Hans Poulsen

Hans Sven Poulsen (born Bruce Gordon Poulsen, 7 March 1945)[3] is an Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of Danish descent who was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and known for his eccentric hippie style.[1][2][4] Poulsen had hits with "Boom Sha La La Lo" and "Light Across the Valley" (both in 1970) and had success as a songwriter with "Jamie/Rose Coloured Glasses" for Johnny Farnham and "Monty and Me" for Zoot.

Hans Poulsen
Birth nameBruce Gordon Poulsen
Also known asHans Sven Poulsen
Born (1945-03-07) 7 March 1945 (age 77)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, instrumentalist
Years active1961–1993

Early life and careerEdit

Poulsen was born in Melbourne, Australia.[3] His parents, Vic and Nellie Poulsen, played two instruments, lap-steel guitar and ukulele with their styles of Hawaiian music, as well as bush ballads, country and western music and folk.

Poulsen has in error often been stated to be born in Denmark,[2] although his descent is Danish, his paternal grandfather had migrated to Victoria, from Denmark during the early 20th century and being proud of his heritage, Poulsen took the first names of "Hans Sven" while still a teenager. It is possible that he took the name as a stage-name when he started his school band in 1961 called the Rimfires; at this time he played around the Frankston area, an outer suburb of Melbourne, and around the Mornington Peninsula region on the coast. It was here that he learnt his craft and became known for his interpretation of the music and songs of Buddy Holly.

In 1965, Poulsen formed the first version of a Melbourne group called 18th Century Quartet, which played original material (mostly by Poulsen) and performed in a style that later came to be known as world music; the group also differed from most of its contemporaries with its use of diverse acoustic instruments including mandolin, autoharp and bouzouki. The second incarnation would be a more pop orientated sound.

After embarking on a solo career in 1967, Poulsen had two Australian pop hits with the songs "Boom Sha La La Lo" (1970) and "Light Across the Valley". He also had success as a songwriter with hits written for other artists, including "Rose Coloured Glasses" for John Farnham, "Lady Scorpio" for The Strangers and "Monty and Me" for Zoot. One of his best-known and most successful compositions, "It's Only A Matter Of Time", was the much-played B-side of the single "The Real Thing" by Russell Morris, which was an Australian No. 1 hit in May 1969.

In 1972, Poulsen relocated to the Findhorn Foundation spiritual community in north east Scotland, where he recorded three albums, What A Way To Look at Life: Findhorn Foundation Sing-along, It Can't Be Described In Words and Universal Hands (all 1975, all released on cassette only by the Findhorn Foundation). These featured many of Poulsen's own songs, plus some by other community singers. Short clips of Poulsen performing several songs are included in the documentary Findhorn, produced in 1974 and reissued on DVD by Earthworks Films in 2006. Poulsen left Findhorn in 1976. Poulsen's career was cut short in the late 1970s when he suffered first cancer and then a stroke, and spent several years in hospital. On his recovery he went on to become a music therapist.


A booklet, Hans Poulsen – Troubadour, was written by Australian music journalist Paul McHenry and published by Moonlight Publications in 1996.



Title Album details
Natural High
  • Released: 1971
  • Label: Fable (FBSA 004)
Getting Back to Nothing
(with Bruce Woodley, Billy Green)
  • Released: 1971
  • Label: Fable (FBSA 005)
  • Note: Soundtrack to the film Getting Back to Nothing
Lost and Found
  • Released: 1972
  • Label: Fable (FBSA 014)
Sacred Games
  • Released: 1989
  • Label: Hans Poulsen
Carry You in My Heart
  • Released: 1993
  • Label: Hans Poulsen
Wonderchild's in Town
  • Released: 1997
  • Label: Hans Poulsen
Franco & Silverina
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Hans Poulsen
Rock N' Roll Mystics
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: Hans Poulsen
The Best of the Early Years 1964-72
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: Hans Poulsen
  • Compilation album

Extended playsEdit

Title EP details
Boom Sha La La Lo
  • Released: 1973
  • Label: Fable (FBEP-161)


List of singles, with Australianchart positions
Year Title Peak chart
1968 "Coming Home Late Again" -
1970 "Boom-Sha-La-La-Lo" 5
"Light Across the Valley" 39
1971 "Stick of Incense" -
"Sweetest Girl I've Ever Seen (Is Always Crying)" -
"Stork's Song" -
1972 "Meet Me in the Valley" -
"Sleepy Town Girls"/"The Wanderer's Song " -

Awards and nominationsEdit

Go-Set Pop PollEdit

The Go-Set Pop Poll was coordinated by teen-oriented pop music newspaper, Go-Set and was established in February 1966 and conducted an annual poll during 1966 to 1972 of its readers to determine the most popular personalities.[6]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1970 himself Best Composer 3rd
1971 himself Best Male Vocal 5th
Best Songwriter / Composer 3rd
Best Album Natural High 2rd

See alsoEdit


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 4 February 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[8] Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition.
  1. ^ a b c d McFarlane "'Hans Poulsen' entry". Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 28 March 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Accessdate=4 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Duncan Kimball, ed. (2002). "HANS POULSEN". MILESAGO: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. ICE Productions. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Hans Poulsen | Australian Music Database". Australianmusicdatabase.com. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  4. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 236. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "Australian Music Awards". Ron Jeff. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Television for teens and twenties". The Canberra Times. Vol. 43, no. 12, 381. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 4 August 1969. p. 13. Retrieved 24 November 2016 – via National Library of Australia., ...Other features include...a segment with Melbourne singer and composer, Hans Poulsen, who wrote the bright GTK theme...
  8. ^ Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry. catalogue. National Library of Australia. September 2002. ISBN 9781865038919. Retrieved 4 February 2010.