Our S(h)ipping Reporter turns up so many strange , dog-eared pieces of ephemera and odd items which appear to have been scavenged from municipal tips late at night that we may have to regularly steam clean the Little Darwin office to prevent an outbreak of scurvy and yellow journalism , the latter spreading like mad in syndicated columns and in shockjocks .
It has been suggested that he was secretly , officially appointed Receiver of Wreck in North Australian waters so anything unusual washed ashore or vessels aground on the Great Barrier Reef should be handed over to him .
Smelling like a codfish, he waltzed into the office rejoicing over his latest find-the above vintage piece of sheet music, My Song of the Nile , its spine reinforced by a piece of floral material applied by a sewing machine , bearing the penned name of Page and the date 17/2/1931.
It was the theme song from the 1929 First National Vitaphone Picture Drag , now described as a "lost silent film ", supposedly sung by heart-throb Richard Barthelmess , which reached number 17 for one week on the US Billboard chart that year . It seems Richard could make the damsels melt as the shot below of him from the 1930 movie Weary River shows.
My Song of the Nile lyrics , with instructions for ukulele players , tell of a pyramid of dreams where the Star of Allah brightly beams . Hopefully, desert stars will guide his love to his arms on a couch of moonbeams on the sand. (Sand could cause a major problem , you would think ) . This Cleopatra like beauty is urged to stop dreaming ! Love, love , love while you may , too soon youth fades away , so join in the song .
It sounds like the seductive words of the great lover of the 1920s, The Shiek, Italian-American actor Rudolph Valentino , not Dick Barthelmess.
The Drag movie appears to have had a run in Melbourne in 1929, causing the hearts of many colonial women dressed in fur coats to flutter ... as the savage Depression set in .