Sunday, November 21, 2010

Advance Australia Fair

Of course The Star Spangled Banner is my favorite national anthem, but my second favorite is Australia's Advance Australia Fair. The melody is stirring and joyful and the lyrics are meaningful. It makes me wish my home were also girt by sea.

It has only been the official anthem since 1984, although the song dates back to 1878. It originally had 4 verses, which were whittled down to just two in its official form. Understandably, several references were removed about Australia just being an extension of England, along with Australia's mixed feelings about Britannia: "With all her faults we love her still."

My favorite performance of the song is the one at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympics (see video). I love the harmony of Human Nature and the strength of Julie Anthony's voice.

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