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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

Down Under

 By Colin Hay and Ron Strykert

Recorded first in 1981

See it on You TubeDown Under
sung by Men at Work on

The song is also known as (I come from) The Land Down Under. It was made popular by the Australian group Men at Work and was the theme song of the winning Aussie team in the America's Cup 1983 yacht race.

You'll also hear the song in the closing credits of the movie Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Men at Work played this song at the 2000 Sydney Olympics closing ceremony.

Men at Work released the song in October 1981. It went #1 in Australia in December 1981, #1 in New Zealand in February 1982, then the Canadian charts in mid 1982. Eventually it hit the top spot for four week in early 1983 in the USA. It became one of the three biggest hits in the USA for the year 1983. It hit #1 in Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland and others.

Lawsuit
In 2009 the band was sued for copyright infringement. The Australian High Court ruled that the flute portion of the song copied a substantial part of the Kookaburra song. Because Kookaburra is still under copyright, the band was ordered to pay 5% of their royalties to the owner Larrikin Music starting from 2002.

What the words mean

  • Fried-out ~ overheated
  • Kombi ~ VW combination van
  • Chunder ~ vomit
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Travelling in a fried-out Kombi,
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie,
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous,
She took me in and gave me breakfast,
And she said . . .

"Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder,
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder,
You better run, you better take cover."

Buying bread from a man in Brussels,
He was six-foot four and full of muscles,
I said "Do you speak my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich,
And he said . . .

"I come from a land down under,
Where beer does flow and men chunder,
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder,
You better run, you better take cover."

Lying in a den in Bombay,
With a slack jaw and not much to say,
Said to the man "Are you trying to tempt me?
Because I come from the land of plenty?"
And he said . . .

"Oh! Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder,
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder,
You better run, you better take cover."

 

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