Sunday, June 7, 2009

Some Aussie Anthems - and other iconic tunes.

So I got distracted on Youtube today.. tickled to find some great aussie tunes thereon. I will post the links to the best of them, but I can't be held accountable for any comments by shameless bogans in relation to the clips.. sigh..

I'll start with the anthems, and I'll also post links to some others that may be mentioned in other posts, but I think it will be convenient to have one collection here of the ones I love best.

First of all, will have to go the offical National Anthem - Advance Australia Fair. No-one sings it better than Julie Anthony. This long version she's towards the end, but you get the full lyrics. This one is the abbreviated anthem that is very popular.
The lyrics for those not familiar:

Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free
We've golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
Our land abounds in natures gifts of beauty rich and rare
In history's page let every stage advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing: Advance Australia Fair

Beneath our radiant southern cross, we'll toil with hearts and hands
To make this commonwealth of ours, reknowned of all the lands
For those who come across the seas we've boundless plains to share
With courage let us all combine to advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing advance Australia fair.

Well of course there's Waltzing Matilda. There's various versions, but Slim Dusty's has to get the nod.
For those who would like to understand Waltzing Matilda and what it means to us as Australians there are a couple of early blog posts about it. One by the Prime Minister at the time of the 100 year anniversary of the song and some notes for interpretation of the lyrics by yours truly.

Another more recent tune that seeks to capture modern Australia in a more inclusive sort of way is I am Australian - this is the original Seekers version. Try watching school kids sing this and not cry!! Oh heck, try not crying any time at all!! Even the tune will make me a jibbering mess LOL.
the seekers sing the lyric very clearly, but for those who miss something here they are, thank you Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton:

I came from the dream time, from the dusty red soil plains,
I am the ancient heart - the keeper of the flame,
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come,
For forty thousand years I'd been the first Australian.
We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come,
we share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are, we are Australian.
I came upon the prison ship bound down by iron chains
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I'm a settler, I'm a farmer's wife on a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man, I became Australian.
I'm the daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road
I'm a child of the depression, I saw the good times come
I'm a bushy, I'm a battler, I am Australian.
We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come,
we share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are, we are Australian.
I'm a teller of stories, I'm a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira, and I paint the ghostly gums
I am Clancy on his horse, I'm Ned Kelly on the run
I'm the one who waltzed Matilda, I am Australian.
I'm the hot wind from the desert, I'm the black soil of the plains
I'm the mountains and the valleys, I'm the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian.
We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come,
we share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are, we are Australian.

but what about

Great Southern Land - Icehouse - a classic by a band of my youth. Saw them at the Manly Vale hotel in Sydney years ago.

Land Downunder - Men at Work. Always played in sporting contexts. I recall it for the America's Cup when we finally beat the Yanks in that was some day. It's the only time I can remember that they had the radio playing over the loudspeakers at Sydney Central train station. As the trains pulled up the passengers where sticking their heads out the window to find out what was happening... and we'd won. It was an amazing day. .. and of course Land Downunder was almost the anthem at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Great song.

This is Australia - Gangajang

or My Island Home performed by Christine Anu. The lyrics taken literally are about indigenous people called the saltwater people.. (note the reference to holding the long turtle spear) ... but it has been adopted by everyone as it really captures that longing and love you feel for your home.. and Australia is an island afterall. This version they have amended the original version, adding an additional verse to make it more a "national" song.

..and Chris Martin and Coldplay at least see this one as an Australian anthem. Can you doubt it when you see this clip of Australians singing along to John Farnham singing You're the Voice fundraising for bush fire victims in 2009. Backing is by Coldplay. Good one them for joining in the fundraising.

Songs that speak to the ANZAC legacy

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. By Eric Bogle. This rendition by John Williamson and it's good, but Eric Bogle sings it better.. unfortunately the misinformation provided in the clip to the original on youtube just annoys me too much to link it!

I was only 19 - brilliant song about Vietnam.

and I guess you would have to include Khe Sanh in this category. Classic Cold Chisel, iconic...also relevant to Vietnam and returning home, it's a great song... unfortunately also a bit associated with rabid boganism.. but we'll try to overlook that.

