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Down Under

The Australian National Anthem in Bournemouth, The Pudenski Brothers acoustic cover of the 1980s Men at Work Classic - Down Under

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Original Artists: Men At Work
Album: Business as Usual
Awards: 1983 Grammy Award Best New Artist
Released: 1981-12-01
Genres: 80s, Acoustic
Artists: Pudenski Brothers
Avatar: pudenski-brothers-avatar

Men at Work are an Australian rock band formed in 1979 and best known for their 1981 hit "Down Under".

The main part of Men at Work formed in Melbourne around June 1979 with Colin Hay on lead vocals and guitar, Ron Strykert on bass guitar, and Jerry Speiser on drums. They were soon joined by Greg Ham on flute, sax and keyboards, and then John Rees on bass guitar, with Ron switching to lead guitar. The lyrics of the song describe an Australian man who is travelling the globe. The man then meets people who are interested in his home country.

Down Under by Men at work was played in the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and also used extensively during the One Day International cricket series between England and Australia in September 2009. It gained prominence through its promotional video which comically plays out the events of the lyrics, showing Hay and other members of the band riding in a VW van, eating muesli with a 'strange lady', eating and drinking in a café, and lying in an opium den. The band are moved along at one point by a man in a shirt and tie who places a 'Sold' sign in the ground.

The chorus is really about the selling of Australia in many ways, the overdevelopment of the country. It was a song about the loss of spirit in that country. It's really about the plundering of the country by greedy people. It is ultimately about celebrating the country, but not in a nationalistic way and not in a flag-waving sense. It's really more than that

Quote's Colin Hay in Songfacts

The song is a perennial favourite on Australian radio and television, and topped the charts in the US and UK simultaneously in early 1983