Song site 6 – The Sea
Listen to the recording and see the lyrics
Where are we?
Point Ormond Hill
What are we looking at?
Welcome to the glorious 360-degree views of Point Ormond Hill, the highest spot in Elwood. In front of you stretch the waters of Port Phillip Bay, where you will probably see huge container ships coming and going from the Port of Melbourne. To the West you can see the skyscrapers of Melbourne’s CBD, to the East you can see sandy beaches leading to the Mornington Peninsula, and behind you are the leafy streets of Elwood. The navigation aid on top of the hill provides a handy meeting spot where locals and visitors gather to watch sunsets, enjoy a cool breeze on the hottest days, and refresh their spirits.
People have been using and enjoying this spot for thousands of years. Prior to European settlement, this area was a campsite for First Nations people. Uncovered middens and tools provide evidence of shellfish feasts and ochre gathering.
Point Ormond Hill is a man-made mound that is the remnant of a sandstone cliff known as Little Red Bluff. In the late 19th Century and early 20th Century the cliff was broken up and removed, with the rock and soil used to fill in the Elwood Swamp.
What song are we singing here?
Our short song The Sea combines two features of Elwood: it uses the words of one of the English poets found in Elwood’s street names – John Keats; and it celebrates the beautiful waters and coastline of Port Phillip Bay.
This song was created by Jeannie Marsh (Musical Director of Elwood Community Choir), for Elwood Singing Walking Trail. Choir members suggested various poems for the Trail, and Jeannie chose a fragment of Keats’ 1817 poem On the Sea for this Song-Site.
A visit to Port Ormond Hill is an opportunity to restore calm, find release from busy modern life, and turn away from our ceaseless attachment to screens and information. So take this opportunity to breathe deeply, stretch your arms out wide, and join the choir and Keats in celebrating the wideness of the sea.
Point Ormond was a favourite spot for a local who made a difference to the lives of many Victorians: Andrew Herington.
Andrew Herington was an activist who led the charge to ban leaded petrol, and helped stop the extension of the Eastern Freeway, twice. He was author of policy platforms for four state governments; pioneered power rebates for low-income households; was an architect of legislation making Victoria nuclear-free and one of the instigators of the West Gate Tunnel, the Metro tunnel and Southern Cross Station. He loved his big family, Victoria, and the Bay. Andrew’s life reflects the saying “think global act local”.
We wish to thank members of Andrew’s family for telling us about his important work, and for their generous contribution to the ongoing promotion and maintenance of Elwood Singing Walking Trail.
In honour of Andrew, we have commissioned local song-writing team Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan to write and record a lively song about another local resident: the Southern Fiddler Ray. Below us at Elwood Beach, you can often find this beautiful sea creature gliding around in the shallows.
Listen to the Southern Fiddler Ray Song
So, while you enjoy the view from this beautiful spot, you can engage in singing, dancing, or listening to whichever song matches your mood:
- The Sea – peaceful contemplation
- The Southern Fiddler Ray – boppy celebration
Or, go to the Additional Chants and Short Songs button on the Menu, and have some fun marching around the bench while singing:
- March of the Elwood Activists
To learn more about the locations, people, and history of Elwood, the songs, and the Elwood Singing Walking Trail project, please go to Further Information.
We would be grateful if you could please complete our short survey. Access the SURVEY HERE.