Saturday, August 2, 2008

Let's All Sing Together

When we were on the plane to Australia, I listened to my iPod. I put it on shuffle. I like to be surprised. Okay, actually I'm delusional and think my spirit guides will send me messages through a machine made by a powerful and wealthy corporation.  Yeah.  Really.Who needs Ouija Boards these days?

We flew from Japan to Sydney.  If you get bored of the movies provided on your own personal movie screen, you can watch a video that shows where exactly the plane is. Well, as soon as we reached Australia, my iPod started playing Australian music—songs from the Aussie Bush Band.  It played one song and then another and another.  It kept playing Australian songs. I don't know.  Maybe iPods sometimes get stuck on one album?

But I like to believe I was getting a message--a special welcome.

If there's a choice between reasonable scientific explanations and mystical metaphysical explanations.....I think we all know what I pick.

Anyway....I thought I'd make a list of my favorite Australian Songs.

1. Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport.  It's sung by a famous guy named Rolf Harris.  Very catchy tune and it mentions Australian animals. Any song that mentions Aussie animals is a winner in my book.

2. The Three Drovers sung by some chorus.   Aussie Christmas song.   Okay, here's a sad story. My iTunes DJ shuffle played it the other day. I had this lovely image. We visit my friend in Victoria for Christmas.  It's beautiful.  The Christmas tree lights are sparkling. We look out the window and see a blanket of snow. Then I remembered that in Australia, Christmas is during summer. Fantasy shattered.

3. Six White Boomers.  The version I have is sung by a band called Santa's Little Helpers.   I love this because in the beginning a guy does this narration thing and he has the same raspy voice as the sexy Aussie cruise director we had on our Disney Cruise.  Hey, maybe it's him!  Maybe when he's not playing cruise director, he records Aussie Christmas music.

4. My Island Home by Christine Anu. When I was really homesick for Australia, I'd listen to this song over and over and cry my eyes out.  I would sit there sobbing hysterically and then start laughing because was kind of funny. I cried for myself, but I also cried for my cousin who was homesick for America. It's one of the best songs about wanting to return to the place where you felt most comfortable.

5. I Still Call Australia Home.  I have two or three versions of the song.  This one would also make me cry too because I would think of Heath Ledger and how he died in America--so far from his home. Later, I saw the Qantas ad that used the song and also the parody. Then it became kind of funny instead of sad.

6. I Am Australian.  Beautiful.  We have it on the Aussie Bush Band CD.  The song has multiple verses.  It's basically the story of Australia--different people coming together. I think the lyrics do a good job of telling the Australia story.  

7.  The Australian Clock-  This is an American song about Australia.  Or maybe Canadian.  I can't tell the difference in accents.  It's by a group called Mr. I, Gary Q and The Rainbow Singers.  They have a whole CD about Australia--for kids.  Quite educational.  This song teaches Aussie geography.

8. Australia-  Another American song about Australia. I swear this song was written for me.
If you know me and listen to the song, you'll understand why. The funny thing is there's a line that says Buy a House in Woolloomooloo. Before we even went to Australia (and before I heard the song) I knew I wanted to live in Australia. I told Tim we should move specifically to Woolloomooloo.  I knew nothing about it. I simply liked the name. Although now I've learned that Australia is FULL of awesome names.

9. Advance Australian Fair.   I know this song isn't loved by many, but I like it. Waltzing Matilda is lovely too. Why not just have two National Anthems?  Is there a law against it?  And what is the deal with National Anthems? Who got together and decided each country must have an anthem and a flag.  I think it would be awesome if a new country appears and they say "We don't want a flag and we don't want an anthem!"   How cool would that be?  So rebellious.

10. Down Under.  Men at Work. I probably like this song because it's the one Australian song that's on the radio in America a lot.  I get all excited when I hear it.  And it makes Vegemite sound so scary and sexy.

11. All The Songs From Pete's Dragon.  Well, because Helen Reddy sings most of them and she's Australian.  So I think they count.  He has the head of a camel--the neck of a crocodile....  See??? Crocodile?   Totally about Australia!  And did you know Australia is the one place where you can find wild Camels?    There's room for everyone in this world If everyone makes some room.   Hell, there's not room for everyone in the world.  It's CROWDED.   But there IS a lot of room in Australia!

Okay and if that doesn't convince you....whenever I thought about one of my Aussie friends, Candle on The Water would come on.  Well, actually only  twice.  But it was within a few days.  

Which Aussie friend?   I'm not telling.   Just pretend it was you.  And then watch this video.  You will never be the same again.


  1. That's an awesome list. I don't like "Advance Australia Fair" as the national anthem - it's just so bleh. I'd much rather "I Still Call Australia Home" or "I Am Australian".

    Both these songs evoke the right kind of emotions as a national anthem should. :)

  2. ah, there are so many fantastic Aussie songs Dina, both ones about Australia, which are iconic type tunes, and also just great Aussie music which never made it overseas (or was smart enough to not want to).

    I can't begin to name some - there are just too many, and taste varies so much that I could suggest and you could hate.

