• Australia found its unique national identity in the rugged bush of the 19th century. Settlers fought a harsh and unpredictable environment alongside the ongoing terror of distance and loneliness. We owe our pioneers a never-ending salute in shaping our mighty country.

    Bush Life

    Australia is now a multi-cultural nation with a population representing extraordinary diversity but especially from our Asia Pacific neighbours. It also has a vibrant indigenous population. Nearly 90% of Australians live in cities. We are a nation of bushwhacking city-slickers . On this site you will discover that our cities, like the bush, have produced folklore and curious history. Folklore is a living part of culture and we continually create and circulate it in our daily lives.

    Bushwhackers & Cityslickers

    Warren Fahey uses songs and stories as historical signposts and the 1851 discovery of gold changed Australia forever. This new album and book tells of that dramatic twenty-years. This site will reveal many other signposts - convict transportation, rural growth, labour history, bushranging, federation, war, the depression and, of course, migration.

    Signpost Songs & Stories

    Concerts, talks, workshops, events, historical research, music valuations and special projects. As they say: no job too big or too small. Themed performances and talks a speciality. Contact him through this site's contact page.

    Warren Fahey is 'For Hire'

    Life in the 'hood. Born in the inner-Sydney suburb of Paddington Warren Fahey has a keen interest in telling the stories of Sydney, especially his home patch of postcode 2011 which takes in the highlife and lowlife of Potts Point, Kings Cross, Wooloomooloo, Rushcutters Bay and Elizabeth Bay. Come and explore the neighbourhood.

    Why I Live Where I Live

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).

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Current News

THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN
The Australian gold rush told through song, story and reminiscence.
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LARRIKIN LAD DVD
One hour bio doco on Warren Fahey's work in folklore, music.    
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THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN
The Australian gold rush told through song, story and reminiscence.  
Read More