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Smooth Operator's 80's Song Of The Week, 2-11-2007
by Mark on 2/11/2007 (0)

G'day, Mate!
"Down Under" is the title of a New Wave song of the reggae flavour, recorded in 1982 by the Australian rock group Men at Work. This song went all the way to #1 on both the American and Australian pop charts.

It has become a popular and patriotic song in Australia by virtue of the popular interpretation of the lyrics. The lyrics are about an Australian traveller circling the globe, proud of his nationality and attracting the interest of others because of that. One of the verses refers to Vegemite sandwiches, among other things, and this particular lyric has become a well-known phrase. The flute part in the song is based around the tune of Kookaburra, a well-known Australian children's rhyme.

Traveling in a fried-out combie
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-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."

Lying 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? (oh 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."



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