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Rama Lama Ding Dong


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“Lyrics don’t mean anything! Like ‘Rama-lama-ding-dong’ or ‘Give Peace a Chance’!” Homer Simpson

The Edsels released, “Rama Lama Ding Dong” in 1958 which became a national hit, but surely not because of the lyrics. Would Bach have been better with words? What would Gilbert be without Sullivan or Rodgers without Hammerstein? And what comes first, the music or the lyrics? On November 5th, the Australian Poetry Centre has decided the music comes first, with a competition called What Comes First, offering poets and wordsmiths all over Australia the chance to write the lyrics for a new hit single! The music has been written by established composer/music producer, James Roche.

The AP’s What Comes First? competition, which offered poets and wordsmiths all over Australia the chance to write the lyrics for a new hit single, will culminate with short-listed applicants performing their lyrics to music composed by James Roche hoping their words will be the perfect fit for the song. The winner will be announced on the night.

Listen to the music here.

This event is in partnership with the Australian Poetry.



James Roche

James Roche is an award-winning music producer, songwriter and composer. Highly accomplished audio engineer, expert in computer-based music systems for recording, mixing and sound design. He has experienced hit-song chart success as an artist with Bachelor Girl and has many years of live concert per... Read more

Deborah Conway

Deborah Conway is a singer/songwriter who shot to fame as the lead singer of Do Re Mi. She is a significant and eloquent contributor to Australian music, singing songs that chronicle the essential elements of life, love, loss, memory, the mundane and the spiritual for the past 30 years. As lead sing... Read more

Ben Birchall

Ben Birchall is a writer, broadcaster and creative director who has worked in radio, advertising and digital publishing. He hosted 3RRR FM’s Breakfasters from 2009-2012 and is currently the host of Ingredipedia – a factual food fight podcast that consistently tops the iTunes Australia food chart... Read more

Eliza Hull

Eliza Hull is an award-winning musician, writer and disability advocate. Eliza is a disabled woman, with a physical disability ‘Charcot Marie Tooth.’ Eliza is the editor and creator of the book We’ve Got This: Stories by Disabled Parents. She has been a guest on The Today Show, The Drum, ABC N... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.