Thursday, April 19, 2012

Greed and Unfairness in the Old Gum Tree

I'm sad to hear about the death of Greg Ham, the Men at Work guy.

I'm even more sad to think that his last years were perhaps unhappy.

His famous song "Down Under" was brought to court for copyright infringement. The people who wrote the children's song about the Kookaburra believe the flute bit in "Down Under" was stolen from their song.

The children's song people won the case.

Greg Ham worried that he and the song would be remembered for copyright infringement. He worried all of the crap might have ruined his song.

I was very familiar with the Kookaburra song from my childhood and somewhat familiar with the Men at Work song. I never listened to the latter and thought, Wow, that sounds like the Kookaburra song!

If there ARE major similarities my untrained ear is missing, well....

There are only so many notes in the world, and it's bound to happen that sometimes one song is going to sound a little bit like another song.

If the Kookaburra people really saw such a huge similarity, why couldn't they just see it as a homage to their work?

All I know is that the Down Under song isn't ruined for me. I still like it.

I can't say the same for the Kookaburra song. For me, it's no longer a fun song about a famous Aussie bird. It's now just a sad greed thing that makes little sense to me.