The song Aussies want as new anthem

 

The debate over whether or not to change Australia's national anthem has been an ongoing one - and there's one hit many would like to see replace Advance Australia Fair.

Early results from news.com.au's poll on which iconic Aussie song should replace the anthem showed that out of close to 4000 voters, 37 per cent think we should change our national song to The Seekers' I Am Australian.

In contrast to Advance Australia Fair - which is often criticised for its lack of inclusive lyrics - the popular 1987 tune has a stronger message of unity, and multiple historic and cultural references.

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Bruce Woodley, The Seekers' guitarist and the ballad's co-writer, told the ABC earlier this year he was "surprised" by "how deep (the song) went into the national consciousness over the years".

"But then it keeps doing it, and at various critical times for us as Australians - none more so than right now, of course," he said.

"People are, perhaps, looking for little rays of sunshine, things to hang on to."

Don't agree that it would make a better national anthem? Cast your vote below.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is the latest person to weigh in on the controversial call to change the anthem.

The lyric change has gained increasing attention as multiple Indigenous NRL players refuse to sing the anthem and say it does not reflect their story as First Nations people.

Ms Berejiklian this week - which happens to be NAIDOC Week - called for a change to the lyrics of the anthem so it declares "we are one and free" instead of "we are young and free".

"I feel hurt for people who don't feel that the national anthem includes them," she said on Sunrise.

"We have a very proud Indigenous culture of tens of thousands of years on this continent, so to say we are young and free ignores that.

"I think it would be appropriate for us to acknowledge that we are all united and we have a very proud, long history of Indigenous First Nations here in Australia and I think that should be reflected in our anthem."

The debate over Australia’s national anthem has been ongoing. Picture: Luke Drew
The debate over Australia’s national anthem has been ongoing. Picture: Luke Drew

Australian singer-songwriter Shane Howard told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2018 that our national anthem "is an anthem that is racist on so many levels, written for a white Australia that is irrelevant, or should be".

"Apologies to the writer but it's also poorly crafted lyrically, is largely meaningless sentimentality and is a substandard melody. It's time for the whinging faux patriotic grown-ups to grow up," he said.

Earlier this year, Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman also supported the push to change the lyrics of Advance Australia Fair.

The anthem was first performed in 1878, but has had the lyrics revised three times to adjust to significant social and political change.

Originally published as The song Aussies want as new anthem


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