This favourite song from our childhood has been banned! 389

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If I were to say to you, “Oom-yacka-wurka, oom-yacka-wurka”, what would you remember? Perhaps it would bring back memories of this song form the early 60s? One that we all sang along to, thinking it was the funniest thing we’d ever heard.

But Charlie Drake’s My Boomerang Won’t Come Back will no longer be heard on the airwaves after a complaint had it taken off the ABC’s playlists.

The Daily Mail reports that the national broadcaster received a complaint from a listener in Hobart after it played Drake’s song about a hapless indigenous boy who can’t throw his boomerang, saying it was racist.

The song was played as a request from a listener, however, the ABC’s Audience and Consumer affairs team found it “was not in keeping with the ABC’s editorial standards for harm and offence” and there was “no editorial justification” for it being played.

Do you remember this song? Did you ever think of it as racist? Take a look at the lyrics below, does the song have a different meaning in today’s world?

My Boomerang Won’t Come Back, By Charlie Drake

In the bad backlands of Australia
Many years ago,
The aborigine tribes were meeting,
Having a big pow-wow.

(Oom-yacka-wurka, oom-yacka-wurka)

“We got a lot of trouble, Chief,
On account of your son Mack.”
“My boy Mack? Why, what’s wrong with him?”
DRAKE: My boomerang won’t come back.
“Your boomerang won’t come back?”

DRAKE: My boomerang won’t come back,
My boomerang won’t come back,
I’ve waved the thing all over the place,
Practised till I was black in the face,
I’m a big disgrace to the Aborigine race,
My boomerang won’t come back.

DRAKE: I can ride a kangaroo (yeah yeah)
Make kinkajou stew (yeah yeah)
But I’m a big disgrace to the Aborigine race,
My boomerang won’t come back.

They banished him from the tribe then
And sent him on his way,
He had a backless boomerang
So here he could not stay.

(Animal noises)

DRAKE: [Spoken] This is nice, innit?
Getting banished at my time of life.
What a way to spend an evening:
sitting on a rock in the middle of the desert
with me boomerang in me hand. I shall very
likely get bushwhacked.

(An animal roars; Drake shrieks back.)

DRAKE: Get out of it! You nasty bushwhacking animal.
Think I’ll make a nice cup of tea. (Doing, doing,
doing…)
Good gracious! There goes a kangaroo.
I must have a practice with me boomerang:
hit him right behind the left earhole.
Now then, slowly back.

Gruff voice: If you throw that thing at me,
I’ll jump right on your head. (It chuckles and bounces away.)

DRAKE: Innit marvellous?
Got a land full of kangaroos and I had to pick that one.

For three long months he sat there
Or maybe it was four,
Then an old old man in a kangaroo skin
Came a-knocking at his door.

“Well, I’m the local witch doctor, son,
They call me George Alfred Black.
Now tell me, what’s your trouble, boy?”
DRAKE: My boomerang won’t come back.
“Your boomerang won’t come back?”

DRAKE: My boomerang won’t come back,
My boomerang won’t come back,
I’ve waved the thing all over the place,
Practised till I was black in the face,
I’m a big disgrace to the Aborigine race,
My boomerang won’t come back.

“Don’t worry, boy, I know the trick,
And to you I’m gonna show it.
If you want your boomerang to come back,
Well first you’ve got to… throw it.”

DRAKE: Ooh, yes! Never thought of that.
Daddy will be pleased. Must have a go, nyuh-huh!
Excuse me. Now then, slowly back… and throw.

(Boomerang whizzes away; Sounds of a plane
approaching and then falling from the sky.)

DRAKE: Ooh my God! I’ve hit the flying doctor.
Eee-hee-hee! Can you do first aid?
Witch Doctor: Don’t talk to me about first aid, boy,
you owe me fourteen chickens, you know, when
I learned you to throw the boomerang, you know,
first things first.
DRAKE: Yes, I know that, but I mean,
I think on this occasion, you know,
you could be a bit more
perspective………..

What do you think? Is this song offensive? Should it be confined to the annals of history?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. What a load of garbage. It is as you said a song we all grew up with. Political Correctness is way out of control

    2 REPLY
    • This is a case of the ABC bureaucrats at their absolute worse. One idiot complains, so the rest of Australia has to suffer, simply because the ABC bosses are too scared to just tell the complainer to not be so silly!

  2. How pathetic can something get.
    It’s a funny song, that most of us loved, surely the ia censorship gone crazy.

  3. Perhaps it isn’t so funny from an aboriginal perspective.

    1 REPLY
    • my husband jack co hosted an aboriginal program on the abc adelaide he played this song . he was aboriginal he played a mixture of aboriginal songs.

  4. That song will be in my head for the rest of the day now!

    9 REPLY

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