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How about some new lyrics for the Australian National Anthem?

Updated on August 23, 2017

Do you think we should update the words to Advance Australia Fair?

When I was a child the Australian National Anthem was God Save the Queen and protocol demanded we all stand as it was played.

I was glad to see the back of that tradition of playing the British Anthem as our own - although I do miss the fun of defiantly remaining seated.

When the idea of changing the anthem to something more "Australian" was suggested, there was a terrible fuss. I still can't believe the outcries of rage from the conservative elements. I've nothing against the British Anthem per se (and I'm glad they've dropped the verse about Down with all Catholics) but why was it the Australian Anthem too?

These days we play God Save the Queen when she's actually present - or her representative is attending some official function. Advance Australia Fair is now our anthem but I reckon the lyrics need updating again..

'Advance Australia Fair'

from 1878 to now

Peter Dodds McCormick's song from 1878 was officially sung at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on the first day of January 1901.

The Australian Labor Party policy for the 1972 elections included finding an alternative to God Save the Queen.

When the ALP won office in that election, the Whitlam government announced a competition would be held under the auspices of the Australia Council for the Arts to find a new Australian national anthem. Advance Australia Fair narrowly won over Waltzing Matilda..

In 1981 there was a further outcry when the National Australia Day Council recommended some modification of the words The best example is the changing of Australia's sons, let us rejoice to Australians all let us rejoice. This small change meant a great deal to me and the rest of the 52% of Australians who are female. The scorn heaped on this modification is something which I'll never forget. Nor will I forgive.


Art by Adam Hill at Chalk the Walk

Printable new lyrics of Advance Australia Fair

Judith Durham and Kutcha Edwards - Advance Australia Fair - Judith Durham with Kutcha Edwards

Judith Durham's new lyrics for Advance Australia Fair, featuring Kutcha Edwards. The two choirs are the Aboriginal Children's Choir and the Australian Children's Choir.

Waltzing Matilda - Slim Dusty

Who else but the legendary Slim Dusty could give us a version like this of Waltzing Matilda?

We are Australian - The Seekers

The Seekers performance of We Are Australian 1993

Great Southern Land - Icehouse

What's your choice for an anthem?

Out of these suggestions, which would you prefer?

See results

Come on, your turn ....

OK, there have been some slight modifications since 1878 but I say it's about time we updated those words again. Our anthem should reflect the diversity of Australians and place emphasis on the original inhabitants.

Should we scrap the older lyrics for Judith Durham's changes?

All comments are welcome. You don't have to be a Squidoo member (or even Australian), to leave yours

Sing your own Song in my Guestbook

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    • profile image

      shogan13 

      4 years ago

      I really like Judith Durham's words for "Advance Australia Fair" & it would make a great National Anthem...

      "We are Australian" is also a great song & would make a great equivalent to England's "Land of Hope & Glory."

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 

      5 years ago

      Im not Australian but we used to sing Waltzing Matilda at school!

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 

      5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      The Judith Durham lyrics are beautiful. I love the emphasis on respect, sharing the land, & the inclusion of Aboriginal singers. Fantastic!

    • cdcraftee profile image

      Christine Larsen 

      6 years ago from South Australia

      Happy Australia Day, Susanna

      Some cheerful Lions' volunteer will be popping another something on the Barby for us and our grand-daughter today - don't think it'll be a shrimp on this particular day!

      Hope you and yours have a happy day, as me and mine plan to!

      Christine

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 

      7 years ago from Sydney Australia

      @PaulaMorgan: Thanks for making it

      I think it's a discussion we should be having in Australia.

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 

      7 years ago from Sydney Australia

      I love your lens - Happy Valentine's Day

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      'We are Australian' for me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      Won't be singing any song in your guestbook, Susanna, it's raining enough without me singing! Seems these days some countries are reviewing their opinions about their national anthems, France is also thinking about changing La Marseillaise; a national anthem is the identity card of a country and I think it should remain as it is and changes should be minimal. I definitely like Advance Australia Fair as national anthem...

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