REVIEW – by Ian Dearden –
Hey Rain – The songs and stories of Bill Scott (DVD & bonus CD)
This documentary on the life and work of the legendary folklorist, poet, novelist, songwriter and raconteur, Bill Scott, is a fitting tribute to a life well-lived – a life that brought much joy to many Australians.
He was, in his lifetime, truly one of Australia’s living treasures, and his passing on 22 December, 2005, robbed the Australian folk scene of one of its great characters.
Mind you, he was 82, and he packed a lot into that life.
For a glimpse of his fascinating story, watch and listen to “Hey Rain”, which was broadcast on the ABC in September, 2005.
It features what has become his best known song, “Hey Rain”, sung by Penny Davies and Roger Ilott, and tells the story of the songs escape from the Brisbane Folk Centre, via Dave de Hugard, into the hands of Penny and Roger, who ended up living close by Bill Scott at Warwick.
Not only did Penny and Roger popularize “Hey Rain”, but they went on to collaborate on many more songs with Bill, putting music to his words, and bringing his gentle genius to a contemporary folk audience.
The DVD features scenes of Bill at Woodford Folk Festival, scenes from Roger and Penny’s recording studios, and interviews with leading lights of the Australian folk scene.
This is a captivating and enchanting portrait of a great and important Australian, and it comes with a bonus CD of Penny and Roger singing eighteen of Bill’s songs.
One of my particular favourites is “The GST Calypso”, in which Bill tried to make sense for us all of the labyrinthine legislative byways of GST.
You still won’t understand it once you’ve heard the song, but you will have been elegantly, and melodically, confused!!
This DVD captures the essence of Bill Scott in its (too short) 52 minutes.
It is a must have for all Australians, and especially for anyone passionate about Australian folk music and folklore, as Bill Scott was.