I had no idea the national anthem was played in cinemas before the movie starts. Advance Australia Fair, its evolution, its status, its popular reading, taboo readings (e.g. 'Advance' means to move forward - a synonym is 'progress'. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. National anthem played at cinemas before the movie starts? Really is a shame that there is no reference to the First Peoples or Stolen Generation. 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! Yes, I was thinking much the same, Mabel. How can some of us not… 😉 To be honest, I think a lot of us don’t know all of the words to our national anthem, primarily because it’s not a song we sing everyday and naturally the lyrics can eclipse us. Canada’s national anthem comes in English and French, so I suppose that is one of the harder anthems to learn – two versions! So now when I come to Canada I prepare myself to see signs in French. The First Peoples are every part of Australian history and Australia. At least it mentioned the continent’s first people. We of course sing our national anthem before baseball games and other sporting events. No reason why we can’t join in in Australian culture. Better learn a bit of the language before I go there, it might come in handy. Oh yes. Might be a reason for that. As Maamej said in her comment, maybe it’s because we’re drawn to music that we like to listen to other country’s national anthem. It seems to be the way for most of us who studied in Asia when we were younger. It is only after we grow up that we start comprehending why NAs are so respected, what are the sentiments attached to them. I don’t love it – feels a little American to me somehow? So I don’t blame you for saying it was a boring experience for you. While it acknowledges “those who’ve come across the seas” in the second verse, there’s no hint of the First Peoples or Aboriginal culture in the song. I suppose if you sing the national anthem everyday in school, you can get bored of it. Or maybe Canadians are brought up singing both versions. Generally we’re a peaceful country 😀. I can remember my grandmother saying that she had no time for them. Certainly when I was at school we never sang the National Anthem, Mabel. However, I can sing the Canadian national anthem in both English and French. But remember in the 1960s a large proportion of Australian population – were of English origin and our place in the British Commonwealth was far more prominent. It’s easy to dismiss the anthem incident of 2018 in a Brisbane primary school as a storm in a tea cup. Is singing and hearing the national anthem really a moment of patriotic pride and what does it mean to us? Sometimes a national anthem can exemplify and show this. Interesting topic, Mabel! Its birth…actually started in Quebec! Nationalism certainly has its dark side and perpetuates many stereotypes. It has an octave range of probably three or four octaves (feels like six). You are right – different age groups have different experience with the Australian National Anthem. I really can’t explain that either, I don’t think it’s got anything to do with the actual words. Everyone takes pride in its performance. Along with Negaraku, you might also remember the Rukunegara. I think the term “island” tends to be thought of as a small nation these days, a nation where you would vacation. Thankfully they canned it after a few weeks. Oh well, Brazilian are mostly patriotic during the World Cup, on a daily basis we only complain about the country hahaha. Right before the start of our Aussie Rules Football (AFL) Grand Final each year, the national anthem is sung by an entertainer in the middle of the pitch and the 100,000 at the match stand at attention, not all singing. In joyful strains then let us sing, … It was first sung by Andrew Fairfax, accompanied by a concert band conducted by McCormick, at a function of the Highland Society of New South Wales in Sydney on 30 November 1878 (Saint Andrew's Day). I feel incredibly blessed to have been born in Canada and to experience the benefits of being Canadian. 1871 membership was restricted to white males born in Australia with a motto of ‘Advance Australia’. Just What Is Australia’s National Dish? I was raised in dictatorship government, Soeharto back then. I have a feeling the second verse is lost on a lot of Australians. Thanks for sharing, Charles. Advance Australia Fair. The tune of a gentlemen’s club – what an interesting fact about your national anthem. I was in grade 4 when we changed from singing God save the Queen to Advance Australia Fair. Sounds like a lot of country’s anthems are old and outdated. Australia has always been about a fair go. Oh well, despite this, I think we are a happy country 😀 “When it says 'we are young' it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us for over 50,000 years," she said. I think it is the ambiguity that enables even those Americans who loathe their country’s current foreign or domestic policy to keep singing: “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave/ You are more tech savvy than me, I’m ashamed of that 👌, In the mornings during assembly in Singapore, there was always one prefect or student who had to sing the national anthem through the microphone. