Opinion

Where did Advance Australia Fair come from?

FOR Australia day I'm taking a look the history of our national anthem and wondering, is it really good enough for our great southern land?

In 1878 a Scottish-born composer named Peter Dodds McCormick sat in a concert hall listening to the anthems of the world being sung by a choir. He was so miffed that there was no Australian anthem that he went home and composed one.

In about a day. The whole thing.

Obviously McCormick wasn't the only one to have that thought, but more on that later.

Advance Australia fair was first performed at a Highlands Society do in November of 1878, but it really got its first work out during the Inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 when it was belted out by a choir of 10,000 people.

McCormick was rewarded for his work in 1907 with a payment of one hundred pounds. At first I thought he'd been ripped off until I did the math and realised it was as if, today, he'd been paid fifty thousand Australian dollars.

In 1916 Advance Australia Fair had its first recording made as part of a dramatization of the ANZACS in Egypt on their way to Gallipoli.

Unfortunately, 1916 was also the year McCormick died. Rest in Peace mate.

 

In 1951 we held a competition to pick our own National Anthem for the country's golden jubilee. While a bloke name Henry Krips won with a song called "This Land of Mine", we decided just to stick with God Save the Queen out of sheer laziness.

 

Fortunately for everyone who actually likes our National Anthem, the copyright ran out in 1966, fifty years after McCormick's death, so the government took control of it.

In 1973 his imperial highness Gough Whitlam decided that we needed a new national anthem to replace God Save the Queen, so the Australian Council for Arts had another competition to see which candidate song would win.

Advance Australia Fair beat God Save the Queen and Waltzing Matilda to be named the official anthem by the government in 1974. A plebiscite in 1977 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed the choice.
It wasn't till 1984 that the Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen gave Advance Australia Fair the official stamp of approval, around the same time that Bob Hawke replaced the rather sexist first line "Australia's sons let us rejoice" with the less idiotic "Australians all let us rejoice".

Then that same year, to continue the tradition of Australian multiculturalism, the orchestral version of our anthem that we're so familiar with today was composed by Tommy Tycho … from Hungary.

While Advance Australia Fair cops a bit of flack, it's still better than the Star Spangled Banner (citation needed).

In 2001 National Party Senator Sandy Macdonald said that the anthem was so boring that 'the nation risks singing itself to sleep'. Craig Emerson agreed, saying on the use of the word girt that "This must rank as one of the worst lines of any national anthem."

So whether or not you agree with the Herald Sun's 2008 assertion that the anthem means nothing for modern Australia, it is our anthem, and as such should be sung in a pub, with beer, and about two dozen drunk mates.
 

Topics:  australia day Frisky Business kieran salsone opinion


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Violent burglary: Two men in Polair chase, officer assaulted

Police officer seriously assaulted, residents threatened with guns

Teacher sending kids home sick, dizzy and with heat stroke

An Ipswich teacher wants the state government to fund air-conditioning in Ipswich schools.

TEACHER and mum petitions state government for air-conditioning

UPDATE: Police locate missing Ipswich bushwalker

Bushwalking Season  - User Contributed

He was located safe and well late yesterday.

Local Partners

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

THE Oscars have ended with a moment that left everyone speechless — but not in a way anyone expected.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Blue Heelers' Ditch Davey joins 800 Words cast

Ditch Davey joins the cast of 800 Words as Terry, the younger brother of George, played by Erik Thomson.

George Turner's brother, Terry, arrives to Weld with a 'few demons'

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Fences at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner.

Why can’t Nicole Kidman clap properly?

Nicole Kidman's style of clapping has puzzled Oscars viewers.

FOR some reason, it seems Nicole doesn’t really know how to clap.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

HOST delivers a torrent of abuse on Hollywood’s night of nights.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!