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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

Down UnderWatch the video

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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


Lyrics to Down Under Originally Recorded By Men At Work

Traveling 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 muscle
I said, "Do you speak-a 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, yeah

Lyin' in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I 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? (Ooh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover ('cause we are)

Living in 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

Living in a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? (Ooh yeah)
You better run, you better take cover (we are)

Living in a land down under (ooh yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover

Living in a land down under (living in a land down under)
Where women glow and men plunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?

 


Who were Men At Work?

Men at Work are an Australian pop rock band founded in 1978 which achieved international success in the 1980s. They are the only Australian artists to reach the Number 1 position in album and singles charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom with Business as Usual and "Down Under". Their funny, irreverent videos became MTV favorites, helping send "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under" to number one.

Men At Work

Men at Work are an Australian rock band formed in 1979 and best known for their 1981 hit "Down Under". Its founding member was Colin Hay on lead vocals and guitar. After playing as an acoustic duo with Ron Strykert during 1978-79, he formed the group with Ron Strykert playing bass guitar, and Jerry Speiser on drums. They were soon joined by Greg Ham on flute, saxophone, and keyboards and John Rees on bass guitar, with Ron then switching to lead guitar. The group was managed by Russell Depeller, a friend of Colin Hay, whom he met at Latrobe University. This line-up achieved national and international success in the early 1980s. In January 1983, they were the first Australian artists to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single.

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