“There’s a bear in there, and a chair as well…” To many, these are more than just lyrics, in fact, for more than 50 years it has served as the soundtrack to millions of childhoods around the country. Now, the tune has finally received the appropriate recognition, being added to the Sounds Of Australia archive, alongside an array of other classic Aussie tunes.
Beginning back in 2007, the Sounds Of Australia archive is a collection recordings that the National Film & Sound Archive deems to have “cultural, historical and aesthetic significance and relevance, which inform or reflect life in Australia.”
Over the years, numerous recordings have been added into the archive, ranging from examples of contemporary Australian music (such as the Hilltop Hoods, The Necks, The Go-Betweens, etc.), to recordings of historical value (such as Prime Minister Robert Menzies’ 1939 declaration of war speech). Now, a new batch of recordings have been added into the hallowed halls of the archive.
Included in this year’s list are some of the more memorable contemporary hits of the last 40 years, including INXS’ ‘Don’t Change’, Kasey Chambers’ ‘Not Pretty Enough’, and John Paul Young’s ‘Love Is In The Air’. Likewise, some culturally significant tunes are included, such as Ross Higgins’ famous ‘Louie The Fly’ Mortein jingle from 1962, and the theme song to Play School, aptly titled Play School Theme (There’s A Bear In There)’.
Also included are a couple of radio broadcasts of note, including broadcasts of Australia’s Amateur Hour from 1952 and 1957, including Chad Morgan and The Reading Sisters, respectively.
With today’s additions, the Sounds Of Australia archive now includes over 120 recordings, ranging from 1897 to 2003. You can check out the full list of songs here, while nominations are already open for 2018. So if you reckon it’s about time that Australia gave Lee Harding’s ‘Wasabi’ the recognition it truly deserves, now is the time to have your say.
Check out INXS’ classic 1982 single, ‘Don’t Change’, below.
Sounds Of Australia 2017 Additions
INXS – ‘Don’t Change’ (1982)
Kasey Chambers – ‘Not Pretty Enough’ (2001)
John Paul Young – ‘Love Is In The Air’ (1977)
Ross Higgins – ‘Louie The Fly Mortein Jingle’ (1962)
Various Artists – ‘Play School Theme (There’s A Bear In There)’ (1966)
Kuckles – ‘Brand New Day (Milliya Rumarra)’ (1981)
Len Maurice – ‘Our Don Bradman’ (1930)
Frank Ifield – ‘I Remember You’ (1962)
Australia’s Amateur Hour With Chad Morgan (1952)
Marie Narelle – ‘Sweet Spirit Hear My Prayer’ (1910)
Australia’s Amateur Hour With The Reading Sisters (1957)