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Australian national anthem

Helen 28 Mar 19 - 03:24 PM
GUEST 28 Mar 19 - 10:10 PM
GUEST 29 Mar 19 - 01:13 AM
Jos 29 Mar 19 - 03:51 AM
G-Force 29 Mar 19 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,gillymor 29 Mar 19 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,gillymor 29 Mar 19 - 06:59 AM
Helen 29 Mar 19 - 10:10 AM
Dave Hanson 29 Mar 19 - 10:47 AM
Helen 29 Mar 19 - 04:00 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 19 - 05:07 PM
Tony Rees 30 Mar 19 - 05:10 PM
Bruce D 31 Mar 19 - 06:55 AM
voyager 31 Mar 19 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,gillymor 31 Mar 19 - 10:39 AM
Liamtho 31 Mar 19 - 12:03 PM
mayomick 31 Mar 19 - 12:47 PM
Helen 31 Mar 19 - 02:10 PM
Jim McLean 31 Mar 19 - 02:25 PM
David Carter (UK) 01 Apr 19 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,gillymor 01 Apr 19 - 06:59 AM
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Subject: Australian national anthem
From: Helen
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 03:24 PM

This song appears to be Oz's unofficial national anthem (I posted this comment in another thread but decided to start a new thread about it). I checked and it was written by two folk musicians Bruce Woodley of The Seekers (folk group formed in the 60's)) and Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers (folk group formed in the early 70's). There's a pat on the back for folkies!

I Am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

Back in the 1970's Advance Australia Fair was chosen as our new national anthem:

I remember that. The issue was whether to keep God Save the Queen as our anthem or make it something more Australian. Unfortunately the choices for a new anthem were limited and this song was the best of a bad bunch, in my opinion. (Although I was tempted to vote for Waltzing Matilda, I thought that promoting criminal behaviour, no matter how comically presented, was not a real option.)

The lyrics are dry, outdated, unrepresentative of our diverse culture and started with this verse:

Australia's sons 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 Nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In hist'ry's page, let ev'ry stage
Advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

Of course, the "sons" had to be changed to "all" otherwise the female half of the population would not be happy.

Apart from any of the considerations of the sentiments expressed in the song (some of these issues are mentioned in the wiki article), the melody is unsingable for the majority of the population. Even professional singers produce strangulated versions just trying to manipulate their vocal chords around the melodic range.

And then, what I think is especially telling is that if the official anthem is played and a crowd of people are trying to sing it, very few people can get past the first few lines without losing the lyrics altogether. Even Olympic medallists can't manage it.

On the other hand, if I am Australian is played to a crowd, they may not know all the words but the majority of the crowd will be singing along to the chorus with big smiles on their faces - well most of them that I have seen. The televised 2019 Australia Day concert was a case in point. The official anthem was played and not many people were singing it and most of the crowd looked pained, and then I am Australian was played and the whole crowd (well all of the crowd which was filmed) sang along with great enjoyment.

Isn't it time that the choice of anthem should be revisited? If it isn't I am Australian, then at the very least it should be a song which unites us all in a joyful way and is a pleasure to sing, instead of being painful and a creator of division in our society.

IMHO
Helen


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 10:10 PM

Well said, Helen. Couldn't agree more.


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 01:13 AM

I always though line 4 of AAF read better as "Our home is girt by dirt"...


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Jos
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 03:51 AM

While I like the idea that a national anthem "should be a song which unites us all in a joyful way and is a pleasure to sing", it has to be said that many national anthems do not do this. There are many solemn dirges, and although Beethoven may have liked 'God Save the Queen [or King]', I find it dreary and often irrelevant.
For example, it seems odd to play it for other royal birthdays. When wishing someone a happy birthday we don't usually say 'I hope your mother lives for a long time', yet on Prince Charles's birthday that is, in effect, what happens.

Or you could be like Spain and have an anthem where you just play the tune, and nobody is expected to sing.


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: G-Force
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 06:21 AM

At least GSTQ is only 14 bars long. Some of the others seem to go on forever.


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 06:35 AM

Maybe you should consider "I Fought the Law and the Law Won" as a more historically correct anthem for your proud nation.

(Sorry)


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 06:59 AM

If I had a vote it would be "Waltzing Matilda".


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Helen
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 10:10 AM

Yes, well, Waltzing Matilda is a good tune to sing but the words - nope! As a national anthem, bad idea!

