29 June 2008


The Sydney Morning Herald raises the old national anthem / national song chestnut and gets the the predictable slew of other types of nuts in the responses. The original short post talked about a 'national song' but inevitably the national anthem vs national song issue arose. Read the post, always a good start.

Apart from ex-Senator Vanstone's predictably turgid neo-lackeyism ("loyal southern friend", I ask you) the comments got me thinking about suitable songs from the contemporary canon, the more common "we are one", "my island home" suggestions aside.

I was quite taken by the suggestion for the Aeroplane Jelly song, if only to keep alive the word 'aeroplane' (in an ad on TV I got a reference to "frosting" on a cake - presumably they meant "icing" but as it was Betty Crocker I assumed that some 'brand executive' had focused on the sales to the exclusion of safeguarding another minuscule speck of our language). But at least the Aeroplane Jelly person had some arguments up his sleeve.

So if we had to choose a pop or rock song for national usage, what would it be?

Rose Tattoo's "We can't be beaten" has some merit, it is about beating the other bloke and has strong themes of both individualism and collective action.

Kylie's "I should be so lucky" would neatly reflect Donald Horne's 1960 complaint about our love of taking the easy way out.

Anything by Redgum would get my vote but could prove divisive ("come and sing the middle-class Liberal, I've got a home in Beaumont rag with me"). You'd have to pair it with the "Country Coalition's" 1966 anthem "All we need is a little more time to get it together" (they got another 6 years but it didn't make a whole heap of difference).

Over to you, I have a roast to get on the table.


Dysthymiac said...

Criteria for a national anthem:
familiarity to all.
meaningful in a national(istic) context.

Khe Sanh ...

supercedes Waltzing Matilda.

Dysthymiac said...

PS - I can sing La Marsellaise in French

but as for AAF ?

I always do:
And no one knows the words to it,
And no-one knows the words.

And no-one knows the words to i-t!

and no-one! knows! the words!

Gerry said...

By jingo !! I just LOVE national anthems... They make me so PROUD to be different... Yesss!!! Bring on the next war!!! I can't wait !!!

JahTeh said...

Why do we have to have a national anthem anyway? I can't remember the one we have now. What about "Up there......insert current PM's name?

phil said...

Several weeks and hardly a comment, then one night when I can't log on and obviously the comments function was in wtf? mode.

This is evidently a subject that gets people going so I agree with all commenters from their various perspectives, but JT has a point:

"Up there with Kevin
Up there OK
Kevin's our cobber
Whatever you say.

He's got a vision
He's got our cash
He is our PM
That's pretty flash.

All working families
Are slogans and songs
He's busy righting
A decade of wrongs.

Puke, but over to youse.

JahTeh said...

Phil, my hero.

Davo said...

How about "You're the voice", made famous by .. errm, slipped my mind. Mebbe i should do more of those 'gentleword' puzzles .. heh.

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