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Carl Linger

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Title: Carl Linger  
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Subject: Song of Australia, Forty-Eighters, Gawler, South Australia, List of Australian composers, Melba, Australian Capital Territory, German Australian, West Terrace Cemetery
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Carl Linger

Carl Linger (1810–1862) was a German Australian composer in South Australia who in 1859 wrote the melody for the patriotic "Song of Australia".

German-born intellectual Carl Linger, who had studied at the Institute of Music in Berlin, came to South Australia in 1849 on the Princess Luise. He settled in Gawler, grew potatoes, went broke and settled in Adelaide, where he was far more successful. He was the founder and conductor of the German Liedertafel in 1858 and composer of church music, including the "Ninety-third Psalm", "Gloria", "O Lord who is as Three" and "Vater unser". For several years he played the harmonium at St Frances Xavier Cathedral. When he died he was buried at the West Terrace Cemetery. Later, as part of the State's Centenary, a monument was built on his grave.[1]

Song of Australia

Caroline Carleton's "Song of Australia" poem won the contest conducted by the Gawler Institute with a prize of ten guineas, and was published in the South Australian Register.[2] The second phase was a contest to compose the melody for the song, and lodge it with the judges within little more than a week! Of the twenty-three entries, Herr Linger's tune (submitted under the pseudonym "One of the Quantity") was announced as the winner on 4 November 1859,[3] the prize again being ten guineas (thousands of dollars in today's values). The song was used in South Australian schools and elsewhere, and a popular gramophone recording was made by Peter Dawson in 1933. Sir Bernard Heinze is reported as much preferring Linger's composition to "Advance Australia Fair", which has been stated as derivative of the German folk song "The Polish Inn".[4] In 1887 W. B. Chinner (son of one of the judges) wrote a choral arrangement of the Song with piano accompaniment, which became popular.[5] The "Song of Australia" was one of four candidates for a National Song put to a plebiscite in 1977 and was the least favourite in every State except South Australia.


External links

  • Song of Australia
  • West Terrace Cemetery
  • Australian Dictionary of Biography
  • The Adelaider Liedertafel 1858 - Founded by Carl Linger

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