Wednesday is Jan. 26th, otherwise known in these parts as Australia Day.

It marks the anniversary of the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip at Sydney Cove in 1788, who proclaimed British sovereignty over Australia.  (Oddly, they don’t celebrate the date on which Australia became a federation of states on 1901 and (mostly) independent from the British, or the series of dates over the next 80 years leading to the (virtually) total independence achieved in 1986).

So, in anticipation of the coming holiday, Aussies are stretching those vocal cords (and their beer bellies) and getting ready for a day of singing, flag waving, patriotic outdoor gatherings, and all sorts of drunken shenanigans.  And no, the national anthem is not “Land Down Under” by Men at Work.  So just in case you need a refresher course…

Advance Australia

Fair Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free;

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil, Our home is girt by sea;

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts, Of beauty rich and rare;

In history’s page, let every stage, Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross, We’ll toil with hearts and hands;

To make this Commonwealth of ours, Renowned of all the lands;

For those who’ve come across the seas, We’ve boundless plains to share;

With courage let us all combine, To Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair.

 

(NB: Advance Australia Fair has been the national anthem for less than three decades, replacing God Save the Queen in 1984.  That’s right, 1984.  Australia has only had a national anthem not dictated by a foreign, well, dictator, I mean, empire, I mean, nation, for about just as long as I’ve been alive.  God Save the Queen is still retained and used as the “Royal Anthem” for particular occasions.)

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