Advance Australia Fair

From Academic Kids

Advance Australia Fair is the official national anthem of Australia, not, contrary to popular belief, Waltzing Matilda. It was composed by Peter Dodds McCormick in the late 19th century, and first performed by Andrew Fairfax at a Highland Society function in Sydney on St Andrew's Day, (30 November, 1878). The song quickly gained popularity and an amended version was sung by a choir of 10,000 at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. In 1907, the Australian Government awarded McCormick 100 for its composition.

It emerged as the most popular choice for the national anthem after an opinion poll in 1974 (the Australian Bureau of Statistics polled 60,000 nationally). It was also the subject of a National Song Poll in 1977, where it garnered 43.6% of the vote, as against Waltzing Matilda (28.5%), the Song Of Australia (9.7%), and the then-current national anthem God Save the Queen (18.7%).

On most occasions, only the first verse of the anthem is sung. This has led to the belief that most Australians do not know the second verse, and the anthem is sometimes comically recited with the first verse sung clearly, and the second verse mumbled.

The anthem, though sung with enthusiasm at national celebrations, is still regarded by many with mixed feelings and many older people still struggle with the words. Some of the lyrics are odd by modern standards, particularly the word "girt" (the past tense of the verb "to gird") meaning 'encircled' or 'surrounded'; however these longer words do not fit the music.

Contents

Historical notes

Before its adoption as Australia's national anthem, it saw considerable use elsewhere. For instance, during World War II, Australia's national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, used it to announce its news bulletins. It was also frequently played at the start or end of official functions.

It was adopted as the national anthem by a 1984 decision of the Labor government of Bob Hawke, although it required a proclamation by the Governor-General for the decision to become official.

Alternatives

Other tunes that have gained recognition in the popular mind as patriotic songs include the pop ballad I Still Call Australia Home, by Peter Allen and the reggae-influenced rock song Down Under by band Men At Work. Also gaining popularity is I Am Australian by Bruce Woodley (better known as a member of The Seekers) and Anthem for a New Australia. (http://www.aceonline.com.au/%7Edb/numbat/downunder/poems_21/robw_anthem.html)

As part of New Years Eve 2004 celebrations, Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, comissioned a dance remix of Advance Australia Fair with a verse of Waltzing Matilda in it, receiving mixed reactions. A previous remix of the song, released in 2003 by comedian Adam Hills, set the song lyrics to the music of Jimmy Barnes's Working Class Man.

Lyrics

The lyrics of Advance Australia Fair express relatively uncontroversial Australian self-beliefs and aspirations.

For its adoption as the national anthem, the second, fourth, and fifth verses were dropped from the "official" version, as they emphasised the British aspects of Australia's heritage, along with the virtues of Britain, and three lines were changed, in order to promote non-sexist language and to reflect the fact that Australia is no longer a 'youthful Commonwealth'. For example:

  • the first line of the first verse: "Australia's sons let us rejoice" to "Australians all let us rejoice".
  • verse 3 (verse 2 of official version), line 3 : "To make this youthful Commonwealth" to "To make this Commonwealth of ours".
  • verse 3 (verse 2 of official version), line 5 : "For loyal sons beyond the seas" to "For those who've come across the seas".

There lies some ambiguity in the enduring popularity of Waltzing Matilda, which is often regarded as a much finer tune and has been part of the Australian imagination almost since its composition 110 years ago. Many non-Australians simply assume the tune is Australia's anthem. However, Waltzing Matilda's lyrics, detailing the exploits of an itinerant who steals a sheep and then drowns himself in an effort to avoid capture by the police and the local squatter (land-owner), are regarded by some Australians as unsuitable as an expression of Australian values, and, indeed, as unsuitable topics for discussion in a national anthem.

Advance Australia Fair - The official version

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!"
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!"

Dodds' original lyrics

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 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,
"Britannia 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 youthful Commonwealth
Renowned of all the lands;
For loyal sons beyond 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!"
Shou'd 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!"

External links

de:Advance Australia Fair es:Advance Australia Fair fr:Advance Australia Fair id:Advance Australia Fair is:Advance Australia Fair it:Advance Australia Fair hu:Ausztrl himnusz ms:Advance Australia Fair nl:Advance Australia Fair ja:オーストラリアの国歌 no:Advance Australia Fair pl:Hymn Australii pt:Hino nacional da Austrlia fi:Advance Australia Fair sv:Advance Australia Fair th:Advance Australia Fair zh:前进的澳大利亚

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