Getting to Know Australia – Aussie Music

Hi all

I thought today I would (potentially) introduce you to a few Australian songs that have been big hits here over the years. By Australian artists, of course, who you may or may not have heard of. These are tunes that you might hear Aussies abroad singing, and you may have wondered what the songs were or who sang them. I will admit though, they are not recent tunes – I’m not a spring chicken any more!

Let’s start with an Aussie band you very probably have heard of. AC/DC is an Australian hard rock band, although most original members I believe were Scottish. Although they have a fair choice of songs to choose from, ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top’ is a natural choice. Why? Because the video clip is shot in the middle of my town, Melbourne, as is considered a pretty iconic clip here.

Here’s one that actually might be even better known – ‘Land Down Under’ by Men At Work gets the Aussie heart pumping. There was a court case here about the intro as the people who own the rights to ‘Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree’, claiming that Men at Work had stolen the line from that song. There’s a somewhat similar line, but I thought it was stretch, Still, Men at Work lost. ‘Land Down Under’ still rocks though!

So next we have Cold Chisel, led by frontman Jimmy Barnes. They have been, over the decades, so very very HUGE down here. And one song you may hear drunk Aussies belt out when overseas is ‘Khe Sanh’, telling the story of Aussie vets returned from the war in Vietnam. Yes, you should be drunk to sing this one.

Rivalling Jimmy Barnes for fame and national love is John Farnham, originally known as ‘Johnny’ Farnham. Johnny was big back in the late 60s and 70s doing cute pop numbers such as ‘Sadie the Cleaning Ladie’, but it was the late 80s when he released his rock/pop album ‘Whispering Jack’ which rocked the entire country. And the number one hit from that album is ‘You’re the Voice’. Pretty much any Australian alive at the time knew that song, and plenty who have come along since. John Farnham is seldom-known outside Australia, and these days shows his age, but he did front up for the bushfire concert and they finished on ‘You’re the Voice’ with John being joined by others including Brian May on stage!


And to finish, quite simply, the late, great Peter Allen with ‘I Still Call Australia Home’. Enough said.


Thanks for popping by today – May the Journey Never End!

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