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Good times 😀, yeap, absolutely, i know Negaraku by heart during my school days. I think it may be down to people in the UK getting a generous amount of annual leave from their work every year. Comment and share your favourite lyrics. It’s kind of weird. even now, i can recall most of it. As a kid, I played it on the piano and thought it was a very noble, courageous sounding song. So, in school we often sang the more melodious “America the Beautiful.” At least it has “and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea” as a last line — a friendly thought, and typical of the day in including the sisterhood among “man”kind. thanks for reliving it, mabel. The monarchy is BIG in Thailand, but the old ways are changing…change is in the air. Songwriter Shane Howard, who’s no slouch with words and melody, recently commented on social media about the latest furore over the national anthem and the defiant stand, sorry, non-stand, of Brisbane schoolgirl Harper Nielsen, aged nine. 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! Politics separates us 😦, Australians are very divided when it comes to nationalism and politics too. Wise words from you once again, Balroop. It's time for the whingeing faux patriotic grown-ups to grow up. As Australians, we all have different views on nationalism and some national anthem’s lyrics are lost on us. We said the pledge of allegiance to the flag everyday before class started. The whole title therefore refers to our beautiful country moving forward or progressing into the future. Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It really is hard to pinpoint a clear identity since Australia is so diverse in terms of people, food, culture, sport and so on. Thank you, Leslie. Thanks for the thought-provoking post! Very interesting topic indeed ! The note sounds triumphant, but still…, I like your idea of the next version of our anthem. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Sure, practically all of us knew Malay but not all of us were that fluent and sometimes mumbled the pledge. “Advance Australia Fair”? Interesting to hear you used to sing the national anthem at school each morning. But we only sing the first verse, leaving out the second. There are Australians who want the country to be a republic (free from monarchy), and others no. I still remember it by heart. I’ve never bothered to learn the words – fear of Nationalism I guess. Suppose you also remember that we had to recite the Rukunegara too around once a week after the national anthem too – with the palm held up, facing outwards. There aren’t that many countries that are completely surrounded, we are sort of unique, like there is New Zealand, Japan, but nearly every other country borders with another one. Very, very interesting to hear, Sue. You kind of feel inundated by it here. Well written post Mabel 🙂, Awww, you still remember Indonesia’s national anthem after all these years. There are ongoing courtroom skirmishes between schools and parents/ students who do not want to say the pledge. If you ask me today, obviously it is a load of bollocks to assume that singing the national anthem equals to being patriotic. http://fsymbols.com/signs/, An amazing site, Y. Perhaps somehow it helps focus attention on connection to the land we live in, and as it’s usually sung at times when we’re surrounded by other people at special events, it can also focus our attention on our connection to other people. Negaraku, Tanah tumpahnya darahku …. "There are certainly more ways to show our love for our country than singing a song.". Today, I don’t mind the song; it does point to Australia’s positive spirit after all. However, it could also be because we want a reason to say how there is a better anthem than our country’s 😀. Anything is better than God save our Queen, long may use reign over us…etc… Mindless crappy song. It’s been a while, thanks for sticking by this long. And I hope to visit Germany someday soon and see all the towns you’ve been talking on your blog! Yes, I do hope so. A valid and convincing argument that the word “sons” refers to men and not women. Advance Australia Fair was written by Peter Dodds McCormick in 1878. Such a gorgeous clock, Mabel. Music really moves us in quite subliminal ways. Our anthem is really long, so they never play it all on games, etc.. and yes it is in Portuguese 😀, That is amazing, and so patriotic of