I was inspired by an early episode of Redfern Now, the one in which the scholarship kid at the posh school refuses to sing the AAF words because they insult his people. There are so many things wrong with those words. You can go through and pick at ‘boundless plains’ and ‘girt’, but for me it’s the whole tone and package.
The anachronistic words of our national anthem are finally getting a bit of attention. Denise McAvaney has done a good job on this site of laying out reasons why we should no longer grovel to Britain. She was triggered by Scott Morrison’s ridiculous and typically ill-informed rant demanding that all children should be forced to sing the current words. Denise also refers to Deborah Cheetham’s decision not to sing the anthem at the AFL grand final because she considers the words to be offensive to indigenous people. Susanna Duffy has posted some more thoughts and versions here. There may be others.
I was provoked a couple of years ago by an episode of the TV series Redfern Now, in which a young indigenous lad gets into trouble for refusing to sing the official anthem. I conceived the idea that we can just start writing new words. Anyone can have a go, there need be no competition and no prize. If a version catches on, then it might eventually replace the old words, by popular acclaim. So I wrote my own version, to kick the process along. It appears below.
[I have been busy with other things, so not posting very much. It’s partly distraction, partly finding a different approach, wanting to give less power to the nonsense that passes for mainstream political and social commentary, and more power to important and sane things. I’ll probably post about it before too long. Also I have (yet) another idea on how to present my economics thoughts so they might attract some attention. I’ll share that at an appropriate time too.]
I realised, from reading and interacting with indigenous folk, that my recent Anthem words still lacked something important. Fortunately there was a line that could be readily modified to cover the need. Perhaps this version is ready to promote more widely. (You may share it freely, with attribution to me.)
[Another post from the Two Fires Festival , specifically here. I want to promote this more widely when I get a chance.]
Many people find the words of our national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, to be unsatisfactory, for various reasons, such as
• no mention of the First Australians
• too redolent of old British Empire attitudes (the original version was written in 1878).
• the land is to be owned and used, rather than being a wonder we preserve and a provider we care for and pass on
• the antiquated phrasing (and not just “girt”).