Originally Published by the Northern Daily Leader |
By Blake Hardy Oct. 29, 2012. Photo by Barry Smith. |

IT’S not every day that a school gets a song written for them by an award – winning performer and songwriter, but that’s exactly what happened at the Duri Public School yesterday.

In its 125-year-old history, the school has never had its own song or anthem.

Roger Corbett, a member of the multi-Golden Guitar winning band The Bushwackers, was there to solve the problem.

The successful songwriter, who has many chart songs to his credit, flew in from Sydney where he lives to create a two verse song that captured the essence of the small country school.

It has only 28 students, from Kindergarten to Year Six, all of whom were crammed into one of the school’s classroom to brainstorm ideas yesterday. Several teachers and community members also attended to lend their thoughts.

Everything from the school’s lavender garden, friendship, shady gum trees and Duri Peak – the mountain that overlooks the school – were suggested, but not everything made the final cut. Within an hour of his arrival after lunchtime, Mr Corbett and the students had the first verse-and-a-half written.

The students sang the song with him and his acoustic guitar, while he recorded the audio on his iPhone.
“We have to make sure it’s good,” he told them. “Kids might be singing this for another 100 years.”

The school’s song, Duri School is the Place For Me, is a far cry from his other songwriting credits, which include The Fire Within – the theme song for the opening of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games – and Since Cheryl Went Feral, the massive chart hit for Jim Haynes.

As a member of the Bushwackers since 1980, Mr Corbett has picked up a roll call of talents including providing vocals, and playing the guitar (bass and acoustic), mandolin and harmonica.

He said the band would definitely be making its way back to Tamworth’s 2013 Country Music Festival, where they’re regulars and host the bush dance at the town hall, and playing some tracks off their upcoming album, Australian Songbook 3.

He has conducted many workshops – like yesterday’s – including one in Tamworth recently called “Spin a Yarn” where he helped write six songs in one day.

It was at that workshop that Duri school principal Craig McDonald asked Mr Corbett to write their school song.

“I’ve never done it with a school before but (a song) is very important,” Mr Corbett said.

“Singing together creates a communal environment.”

Mr McDonald said they had needed lyrics and a tune that captured the school’s motto: “tolerance, self-discipline and independence.”

“We’ve just never had a school song or we lost it many moons ago,” Mr McDonald said.

He hopes to unveil it at the school’s presentation night in a few weeks time.

See the original article here


Barry Smith