Every day is a rainbow day

Every Day is a Rainbow Day for Me
'Every day is a rainbow day for me' (NAA A1336, 20662)

Most Australians know Sir Donald Bradman – ‘The Don’ – as the world’s greatest batsman. There was even a question about him in the Australian citizenship test! But how many know about his love and talent for music?

In 1930 he was immortalised in song in Jack O’Hagan’s ‘Our Don Bradman’. Australia had just won the Ashes cricket series in England and only two years after he made his debut Bradman, just 22 years old, returned home a hero. His run-scoring feats on that tour have never been equalled.

But Bradman was himself an accomplished pianist and composer. And soon after returning home he teamed up with songwriter Jack Lumsdaine to write ‘Every day is a rainbow day for me’, setting Jack’s words to music.

And like so many composers, Bradman and Lumsdaine wrote about the joy of love – ‘Every day is a rainbow day for me; Since you came along it’s easy to smile you see’. The song soon became popular and featured in the Christmas pantomime Beauty and the Beast at Sydney’s Grand Opera House.

Lumsdaine was as well known in the entertainment business as The Don was in the sporting world. It was reported that when he died in 1948 funeral crowds stopped the traffic in George Street, Sydney, and policemen and tram guards saluted.

Lumsdaine’s mother had taught him to sing and play the piano and he attended St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir School in Sydney. He joined a vaudeville company in 1911 and performed before the main film in countless Australian and New Zealand theatres.

Lumsdaine composed hundreds of songs, many of them recorded by famous singers such as Peter Dawson. He was a conductor and accompanist, and worked in radio from the 1920s.

Greta Bradman, an emerging classical singer who was inspired as a child by her grandfather’s playing and love of music, sang ‘Every day is a rainbow day for me’ at a dinner in 2008 to mark the centenary of Bradman’s birth.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018