  3. Mooiness, I don't think I like our (american) national anthem either. Well, maybe because I'm not American-patriotic.

    Back when I had a little patriotism, I liked the song "I'm Proud to Be An American."

    Our REAL anthem--Star Spangled Banner just reminds me of the beginning of Poltegiest.

  4. Tribog,

    I wasn't trying to list ALL of Australian music--just my favorites.

    Of course there's a lot that I haven't heard and I'm sure one day I'll hear them and I can add some to my list of favorites.

    I have songs on my I-tunes that I didn't add to the list. It's not that I don't love them. They're just not my favorites.

    And who knows....they could grow on me and one day become my favorite.

  5. Check this one out. It's by Gyroscope "Australia" and is basically about love of their country.

  6. Darcy,

    Thanks! I'm listening to it now. The beginning sounds good.

  7. Here are some of my favourites:

    Eric Bogle - he's actually Scottish but he's lived here since 1969 and writes songs about his love of Australia.

    Paul Kelly - love all his stuff.

    Gangajang's "Sounds of Then"

    Icehouse - Great Southern Land

    The Whitlams - got to see them at the Opera House a little while ago which was pretty awesome but they were even better in their more usual setting at the Metro on George St.

    I could come up with more but it's 3:20am here and I REALLY should be in bed :P

  8. Mim,

    Wow. What ARE you doing up so late??

    I'm impressed.

    Thanks for the music suggestions.

    I figured out how to save a playlist to youtube. I'm going to save all this stuff!

  9. Ok, Australians (I am one) have a thing about the anthem, while you are there you hate it.

    Then when you live in another country, ie me in the UK, you learn the words properly (all the verses) and you sing it loud and proud!!

    Let it be known that Waltzing Matilda is about a bush sheep thief, not really useful as an anthem that is supposed to inspire its country's peoples and evoke deep meaningful patriotism.

    The Gyroscope song is great by the way.


  10. Lisa,

    I think that happens a lot.

    I didn't care about being Jewish until I ended up at a college where there were only about 8 other Jews.

    Then I got all totally into the Jewish-Pride thing. Later I moved to the city that has tons of Jews and worked with Jews and I then wasn't so much into it anymore.

    I wonder if I'd start to love America again if I moved to Australia. Would I feel all touched when I heard an American song. Would I get sad on the 4th of July?

    I have no idea.

    Maybe I should try it.

    Another very good reason to move to Australia: See if it makes me fall in love with America again.

    About the Waltzing Maltilda. The sheep thief thing. I don't know. I guess there's beauty in the idea. We COULD just imagine it's about that little prodigy girl Matilda in Roald Dahl's Book.

    We can imagine it's a song about her dancing. I mean if you don't listen to closely to the lyrics and all. It kind of works.

  11. I agree-- I was never a "patriotic American" (I'm still probably not), but when in a different country you suddenly feel some sense of patriotism toward your homeland.


  12. Hi,
    If you like Advance Australia Fair and Adam Hills, try this link: . Adam sings the national anthem to Jimmy Barnes 'Working Class Man' It is brilliant!

  13. Tanya,

    I heard it a few days ago and totally love it. Thanks for reminding me. I'm going to add it to my playlist.

  14. Some Australian bands/singers you might be interested in:

    Cold Chisel have arguably the song sung by most Australians (under 50) at some point - "Khe Sanh".

    Some of their other great hits -"Breakfast at Sweethearts", "Choir Girl", "Flame Trees", "Cheap wine".

    The Waifs
    I love "London Still" and "Bridal Train"

    "This old love" and "Autumn Flow"

    Tina Arena
    "Now I can dance", "Chains", "Burn"

  15. Miss Fi,

    I am totally loving Cold Chisel. My favorite song is Forever Now. I like Khe San too.

    I love Bridal Train. It gets stuck in my head.

    I'm not sure if I have least not those songs.

    I don't think I have Tina Arena.

    Thanks for the suggestions!!

  16. Miss Fi,

    I am totally loving Cold Chisel. My favorite song is Forever Now. I like Khe San too.

    I love Bridal Train. It gets stuck in my head.

    I'm not sure if I have least not those songs.

    I don't think I have Tina Arena.

    Thanks for the suggestions!!

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  18. Oz music hey, Sam Sparro, Gabriella Cilmi, the new ac/dc song is alright, Eran James, Kaz James, Sneaky Sound System, The Presets, oh and then there is the australian guy who was on american idol Michael Johns ...

    altho stay away from the veronicas, most annoying australian girls ive listened to. Blah!

  19. Matt,

    You know this is a total reverse psychology thing because now I totally want to go listen to the Veronicas. I think I actually have them on my Playlist already though. Maybe?

    I gotta go check.

    Okay, I DO have them. I don't think I've listened to them much yet though.

    Now I'm listening...trying to figure out if they're as bad as you say.

    Well, I'm not loving them yet.

    But by tomorrow, I might be their biggest fan.

    I don't think I have any Sam Sparro. I'll add him. Thanks!