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 Advance Australia Fair


The Australian National Anthem



Peter Dodds McCormick, a Scot, composed ‘Advance Australia Fair’ under the pen-name ‘Amicus’ (amicus is the Latin word for ‘friend’). It was first performed in Sydney on Saint Andrew’s Day, 1878. An amended version was also sung by a choir of 10,000 at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January, 1901. In 1907, the Australian Government awarded McCormick £100 for his composition. Peter McCormick died in 1916 and ‘Advance Australia Fair’ became free of copyright in 1966. The Commonwealth of Australia, however, does copyright the officially proclaimed lyrics and particular arrangements of music. Non-commercial public use of the anthem is permitted, but commercial use requires permission.


The official anthem was ‘God Save the Queen’ (or ‘King’) from 1788 to 1974, although numerous commercial and official competitions were held over the years to find a substitute. The first was held in 1840. John Dunmore Lang, who published an ‘Australian Anthem’ and an ‘Australian Hymn’ in 1826, was an early advocate of a distinctively Australian anthem.


‘The Song of Australia’ was written in 1859 by Caroline Carleton, and it was suggested to the Prime Minister in 1929 as a possible national anthem. The issue of a truly national anthem was raised persistently before the 1956 Olympic Games, which were held in Melbourne. ‘Advance Australia Fair’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’ were the two songs most strongly favoured then as the new anthem. ‘Waltzing Matilda’ was composed in 1895, with lyrics by one of Australia’s best known poets, AB ‘Banjo’ Paterson. On Australia Day, 26 January, in 1972, the number of entries (more than 400) received in an Australia-wide national anthem quest gave an indication of the interest in a new anthem.

Exactly a year later a government-sponsored competition was announced, which drew 2500 entries for the words and 1300 for the music. The judges selected six entries for the words, but rejected all the musical entries. The quest for an Australian national anthem continued. In 1974 a public opinion poll sampled an estimated 60 000 people to select from three possible anthems: ‘Advance Australia Fair’, ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘Song of Australia’. ‘Advance Australia Fair’ polled 51.4 per cent. Following this result the then Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, announced that ‘Advance Australia Fair’ would be the national anthem, except on specifically Royal occasions, when both it and ‘God Save the Queen’ would be played. In 1976, after a change of government, ‘God Save the Queen’ was reinstated for Royal, vice-regal, defence and loyal toast occasions, with ‘Advance Australia Fair’ to be played on all other official occasions.

Info sourced from About Australia:  http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/nat_anthem.html

"Advance Australia Fair" © Free - Peter Dodds McCormick  Australia Now  

Listen to our National Anthem  - performed by Lee Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys

& Troy Cassar-Daley   Play MP3 light version here


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Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.


In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,

Advance Australia Fair.



Image 1 - http://spaceinfo.com.au/2010/11/29/australia-back-in-the-space-race/

Image 2 - http://www.myspace.com/power_and_the_passion

Image 3 - http://www.anbg.gov.au/oz/flag.html








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