Much of the music digitised for the WA Musical Memories Online website is patriotic in nature, as under Australian copyright law, only music prior to 1927 is in the public domain and this time frame includes Federation in 1901, and World War I.
Many of the scores are patriotic to Britain, the motherland, while others proclaim loyalty to Australia as an independent nation. Some of the songs of Britain include: Whenever England Calls!, For Good Old England, Whenever Britain Calls and Hail! Royal Prince. Many are about Australia: Australia Will Be There, To Arms, Australia!, Australia Beloved, Hymn of Australia, Boys of Australia and Eucharistic Hymn of Young Australia. Still others are about Western Australia, the newest, most isolated colony/State: Lovely Swan River, The Golden West (Frank Cato), The Golden West (Edith Withers), By the River Swan and Fair Western Land being some examples.
These songs are the result of a growing sense of identity as Australians, but also reflecting the ties to the settler’s mostly British heritage.
Bebbington, W. (ed) Oxford companion to Australian music. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1997.