Brazilians to sing their national anthem even after the song has stopped playing. So if the song was written in the 1890s then perhaps the first line really means Advance the White Australia Policy? Some people suggest that instead of “thy sons” it be “of us.” As you say it’s our choice whether to sing the anthem or not. how could we be otherwise, after all the weekly practice 🙂 . “do not forget you father is Chinese”. That is a very important point Leanne, that Australia’s national anthem was written in a time we weren’t proud of our country and we couldn’t define what Australia is. All for having a new national anthem for Australia or a re-write of the current one. I love watching the World Cup once every four years, and over the last few tournaments Australia has been in it 😀. In true Japanese style, us “Aussies” sang Waltzing Matilda to the guests – our unoffical National Anthem. I would love to be caught up in that one day. from west and east coast) of the country and admittedly to me, I sing the anthem willingly, regardless of its little flaws. It hasn’t sat well with me. “America the Beautiful”. Or at least it was. There is no reference to the indigenous population because back then people didn’t want to know about them. It seems odd that our time to be patriotic is when two teams are getting ready to “fight”each other! that Advance Australia Fair has a bit more relevance to God Save The Queen, though I suppose the former was more relatable to many Australians many years ago. It’s an interesting reading, Mabel. Then here he raised Old … I really why we still do in Australia…but that’s another story for another day. Mabel a thought provoking piece. Here in the west English is the first language but by law all labelling and such must be bilingual. I forgot to mention that I love the new header on your blog. Let's be honest. Hope to visit Brazil someday and see a happy country proud of their culture! It is a folk song about a homeless hobo who steels a sheep, not very representative of our nation, then or now. You are like Sue below, who also said that she sings the Canadian anthem in two languages. That goodness that has changed, though I think the feelings are still there but people keep them to themselves now. In 1976, under the Fraser government, ‘God Save the Queen’ was reinstated and another national poll was sent out to find a song for Australian ceremonial purposes; once again, ‘Advance Australia Fair’, came out on top. Have to agree with you on this one that Waltzing Matilda isn’t that appropriate as a national anthem. But I really didn’t understand the meaning behind them until I was older. Oooh, very cheeky of you to sneak out during the national anthem! Oh, that “Pledge of Allegiance.” I do not like it, I never did, and yes, most schools require it every morning: hand over heart, facing the American flag. We did, however, have to say the Lord’s Prayer at assembly, which is another whole can of worms. Look it up on youtube some time, it is very beautiful how people kept singing the Anthem even after the song stopped. During my school time, student and teacher were compulsory to sing Indonesia Raya (the national anthem) every Monday morning as opening for raising flag ceremony. The anthem storm of 2018 illustrates a greater picture, that of a nation that is uneasy with itself. 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. The original photos had reddish tones all over, and it took me a while to make it more cool-toned. I heard it’s still this way today. Most Australians probably think the opposite then – how lucky we are to be living in Australia. Thanks for sharing, Tina. Aboriginals, we can't rejoice for we are not quite free, Those golden soils that once were ours now prohibited to you and me. That musical clock is very beautiful 🙂, Really thoughtful entry Mabel! I’ve never heard European national anthems before, but I take your word that they are crazy sounding. 😀. Perhaps the next version will be Goanna’s Solid Rock!!! I think politics is always a sensitive subjects right? National anthems. 😦. Some of us are proud of our national anthem, and some of us not so proud. As one culture. I’m not too sure how I feel about “I Still Call Australia Home”. It can range from anything between four to six weeks, plus we also get eight bank holidays every year as well. I hope you visit Australia, then we can go exploring together. There’s also a degree of progressiveness surrounding the song: it’s a song Australians independently voted for in 1977 to formally replace long-standing royal anthem God Save the Queen, in a time when the White Australia Policy which discriminated against non-European immigration was recently abolished. In the song, the line “For we are young and free” might come across as strange to some of us who strongly want a republic (currently Australia