As for, I Fought the Law and the Law Won, that would be your theme song wouldn't it?? LOL


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 10:47 AM

Most people who don't really know think it's Waltzing Matilda anyhow.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Helen
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 04:00 PM

Yes Dave, I think a lot of Australians think that it is, too.

Here are the full lyrics from the site I linked to in my first post:

I Am Australian
The Seekers
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 shores
I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I've been
The first Australian

I came upon the prison ship
Bowed down by iron chains
I bought 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 bushie, I'm a battler
I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll 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'm 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'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

Songwriters: Bruce Woodley / Dobe Newton
I Am Australian lyrics © Spirit Music Group, BMG Rights Management US, LLC


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 19 - 05:07 PM

I have a soft spot for Peter Allen's "I still call Australia Home" although it is perhaps a little saccharine for a national anthem. Good song, though...

https://genius.com/Peter-allen-i-still-call-australia-home-lyrics

- Tony


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Tony Rees
Date: 30 Mar 19 - 05:10 PM

Sorry, that was me above (cookie expired or perhaps eaten??)


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Bruce D
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 06:55 AM

One of the important roles of an National Anthem, is what the tune sounds like, and when played purely musically its a very strong National Anthem, where as "I am Australian" doesn't work at all.

I have spent many occasions standing at attention, saluting the Australian Flags while the "Advance Australia" is played. Yes the words aren't great but the tune is stirring.

The compromise is to use both, "Advance Australia" as the National Anthem when a musical Anthem is required (Cermonial, Flag Raising etc) and "I am Australian" as the Anthem when its required to be sung (Grand Finals, show openings etc).

Bruce D


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: voyager
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 09:51 AM

Here's Judith Durham and the Seekers giving a rousing IAA performance to a stadium crowd - I Am Australian, Georgy Girl, Waltzing Matilda

voyager


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 10:39 AM

Yes, Georgy Girl, that's the one.

Actually, I like your present anthem although it's kind of a bland tune it sounds anthem-like and is probably easy for most to sing.


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Liamtho
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 12:03 PM

I reckon Shelter by Eric Bogle would be a great Australian National Anthem

https://youtu.be/Wg4xm0WFs40


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: mayomick
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 12:47 PM

It has to be singable by the average citizen /subject/ whether a cobber or a shiela (etc, etc nowadays) - so not too many highs or lows please .The easily singable tune to God Save Thequeen had been used for other European anthems before the British took it up .I suppose Bethoven would have liked that tune in the same way as I liked the Andy Pandy theme song as a young cobber .


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Helen
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 02:10 PM

Ok, here is the sheet music in G Major for Advance Australia Fair. I suggest having a go at singing it.

GSTQ, by comparison in G Major ranges from G above middle C up to high F sharp. That's a range of only 7 notes compared with 11 notes on AAF,

Advance Australia Fair

Apart from it sounding like a dirge and making everyone want to go off in the corner to have a good long cry, and apart from being Anglo-centric and even apart from the dreaded "girt", it has a range from middle C up to high F. If it is sung in a different key then it would possibly be even more difficult.

This is the full Advance Australia Fair lyrics , with this note: verses two, four and five are rarely sung.

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 Nature's 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!"

When gallant Cook from Albion sail'd,
To trace wide oceans o'er,
True British courage bore him on,
Till he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England's flag,
The standard of the brave;
With all her faults we love her still,
"Brittannia rules the wave!"
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
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've 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!"

While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We'll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England, Scotia, Erin's Isle,
Who come our lot to share,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair!
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

Should foreign foe e'er sight our coast,
Or dare a foot to land,
We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore
To guard our native strand;
Britannia then shall surely know,
Beyond wide ocean's roll,
Her sons in fair Australia's land
Still keep a British soul.
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

Have a Captain Cook at the second verse. How to upset our first people in one verse. It is a white British person's anthem. It does not represent all Australians and it insults the first people of Australia who were invaded by the British, and murdered or hounded for their land.

Even without verses two,four and five, the sentiment is offensive to a huge percentage of the people currently living in Australia because that percentage are not from British origins.


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 02:25 PM

The beginning of AAF is similar to Come Lamdlord Fill the Flowing Bowl.


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 01 Apr 19 - 04:19 AM

How about Beds are Burning.


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Subject: RE: Australian national anthem
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 01 Apr 19 - 06:59 AM

This may sound sacrilege but why not write a few new verses to Waltzing Matlida to make it more anthem-worthy? Of course you'll want to keep that marvelous refrain "Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me." which, to this Yank anyway, captures the spirit of the Australian people.

(if that's unacceptable just go with Georgy Girl)


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