Like a lot of folks my age, I grew up listening to the radio. It’s where I gathered a lot of my early knowledge about the world, especially about music.
A lot of songs were about places, and about making journeys to or from those places. As a little kid, I formed strong & lasting impressions of what those places would be like, from songs.
Ferry Across the Mersey. Southern California where, according to the song, it never rained. Marty Wilde sang about Abergavenny, Skyhooks sang about the sunset over Carlton. Every night, my transistor radio took me travelling to the thousands of places described in songs.
I’ve been lucky in adult life to travel to many of the places that so caught my imagination back then. When I moved to FNQ in 2002, I heard a song by Andy “Sugarcane” Collins about the Pascoe River on Cape York Peninsula. Andy conjures a rich picture of that river and the country through which it passes. I played the song on the radio many times, and began to want to see it for myself.
In October 2011, I finally made it to the stunning country around the Pascoe. We were heading for Lockhart River, on the eastern Cape York coast. There are two river crossings on the Lockhart Road. First the Wenlock, and then the moment I’d been waiting for. It sounds silly, but I was really buzzing at the prospect of reaching a place I had come to know and love — through a song.
Listen to us cross the Pascoe River.