still has a British monarch). Perhaps this has something to do with my teachers in Malaysia and Singapore testing and grading my class on singing these two songs and my classmates encouraging me to sing the songs with them. No matter where we are from, we are all descendents of not only a country but a heritage and culture too. Yes, everyone stands up. Interesting to hear the changing sentiments towards the American national anthem. So it is funny to have this as part of our anthem. Some of these critics are nostalgic for the former anthem ‘God Save the Queen’, others prefer the unofficial anthem ‘Waltzing Matilda’, while others are uninspired by the tune and lyrics. But the atmosphere of a stadium on a warm summer night under the lights…..very fun! Exactly, that was what we were expected to do, stand up when the national anthem was played. Do you prefer the God save the Queen one or would it be better if the made a new one? ", So for stating the bleeding obvious, she gets detention. That is an interesting bit of information form the History Teachers Association of Victoria, and you bring up a valid point. Either the judges have a sense of humour or we have no talent whatsoever for writing anthems. I much prefer “The Star Spangled Banner,” with its soaring melody and ambiguous lyrics to a pledge that borders on fascism! “When it was originally written, Advance Australia Fair meant advance the white people of Australia. Our independence means we can speak freely and give you a voice for a fair go. "Advance Australia Fair" is the official national anthem of Australia. I don’t know it is the norm now or not, but when I was in high school, it was played each day, after morning announcements and before class. Surely those in Germany would learn their national anthem at some point…if not in school, then perhaps elsewhere. It sounds like a song that’s still familiar with Americans these days. Most Australians know the two verses of the current version of the song, Advance Australia Fair, or at the very least know that they have the word 'girt' in them. Sounds like you’re proud of it. Your email address will not be published. I can’t remember the last time I sang it personally. "Advance Australia Fair" at least has the merit of being much easier to sing than "The Star Spangled Banner", and the lyrics do express some Australian self-beliefs and aspirations. I think I would be speechless if I met you, very famous travel Brazilian blogger living in Germany ❤. I was thinking I couldn’t care less about national anthems, being quite sceptical about nationalism, which so often exploits people’s racism and xenophobia, and then I read one of the comments about it ‘seeping through’ the skin and I remembered getting teary at times hearing our national anthem, to the point where I couldn’t even sing it myself. To advance Australia fair. And, you always present them graciously. We would stand up by our seats and listen to a version of the song each day. … I have been thinking all this time that the Australian National Anthem was that “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” song. The monarchy is still big in Australia too, especially among the older generation. If the anthem is played during “walking street” or when there is a weekly street fair, then everyone must stop until the anthem is finished. Interesting to hear. Standing up and either singing or standing at attention in silence, I presume. Maybe we don’t sing it often enough and forget the lyrics, and the anthem altogether. I certainly do not live by the ocean, nor do I go to the beach that often. “sung at times when we’re surrounded by other people at special event.” Great observation, Maamej. "Advance Australia Fair" was published in early December 1878 by Peter Dodds McCormick under the pen-name "Amicus" (which means "friend" in Latin). Well said. hahahaa you are too sweet little Mabel 😀 But it was also something about getting on a Qantas plane and hearing Australian accents after 2 months living in a poor country that really got to me – reinforcing how much I do call this place home 🙂. I hope you had a lovely weekend!! 😉 It’s very encouraging to hear that your kids’ school gets them to sing the second verse too. What I say is: Long may we wave! And if not, get back on it, people!”