Five songs that should become Australia’s national anthem

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Five songs that should become Australia’s national anthem

Words by James Robertson

It's time for an update.

Our national anthem sucks. Just face it.

‘Advance Australia Fair’ is an antiquated dirge; it says nothing about the multicultural and (somewhat) accepting Australia we live in today. To be fair, it waswritten in the late 1800s when white settlers weren’t the most inclusive of people, especially to our Aboriginal population. So it makes sense why Victorian values are included and false promises of relaxed immigration policies are made (not so keen to ‘share’ those ‘boundless plains’ you got there, eh?).

With regular calls for both our flag and national holiday to be changed, more has to be done in the anthem department than just adding some extra lines to the existing shambles. But, writing a new anthem is hard work.

So to the poor soul whose job it will be, there’s no need to worry, because you can skip all that hassle and just check out these five songs instead.

National Anthem of STRAYA (to the tune of ‘Hey Ya’)

Though it may be a comedic parody of Outkast’s classic party banger, the national anthem of STRAYA celebrates everything it means to be Australian in the modern age; our obsession with cricket, our enthusiasm for mateship and our love of a big cold beer.

‘Great Southern Land’ — Icehouse

No other song effortlessly portrays the bleakness of the Australian outback, with its smooth 80s synths, appropriately sultry music video and sublime lyrics, such as “so you look into the land/it will tell you a story/story about a journey ended long ago’, which pay tribute to the importance of Australia’s landscape to all peoples who have walked it.

‘You’re the Voice’ — John Farnham

The classic John Farnham track preaches the importance of the power of unity, which is all the more relevant to Australia in this day and age. Don’t worry, we can always replace that bagpipe solo with a didgeridoo.

‘Beds Are Burning’ — Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil’s history of activism shows through to its full extent in the lyrics “it belongs to them, let’s give it back”. There aren’t many other songs which champion for the respect of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inhabitants which is so sorely lacking in our current national anthem.

‘Down Under’ — Men At Work

This is such an Aussie tune that it copies an even more famous Aussie tune. Men at Work’s glorified 1981 hit took over the globe, so what better song to encapsulate our nation than an anthem that half the world can already sing along to as well?