Judy Small

“Judy Small is an Australian entertainer, folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist who later became a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. Known and loved for her feminist, often patriotic (as opposed to nationalist) and political songs, usually following a traditional theme, she has produced twelve albums, hundreds of songs and has been described as being among the most popular political singers in Australia, with many such songs, based on topical factual events, and she enjoys to sing about real people and issues, stating “If an audience comes away thinking about issues it is a worthwhile performance, but only if they come away feeling like they’ve had a really good time is it a successful performance.”

She has toured the country and internationally (USA, Canada, the UK, Denmark, New Zealand, China and Fiji) playing in clubs and pubs, and at various festivals and conventions (including Vancouver Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Tonder Music Festival, the National Folk festival, UN Women’s Conference NGO Forum in Beijing 1995) . (<https://www.discogs.com/artist/3537836-Judy-Small&gt; accessed 06/08/2018.)

Having retired as a judge, Judy has returned to singing for her own and others’ pleasure. At the 2022 National Folk Festival Judy’s achievements will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

Judy Small australian songwriter

Listen to Songs By Judy Small

Song for Jacqueline

Performed by Judy Small, Cello Solo by Monica Fletcher
Track 5 on the album Home Front (1988)

The  first song selected for the First Australian Women’s songbook is Song for Jacqueline. “I wrote this song  when Jacqueline Dupre died after a long battle with multiple sclerosis in 1987. She was a stunning performer and her music permeated my childhood. Her early death was a great tragedy” (personal letter 1989).

album-art

Song Lyrics

1. The clouds outside the window are grey and white today
I’m six miles high in sunshine, I’m flying home to stay;
And suddenly my magazine is blurring through my tears,
For Jacqueline Dupré has died at forty two young years.

Chorus
And oh, to see her fingers dance upon the trembling string,
And oh, to feel the spirit rise and to hear the cello sing,
And to hear the cello sing.

2. Music’s always moved me, for as long as I recall
And watching people play has been the greatest joy of all;
I’d sit in my pyjamas, watching concerts on TV;
The orchestra would fill my head; playing just for me.
And clearly I remember the first time I saw her there;
Young and strong and tossing back a mane of long blonde hair;
The power of her playing held me spellbound to the screen;
The cello took me places my young heart had never been.

Chorus
And oh, to see her fingers dance upon the trembling string,
And oh, to feel the spirit rise and to hear the cello sing,
And to hear the cello sing.

Cello solo 16 bars

3. The plane is coming down now, as I wipe away my tears;
The woman sitting next to me says. “Are you all right there, dear?”
And I smile a little sadly, ‘cos I know I can’t explain
I’ve lost a piece of childhood I can’t get back again.
Oh, but I still hear the music, so strong and grand and pure,
And I still recall the pleasure that touched me to the core;
And I think when I get home tonight I’ll while the time away
With Elgar’s Opus eighty-five and Jacqueline Dupré.


Chorus
And oh, to see her fingers dance upon the trembling string,
And oh, to feel the spirit rise and to hear the cello sing,
And to hear the cello sing, and to hear the cello sing.

Cello finale 16 bars

A Heroine of Mine

Performed by Judy Small (1985)
Track 5 on the album One Voice in the Crowd

album-art

Song Lyrics

1. She was a high-born lady from the gentry of the land
She never had known poverty, but she seemed to understand
1.
That her privilege depended on the labour of the poor
And she spent her life in working just to even up the score.
She married a young lawyer and Chief Justice he became;
She could have spent her whole life in the shelter of his name;
But not for her the glory of reflections in the glass,
She saw the vast injustice and she couldn’t let it pass.

CHORUS:
She was an inspiration for the women of her time
And Jessie Street, you’ll always be a heroine of mine.

2. She never had to work but still she fought for equal pay
And she fought for Aborigines, to the silvertails’ dismay
She was a woman for the people, her commitment clear and strong
And she used her wealth and influence to help the cause along.
She saw the waste of human life in wars that make men rich
Her work for peace was endless, and they put her on the list
They branded her a traitor, called her communist and more
But Jessie’s voice was never stilled against the crime of war.

CHORUS:
She was an inspiration for the women of her time
And, Jessie Street, you’ll always be a heroine of mine.

3. And Jessie, your example helps us all along the way
Foundations that were laid back then we’re building on today;
The struggle isn’t over, there are mountains still to climb
But the legacy you and your sisters left is our lifeline.

CHORUS:
You were an inspiration for the women of your time
And, Jessie Street, you’ll always be a heroine of mine.

Who was Jessie Street?

“Jessie Street (1889-1970) was an activist, a feminist and a lifelong campaigner for women’s rights, the peace movement and the elimination of discrimination against Aboriginal people. She worked throughout her life to improve the status of women, both in Australia and overseas. Established in 1989, the centenary of Jessie’s birth, the Library was named in her honour.”

Albums

A Natural Selection 1982
Ladies & Gems/Mothers, Daughters, Wives 1984
One Voice In The Crowd 1985
Home Front 1988
Snapshot 1990
Second Wind ‎1992
Global Village ‎ 1995
The Best Of Judy Small – Word Of Mouth 1997
Let the Rainbow Shine 1999
Never Turning Back (Compilation) 2002
Mosaic 2004
Live at the Artery 2007

%d