Almanac Music: ‘My Brown Yarra’ – Whirling Furphies



The Melbourne music scene has been blessed with the number of excellent roots based bands produced over many years. Think of ‘Weddings,Parties, & Anything’, “Things of Stone and Wood’, ‘My Friend the Chocolate Cake, and you know what I mean.


The ‘Whirling Furphies’ are a favourite of mine, first coming across them at the Port Fairy Folk Festival in the early 90s. The ABC had promoted their song My Brown Yarra at the time and I fell in love with their sound.


Recently Brian Wise on his programme ‘Off The Record’ on 3RRR conducted a survey to determine the top ten favourite songs about Melbourne according to his listeners.  As expected there are many great songs about Melbourne and many featured in the top ten. Check the list out on the ‘Off The Record’ website HERE.


My vote for My Brown Yarra, though a worthy contender, unfortunately did not make the list but check it out below. I’ve included both the studio version of the song and a live version as well. I’ve added a couple of extra live performances as well.




‘My Brown Yarra’ – Whiling Furphies, Live @ The Lomond 2013



‘My Brown Yarra’ – Whiling Furphies, Studio version. Released 1990



‘Trouble’ – Whirling Furphies, @ The Lomond 2008



‘Roadhouse’ – Whirling Furphies, live @ The Lomond 2013




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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Keiran Croker says

    Thanks for the reminder Col. The Furphies were indeed a great Melbourne band. I enjoyed seeing them at many local gigs and folk festivals during the 90s.

    Searching the inter web I see Frank Jones is still doing plenty of writing and performing in various collaborations. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see him sometime soon.

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Always loved seeing them play Keiran. A few times at Port Fairy with a Guinness or two made the music thoroughly enjoyable. Also saw them at the Elephant & Castle in Geelong. A special sound.

  3. Warren Tapner says

    Thanks for introducing me to the Furphies, Col.
    I am indeed an opsimath (one who learns late in life).
    Now to enjoy getting to know them.

  4. I am extremely disappointed that Weddings Parties Anything, that most Melburnian of bands, was not on that top 10 list. Songs such as “Under the Clocks”, “Monday’s Experts”, “Brunswick”…blimey.

  5. Daryl Schramm says

    The Whirling Furphies look and sound like my cuppa tea. Do they travel? Or is it up to me?.

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