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Propeller Dynamics

Essential reading for model aircraft contest fliers. This is the only book on the market explaining propeller theory in non-mathematical terms. A rattling good read, I know, I wrote it.


Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport


An interpretation of the great Australian Rolf Harris song, by Supercool. This was put together for a radio station in Switzerland.

Dear Stuart

Many, many Thanks to You, for this incredible Interpretation of 'Tie me Kangaroo down, Sport' This was much more I ever expected and is much more crazy (the meaning of the Song) than I could imagine!!! It will certainly enrich my Broadcast for the innocent Swiss-People, who don't know that the Australian-English is something like Thai or Chinese...

Many thanks for your help again

With love


Tie me Kangaroo down, sport ... the True story by Stuart Sherlock

The family entertainer Rolf Harris was born in Bassendean, a suburb of Perth. He was educated at Perth Modern School in 1948, then went to Claremont teachers college from 1950 to 1951. He was a champion backstroke swimmer, a talented artist and performer: He left Australia to become an arts student in England. He became a very popular entertainer on English television.

During the 1950's and 1960's, he was very well known in Australia and England, for songs such as "Tie me Kangaroo down sport", "Jake the peg" (about a 3-legged man), "Six white boomers" (about Santa's sleigh being drawn by Kangaroos because the heat in the Australian summer was too great for his reindeer), "Sun-a-rise" (a song-poem about the dawn), "The court of King Caractacus" (a novelty song), and "The big black hat", another novelty song.

All these songs appealed to families and children, but mostly they were popular because of their Australian idiosyncrasies. He accompanied many of his songs with his "wobble board", a thin sheet of hardboard (wood) which, when flexed back and forth, made a charming sound with which to keep to the beat.

"Tie me kangaroo down sport" was a huge hit in Australia, and is beloved to this day. Most everybody from that era still know the words and tune. Its appeal to some degree lies in its nonsensical lyrics, which can only be understood by Australians! For our Swiss friends, here is a translation into "proper" terms.

Title: Tie me Kangaroo down sport

Kangaroo: an animal about the size and facial appearance of a deer. However, it hops on its 2 enormous back legs at great speed and can leap over most fences without slowing down. They are never tied down, as you would leash a dog, because with their fore-paws they can undo any knot, and have been known to undo padlocks with a bent hairpin! The joke in the title is that you really cannot "tie a Kangaroo" down!

Night attack by giant carnivorous red kangaroo. Victim cringes in fear, to no avail.
Photographer barely escaped with his own life

sport: abbreviation of sportsman. Generally refers to an Australian male person, one who fits in well with society and is popular. Usually used as a from of address to strangers. "Sports" on average are drunken louts, with pot bellies and are inveterate gamblers, especially on the neddies (horse-racing).

Recitation: There's an old Australian stockman, Lying, Dying, and he gets up on one elbow, And he turns to his mates, Who are gathered 'round him And he says:

"stockman": a man who has spent his life caring for sheep and cattle. All other creatures are vermin and un-Australian, especially camels and goats. His face is bronzed and wrinkled from a life under the blazing sun. Every second word he utters is a profanity, a common feature of men who have ridden 3-days just to get to the next watering hole.

"gets up on one elbow": That will be his right elbow. It is very strong, from years of holding up the bar at the local watering hole, also known as a pub (public house, hotel, tavern).

"he turns to his mates": His mates are more stockmen, and loafers from the pub. He turns to look them in the eye, because eye contact is a sign of sincerity, and since he's dying, that's a fair dinkum thing to do (sincere).

"and he says": This is novel, stockmen have very few words, and they are always mis-pronounced and expressed with bad grammar.

Verse 1: Watch me wallaby's feed, mate, Watch me Wallaby's feed.

Wallaby: smallish nocturnal Kangaroo, which spends the long daylight hours thinking about sex.

"Watch me Wallaby's feed": poor grammar, should be "watch my Wallaby's feed" . Poor grammar is a deliberate affectation, to show solidarity with the poorly educated working class, strongly suggestive that Rolf Harris was a communist.

"feed": Wallabys commonly eat grass during the hours of darkness. They have been known to eat socks (with fatal results), but their favourite food is chocolate stolen from the packs of unwary bush-walkers. Wallaby's are extremely dextrous, and can undo a hikers pack, steal the chocolate and retie the pack before the bushwalker can return from behind a tree. Hence the need to watch them carefully.

