Ever since the Olympic Games began my seven year old on has occasionally been heard singing the Australian national anthem, “Advance Australian Fair“. It’s a song that is heard often during an Olympic games as this country usually does quite well in winning gold medals.
He barely gets past singing the first couple of lines before he realises I am listening. These lines:
Australians all let us rejoice
For we are one and free
Now for anyone outside of Australia let me explain something about that second line. It used to read: ‘For we are young and free’ but the word was changed only last year (officially) because it was suggested that the country is not “young” at all. Just because Europeans settled here only 251 years ago does not mean that the country is ‘young’. In fact the indigenous population had been here for thousands of years it was said.
Is that what the ‘young’ in the song was meant to refer to? Who knows? Now of course you and I, and any sane individual reading this would not care about the exact significance and use of a word. After all, in terms of the rest of the world knowing about Australia’s existence it is indeed a relatively new country. But let’s not get into all that trivial nonsense… Because that is not even the word I want to talk about.
They have changed the wrong fucking word!
The word I want to talk about is at the end of that second line: “free”. Because one thing is clear now in Australia. This is no longer a free country. It is not alone in losing its freedom (perceived or otherwise) of course. This covid garbage has seen hard fought for freedoms taken away by useless politicians backed by their geeky “scientific advisors” in most so called ‘democratic’ countries. Is it not more important to be ‘free’ than ‘young’? (Or ‘one’ for that matter?)
In a rush to appease certain grievance-mongers* they have changed the wrong fucking word! Maybe that whole line could be re-written. here are a couple of examples:
For we are now unfree
For we are one not free.
I don’t know. But it does beg the question; what are kids being taught about their national anthem? and should they now be questioning the word “free”? When media and political commentators casually use the phrase “Ring of Steel” (to describe the lockdown level in Sydney) without equating that to “The Iron Curtain” around post-war Eastern Europe there is not much hope is there? Personally I find the use of that term “Ring of Steel” shocking. But then I am old enough to remember East Germany and even visited the place. It was fucking grim let me tell you! I wonder how many currently working in the media are even aware that there was an East Germany?
* Yes there are people who are being paid (probably all from the public purse) who actively go looking for this kind of shit. They are indeed professional grievance-mongers. How they have twisted that word is beyond me. But surely that is now not even relevant. That is not the word that should offend anyone. Things are very different right now…
A Final Word (on another Word)
Incidentally, the next two lines of the anthem are:
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
So how many people (especially the ‘young’ actually) know or care what “Girt” means? Come on, be honest! Exactly. The song was written in the 1870s for crying out loud. I give up… But please let me know what you think about the words of the anthem.