stance of the union movement.

Lyell Sayer is one of the legendary figures of Australian folk.
His songs have been covered by notables such as Wongawilli and Warren Fahey, and he is an inspiration to modern-day musical satirists such as Bruce Watson.
Lyell Sayer has worked as a clerk, storeman, driver, salesman, customs officer, as well as being a folk singer and song-writer for many years. His work with the Amalgamated Metal Workers’ Union in Victoria in 1984 gave him and the union the opportunity to express a range of current issues and concerns through a medium not so common in workplaces – music and song. ‘Stand by the union’ is Lyell’s contribution to a tradition of rousing union songs of solidarity in the ‘Which side are you on?’ mode.
He is best known for his song The F-111, regaling the many faults and failings of the RAAF’s most controversial fighter jet acquisition of the 1970s. The General Dynamics F-111C was a controversial aircraft purchased by the Royal Australian Air Force in 1963. Problems began with a 10-year delay in delivery.
Lyell released a follow up album in 1984 called Victoria Street, also released on the Larrikin label.
Lyell currently Tutors in Music at the The University of the Thrid Age in Knox, specialising in the Ukulele.
Clem Parkinson is a Melbourne Folk Song writer
In 1964, Parkinson penned the Pig Iron Song, which retold the story around how Menzies got one of his most well known nicknames. Clem Parkinson has also written many Union Songs (ie. Galloway and Stephens – a song about the fight for an 8 hour working day / 40 hours a week)
Clem Parkinson’s controversial song-attack on the Victorian government over the King Street Bridge reactivated old traditional vs contemporary tensions within the Victorian Folk Music Club
Clem Parkinson also had long history of support for the Maritime Union of Australia.
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Lyell Sayer

“Life in Australia can be very much like a game of two-up. Sometimes you land on the seat of your pants and sometimes flat on your face! Lyell Sayer and Clem Parkinson have seen both sides of the coin and it shows in their songwriting whether the subject be frivolous or serious. Here, on their first
record is a collection of a dozen of the best. Not that this is the first time these songs have found an audience … not by a long shot… for these musical ‘pen pushers’ have been churning out songs for years and songs like Colonel Sanders and the F-l 11 have, thankfully, become well entrenched
in the repertoire of many of our local singers.
Both Lyell and Clem enjoy taking the ‘mickey’ out of our politicians and why not! I have always felt that these contemporary folk songs play a real role in continuing the tradition of the folk song as the voice of the people. Long may the likes of Lyell Sayer and Clem Parkinson write and sing songs about us!” (Warren Fahey; taken from the original liner notes)

What a great folk Album … ! (thanks to rockonvinyl.blogspot)

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Clem Parkinson + Lylell Sayer

Personnel:
Rudi Brandsma (bass, piano, Synthesizer, guitar on 03. )
Dick Keam (whistles, guitar, chook noises)
Jon Madin (mandolin, violin, accordion)
Clem Parkinson (vocals, guitar on 09.)
Andrew Riby (flute, tin whistie.concertina)
James Rigby (mandolin)
Lyell Sayer (vocals, guitar, Banjo)
Tony Simpson (banjo)

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Tracklist:
01. Walking Back To (Bourke /Sayer) 4.03
02. Expense Account Racket (Parkinson) 3.15
03. Squizzy Taylor (Sayer) 3.44
04. Mulwala (Parkinson) 3.31
05. Words Of Love (Sayer) 3.48
06. Colonel Sanders (Parksinon) 2.15
07. The Wimmin’s Ball (Parkinson) 3.13
08. The F-111 (Sayer) 3.26
09. Temperance Shearers (Parkinson) 3.24
10. Junk Mail (Parkinson) 3.35
11. Life Begins At Forty (Sayer) 4.27
12. Matt Gabbett (Sayer) 3.00

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