Verse: They're a dangerous breed, mate

"dangerous breed": This is a joke. Wallaby's are very quiet creatures, and make good household pets. By contrast, the Giant Red Kangaroo, which stand 3 metres tall when sitting on its tail, is carnivorous and has been known to kill and eat Rottweilers. If menaced by a giant Red, you can only escape by throwing your children to it as sacrifices, or as a last resort, throw it your chocolate bars and run. Actually, running is a waste of time, they can cover 14 metres in a single bound.

Verse 2: Keep me cockatoo cool, Curl

"cockatoo": a large white parrot, sometimes with a sulphur crest, and short legs. Makes an incredibly raucous call, and is known for its strong character and filthy language. Speaks English better than the stockmen. Good company when boundary riding. (boundary riding: inspecting the fences on a station [large farm] from horseback. May take 6 months to get around them on a large station).

"Curl": abbreviation, short for Curley, which is a reference to curley hair. Nickname applied to men with straight hair, which is an unusual trait in the outback.

Verse 3: Take me Koala back, Jack

"Koala": arboreal Wombat. A cute, teddy-bear-like, furry creature that spends all day sleeping high in the trees, and at night, resting in the same place. The sort of creature you instinctively want to enfold in your arms and cuddle. Newly born Koala's must eat their mothers faeces to obtain the bacteria needed to break down the cellulose in gum leaves, which are their principal food source. Irritable and hyper-active Koalas have been known to wake up, open one eye, and scratch their bum before falling back to sleep.

Verse 4: Let me abos go loose , Lew

"abos": refers to the Australian indigenous people, the aboriginals, who were kept as indentured labour (slaves) up until the 1966 Wave Hill stockmans strike which broke the power of the English absentee pastoralists. At the time this song was written, aboriginal people were denied the vote, were not counted in the census, could not borrow money for housing, and were kept in "camps" out of sight of white communities. Not much has changed.

The suggestion of freeing the abos is a further indication that Rolf Harris was a communist.

As recently as the year 2003, the Gallop Labour Government in Western Australia passed laws denying natural justice to selected aboriginal leaders.

The worst racist states are Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Verse 5: Mind me platypus duck, Bill

"platypus": a small aquatic animal, about 35 cms long. Lives in Australian streams and rivers, by making underwater entrances to its burrows in the riverbank. Not unlike a small Beaver, but has unusual phenotype. Its mouth-part is actually very similar to a Duck's bill. It also lays eggs, giving rise to the theory that is was created from all the parts left over after God made all the other animals. It carries a venomous spur on its hind legs, making it a dangerous creature to handle. Worse, it does not like chocolate, even of the Swiss variety.
Foreign visitors to Australia need to be made aware that all native Australian creatures are equipped to kill and maim. There is no certain defence against any of them. Even the ants, especially the "Jumping Jack" ant in Tasmania, will not only carry off your picnic feast, but will put you in hospital with toxic shock if you resist.

"platypus duck, Bill": a rather trite play on words, typical of Stalinist era communist comedians.

Verse 6: Play your didgeridoo, Blue

"didgeridoo": indigenous musical instrument. It comprises a hollow wooden pipe, about 1.5m long, which is played as a drone. Skilled aboriginal musicians make a variety of sounds, including animal and bird calls using this instrument.

"keep playing till I shoot thro' Blue": The phrase to "shoot thro" is an abbreviation of "shoot through", which is Australian language for "leave". "Blue" is the nickname for a man with red hair. "To have a blue" is to have a fight, a common occurrence when dealing with Australian men having the phenotype of red hair.

Verse 7: Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred

"tan me hide": the process of tanning hides, in this case referring to the skin of the leathery old stockman. Generally, the skin is removed, and spinkled with salt to dry out the moisture. The hide is then wrapped with the bark of the turpentine tree and left to cure for 3 months. At that time, the hide is unrolled, and may be hung on the side of the shearing shed, where it is an object of veneration, or used as a particularly utilitarian door mat. Nothing is wasted on outback pastoral stations.

"Fred": nickname for any man whose name is not Frederick.

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