The story of "There's Only One Flag For Me"

During an evening festival held in Melbourne City Temple on Sat Nov 6 1993, John Larsson recalled the story of the making of "There's Only One Flag For Me"

"as we were rehearsing it that week, we discovered that the musical sagged just where it shouldn't sag in the middle, and we said we need another song and so that evening we left Sunbury Court where we were working and went into Kingston and went to a Chinese restaurant and had a nice meal and said now what is the song going to be and we said let's have a song about the Flag then everybody can wave their flags and we can have a great deal of enthusamium and wake everybody up at that point in the musical where it is sagging.

And so, as happens preferably, we sat there with the serviettes provided by the Chinese restaurant and John scrawled out the words of the chorus & a tune began forming in my mind. Well then we said, we need to write the song overnight as the young people need to rehearse it because within 3 days is this first performance of the musical. So John said to me, what kind of shape do you want the words to be for the verse and I said any shape will do but why not take 'mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord' and I'll write a tune that fits that kind of rhythm so John who likes staying up late to work, he worked late into the night writing these words to the rhythm of 'mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord'.

I like waking early in the morning & working then. When I woke up, there was the piece of paper tucked under the door with these words, so I went off to the piano and within seconds I realised I had made a terrible mistake there was no way that you could get a marching tune that would fit the chorus to the rhythm 'mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord' and so I took courage in both hands and wrote a different tune that didn't fit the words and then we had to break the news to John, John I'm sorry all that late work last night, totally wasted.

Now we're going to give you a cup of coffee we're going to put you in the library and in the meanwhile we'll teach the young people the words and melody of the chorus and we'll teach them the new melody just to la la. So while John was sitting in the library at Sunbury Court, we gathered the YP together and taught them the chorus and then when it came to the verse, they were just doing La La la la la la and believe it or not, every few moments a courier would arrive from the library with an extra couplet which was chalked on the board and gradually the words built up of the song until in the end there was the song complete & was performed 3 days later.