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The texts for the four songs are from David Malouf's novel of 'human differences and eternal divisions', Remembering Babylon, published in 1993. Each song focuses on a different character or aspect of a character in the story. Gemmy Fairley, the boy washed ashore in northern Australia and taken in by Aborigines, is portrayed in his divided role in 'Found in the sea' and 'Spirits'. 'The Schoolmaster' is George Abbot, a young man in his late teens trying to teach the rough and over-worked children of the settlement. 'Jock's Question' posed to his wife of many years, is an affirmation of love. It is Jock McIvor, a farmer originally from Scotland, who takes Gemmy into his care.
The four songs of Remembering Babylon were written for Sydney tenor, Brett Weymakr, who gave the first performance in 1997.
- Found in the sea
- The Schoolmaster
- Jock's Question
Text by David Malouf