Top 5 Songs… About Australia

In the comedown from Olympic fever, we’ve all returned to our apathetic attitudes to patriotism and nationalism that only flare once every four years. Here at Lot’s Wife, we’re all about national pride; the end of the Olympics is not the end of our flag wearing days! Well, that might be an over-exaggeration. Anyway, here are some songs about Australia:

Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning

Before formally entering Federal politics, Peter Garrett actually stood for something. We’re glad about that, because it means that he and Midnight Oil gave us socially aware songs like this about land rights and ownership. Midnight Oil gave us some good things to think about, and Peter Garrett gave us some excellent moves to bust every time Midnight Oil ever comes on anywhere.

The Triffids – Wide Open Road

Did you know that ‘Nullarbor’ literally means ‘no trees’? Yet, people keep on driving across it. Maybe just to listen to this song for three days straight. The Triffids managed to capture the vastness of our country and the loneliness it can make you feel with this blisteringly melancholic tune.

Yothu Yindi – Treaty

What happened to politically motivated lyrics? Yothu Yindi got together with Paul Kelly to write this, and it’s brilliant. It has it all: political lyrics, didgeridoo, and some aboriginal language.

Men at Work – Down Under

Men at Work started off as a pub band, my dad even saw them when they were doing that sort of thing. Now they’re lending their name to Telstra ads. Let’s not allow it to destroy the essence of Down Under though: vegemite sandwiches, glowing women, and plundering men. We should only be so proud.

Rolf Harris – Tie Me Kangaroo Sport

A song about Australian wildlife spent four weeks at the top of the charts in 1960. Why? Because it’s hilarious, that’s why. Its main instrument is a wobble board. A wobble board. There’s really not much else to say. A wobble board.


Pia Salvatore

The author Pia Salvatore

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