Classic Aussie tunes:

Along the Road to Gundagai is a particular favourite of mine. Slim Dusty's Along the Road to Gundagai is loved by many.

Home among the gum trees would have to be in this list too.

John Williamson songs:
True Blue - some people have recommended this song as a source of understanding the Aussie spirit, which is advice I don't actually understand. It was written at a time when some iconic Aussie brands were being sold off to mulinational giants. The economy wasn't doing so well. The days of the lucky country seemed to be drifing away. Aussies felt very very upset about it and this song came out as a introspective look at who we really are and what we really stand for, because at the time we really were really feeling pretty shell shocked. It doesn't answer the question it asks it.

Cootamundra Wattle - another of my personal favourites, and another huge hit in Australia when it was released. There's more than one variety of wattle in the film clip. Cootamundra wattle is the one at 2:02 LOL.

Raining on the Rock .. with a live version of Cootamundra Wattle as a bonus!

...and just because I like it and I'm feeling self-indulgent here's Desert Child!

The most iconic of our literature

My Country - this version read by the great Dorothea McKellar herself. This poem is so iconic that the language of it has become woven into how we express our land in language. Whenever you hear Australia referred to as "the sunburnt country" it is an echo of and reference to this poem.

The Man From Snowy River by Andrew Barton (Banjo) Patterson. ..but we've also turned it into a song. This version is a live rendition by Jack Thompson at the Corryong Man From Snowy River Festival in 2009. Jack Thompson is a bit of an icon himself, so he's a natural choice for the job!
No land in western Europe was as dependent as Australia on the horse. The horse was absolutely indispensable in most regions, even at the ports. A far higher proportion of Australians than Britons knew how to harness, saddle and ride a horse. Newcomers marvelled at the ease and daring with which many Australians, both men and women, handled horses. Horse races drew large crowds. A township without a racecourse or land set aside for one was a rarity. It is no surprise then that this poem, recording a real and legendary display of horsemanship became such a cultural icon.
(Reference: Geoffrey Blainey, Black Kettle and Full Moon, Daily life in a Vanished Australia)

The Loaded Dog... well, an excerpt of this iconic short story anyway. By Henry Lawson and read by Jack Thompson..

Wonderful Classic Aussie ads

And of course there's the Happy Little Vegemites! and rather a lot of other deeply loved ads that just about everyone my age or older can sing even now decades later... and what's more get a great deal of pleasure doing so!!

and the eternally wonderful Louie the Fly

.. and Aeroplane Jelly..... Hugo and Holly... for which my hubby still has his song book.. who didn't love that one!

and another that became part of the Aussie vernacular "Oh Mr Hart!! What a mess!!" .. and some proof of just how much most of us loved that add - the chaser's tribute to Pro Hart on his demise.

Some Some of the Best Comedy

Australiana by Austen Tayshus .. warning this clip is quite rude and incldues drug references.. maybe it might go over the heads of people not well versed in Australiana but you never know. It is chock a block with (ie absolutely full of) references to Australian animals and locations, pastimes and events. Classic.

Sporting Anthems

Cmon Aussie Cmon. Written by mojo if my memory hasn't failed me. A really successful ad agency, but this bled over into being a cricketing anthem. Penned when the windies were at the top of their game. The reference to being up against the best was a reference to the windies touring. There is also an updated version reflecting more recent dominance of the Aussie team.. Cmon Aussie Cmon now has a life of it's own.

Up there Cazaly - VFL ie Victorian Football League - Aussie Rules before it went national. But even up here in the league states we enjoyed this one that became a hit song. Love the clip. ... oh by the way.. Cazaly is the name of one of the great players of Aussie Rules.

Then there's the 12th Man's Marvellous... maybe needs some background. Richie Benaud was captain of the Australian cricket team who has gone on to commentating. He's a dead set icon. He and the rest of the team strongly favour the word "marvellous" to describe the action....

Perhaps this one should go in the comedy section.. the Aussie Haka. As far as I can distinguish the words are
Take your thong off your foot.
Slap your thong on your arse
Slap your thong on your arse
Scull your beer Scull your beer, pour, pour
Scull your beer Scull your beer, pour, pour
We've got the cup you won't get it get it
Bill stays right here in Australia
You come ah! you come ah! You come a waltzing matilda with me!

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