Welcome to The Australian Folklore Unit
curated by Warren Fahey
I hope you enjoy travelling down these Australian highways and byways. These songs, poems, ditties, stories, yarns, toasts and snippets of history are a celebration of Australia’s unique tradition.
Nearly everything on this site is open slather. As a collector of traditional and public domain material my motivation is to reintroduce it back to the community from where it came. All I ask is that the original informant or copyright owner, be credited along with myself as collector. It would always be appreciated if you could recommend this site as the source.
Here you will find, possibly with the help of our search engine, a deep swag of folklore, curious history, over 2000 songs, poems and ditties, various indexes and facsimile reproductions, rare photographs and illustrations, lists of superstitions, children’s chants and rhymes, e-books, videos, podcasts and real time streaming. There are also numerous articles about Australian social history, folklore and music.
There are several sections on my work as a folklorist, record producer, author, performer and oral historian including guides to my oral history (1972 onwards) and my manuscript collections (part one deposited 2004) which are housed in the National Library of Australia.
I believe I am in a unique position as a folklore collector in as much as I am also a performer. This allows me to collect and develop and, eventually, reintroduce songs back to the communities that created them. I have often said I am a ‘folklore recycling unit’ and if I have have a ‘mission’ in life then it is the popularisation of Australia’s folklore – both past and present. The passion has been to make our people feel ‘more Australian’ by understanding where we have come from and folklore can certainly help in that direction.
The site is large, busy (over one million visitors) and updated regularly including visitor contributions (which are always welcomed and acknowledged).