. It is very commonly heard here and people often sing along at all kinds of events. For instance, Americans do not seem hesitant waving their American flag. Advance Australia fair replaced its predecessor God Save the Queen in an attempt to switch to a more uniquely Australian representation of our culture. Advance Australia Fair, national anthem of Australia, adopted on April 19, 1984. Certain chords and lyrics will resonate with us deep down, touch us in ways we cannot explain. I dont really think I have ever thought about what the song means, and we could do sooooooo many other things, but but I liked singing and enjoyed that we as a group we were all honoring our country. We certainly don’t get a day off for it anyway. In fact, it can become routine and you might even forget what you’re singing about. Even Amanda Vanstone tried to set things right. But mine only has to be 4mins long. We don’t even celebrate the Queen’s birthday, Mabel. “Nationalism certainly has its dark side and perpetuates many stereotypes.” Well said, BB. Any kind of racism should be stamped out with force, but I do believe we should all celebrate what nationality we are without being told that it may offend others. That is fascinating people stop and stand up for the national anthem. Thank you for supporting my work, Matt. It could be a respect thing, as in your case with the Dutch national anthem and Netherlands is in a sense a second home to you too. To advance Australia fair. There are certainly more ways to show our love for our country than singing a song. Maybe one day South Africa will sing their national anthem in unison. Those were the days. They also play it before movies in the movie theatre. We sang the US anthem sometimes in school, but it’s notoriously hard to sing. Howard, of course, is the writer of Australia’s unofficial anthem Solid Rock. How about the “British” national anthem which, in its long version, has the line “crush rebellious Scots?” No surprise that we sing “Flower of Scotland” at sporting events. I feel like I’m learning a bit about Australia culture, history, people from your blog. Monikers and nicknames for the headmaster and teachers. I think in many ways we still don’t. Lots of parents have only learnt the second verse since their kids started at the school! Apologies to the writer but it's also poorly crafted lyrically, is largely meaningless sentimentality and is a substandard melody. I don’t remember singing the national anthem in school. It’s not McCormick’s fault. I feel the same way about the Qantas song, ‘I still call Australia Home’. I think maybe sometimes we can not go to choose our life, such as work, school or other life planning, parents have a lot of time and perhaps make plans for us, we are unable to choose and make decisions, but regardless there even is a national, as well as identity and integration environment is the best way, although this is difficult to start, or to remember where it came from their own, do not forget you father is Chinese, I hope you do not have of ambivalence. It’s an unexplainable feeling, yes. It’s true, I think a very different feeling compared to how Brazilians feel about their national song. But have forgotten them. Of course, there will be some of us who will find something to pick about it – but we all have our opinions and have varying degrees of nationalitsic pride and showing that. Real change has to mean that we are advancing the values that matter to mainstream Australians - not left wing activists or elites. Right before the start of our Aussie Rules Football (AFL) Grand Final each year, the national anthem is sung by an entertainer in the middle of the pitch and the 100,000 at the match stand at attention, not all singing. ), and that is what the pledge reminds me of — swearing unthinking allegiance to a government. Australia . Explain your version of song meaning, find more of John Williamson lyrics. Didn’t know you watch football too! by Mark Gwynn. Hope you’re doing well 🙂, No, thank you. And I suppose Brazil’s national anthem is in Brazilian language, Portugese. O Canada became official anthem…which is sung at sports games, etc. Learning national anthems is usually a great history lesson, though. Many other countries and nations are surrounded by sea, which is why I find the line “girt by sea” not uniquely Australian. It's time for a new anthem and a new flag while we're at it. A national anthem that is anti it’s own people! Today I’d say patriotism is a bit of a mix – much like Australia we have people who are extremely patriotic while others question whether our country is doing its best to handle the things most important to them, especially minorities and recent immigrants. Back in late 19th century, one of the most prominent groups to argue for Federation was the Australian Natives Association. Melbourne Central clock. Oh yes. After Canada adopted its own national flag (with red maple) in 1965, there was a slow informal movement to adopt O Canada. ARGH! Happy Monday, hope you are having a swell day. Advance Australia Fair. It is a gorgeous clock isn’t it? From shore to shore forever more, advance Australia fair. “For goodness sake, a nine-year-old girl just gave us all a lesson in truth and kicked our backsides to move forward. It’s a heavy and sensitive topic many of us do actively try to avoid, no surprise there. 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