Rooster Tree

from by Mal Webb

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about

For more than a decade I'd noticed the tree on the hill just before Broadford as you drive up the Hume Highway from Melbourne. One day mentioned it to a group of locals up in Wangaratta and they all said, "Aw yeah, the Rooster Tree!" and then turned to each other and said, "Oh, you've noticed it too!" After much discussion (and abhorrent mention of squirrels), a woman at a neighbouring table leaned over and said, "Hey, you know that Rooster Tree has a Facebook page with more that 5000 members!" Thus, I decided it needed an anthem. You need to know that "gallinaceous" means chicken-like. In recent years of good rainfall, the ol' Rooster has got a bit shaggy and when I drop my CD to the owner's house (I'm pretty sure I've worked out on whose property the tree resides) I might see if they're up for some judicious pruning... is that wrong? Hmmm. I thought I'd better make the song a "driving rhythm" and anyone trying to work out the banjo uke part, remember I'm left handed and don't restring my uke!

lyrics

When wending north of Melbourne town along the great M31
Avail your eyes horizonwise to see some free-range freeway fun
At almost of four k’s short of Broadford, kind of Kilmore latitude
A growing crowing slowly showing swells your heart with gratitude, when

Heading up the Hume, at signs for Clonbinane
My eyes behold a sight that quite delights me once again
High on yonder hill, it cheers me up no end
To see the Rooster Tree, my friend around the bend

For yonks I thought this fine faux fowl affair was mine and mine alone
But then a flock of fans in Wang informed me how this love has grown
My private roadside scene, ‘Road Island Red in Green’, has flown the coop
Hume Highway Hilltop He Hen Tree Huggers now have a Facebook group ...

Initially I called it Chicken Tree but gender reassigned
And utter nutters see a Squirrel Tree, but we don’t like their kind
When from afar it’s singular but closer view shows more than two
It’s like a grand arboreal syzygy that lines up right on cue ...

It seems that even heathens like myself can’t stop the dropping jaw
Indeed the least religious still prodigiously have sacred awe for it
But plant poultry idolatry may sway you from your path
Distracting leghorn-leafed belief can leave a tragic aftermath, when hurtling ...

Though threat of bushfire and imprudent pruning fuel my brooding fears
This plucky hilltop topiary’s stayed clucky, luckily for years
May its herbaceous gallinaceous grace embrace these times of doubt
So future generations get the chance to say, “Hey, check that out” …
Hooning ...

©Mal Webb 2009

credits

from Not Nor Mal, released September 2, 2016

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about

Mal Webb Melbourne, Australia

Vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentist, looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff, using all sorts of vocal techniques (like sideways yodeling) and plays guitar, bass, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica, bass and piano. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Aphex Twin and Cole Porter playing scrabble. Ani DiFranco said to Mal: "You're a freak!"
Noice.
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