Welcome to the First Australian Women's Songbook

An archive of 50 Australian women's songs from the 1970s through to the 1990s.

  • Most but not all of the 50 Australian women’s songs on this site pre-date widespread use of the World Wide Web and were sent to me on cassette and in handwritten lyrics and scores following the UN International Decade of Women 1975-1985. Many have never been published or have gone out of print.
  • Many of the songs address live issues today and the webpages feature links to contemporary social
    issues, movements and organisations.
  • This is the first but not the only Australian women’s song book, the ever-growing links lead to many
    other women’s music sites and you are invited to suggest more songs and songwriters known to you
    through the contact page.
  • Some of these songwriters are household names, others are completely unknown. Many have made their livelihoods as musicians and artists. I have been unable to contact fifteen of them since 1989. If you know contact details, please respond through the contact page.
  • All of these songs are original compositions by Australian women. They were selected to represent women
    from many places and walks of life. The songs were selected on the basis of ‘sing-ability’ and relevance to the
    lives of Australian women at that time. They cover categories such as daily work and family life, landscapes and
    belonging, comedy and commentary, peace, protest and liberation, inspiration and contemplation.
  • On the Songs page they are listed by title in alphabetical order.
  • For singers: You can learn these songs by singing along to the audio file, reading along with the lyrics or
    downloading the sheet music and playing along with the melody line and chords.

The First Australian Women's Songbook

The First Australian Women’s Songbook is an archive of 50 Australian women’s songs from the 1970s through to the 1990s. Each page contains a brief bio of the songwriter, an audio file for streaming, lyrics, downloadable sheet music and a number of external links to relevant social contexts.

This site is free to access.
You may wish to contribute to the site to assist in covering operating expenses and paying royalties to the artists in the Songbook.

Kerith Power author first australian womens songbook

Ballad of Women

Girls and young lovers and mothers
Work and a child and a home
Come sing us the ballad of women
You with a dream of your own
You with a dream of your own.

Oh, this is a ballad of women
Of winter and summer and spring
Of loving and living triumphant
The ballad of women I sing
The ballad of women I sing.

Ballad of Women: 1 hour 2 minutes 17 seconds


(Croisette, Laurie & Hewett, Dorothy, 1923-2002 & Wills, Nancy, 1920- & Union Singers (Musical group) (1964). The Ballad of women/. [Brisbane, Qld.] [Union U.S.I.])

National Library Trove reference