Kathy Freeman received the first call of the new year from her Prime Minister. After midnight, Scott Morrison rang the door bell of the Australia sports icon to inform him that he had ordered a word to be changed in the text of the national anthem. In the future, Australians should no longer enjoy it “not because we are young and independent”, but “because we are one and free” https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/. “What is the beginning of the new year!” ! “Olympic hurdles champion tweeted. Like him, many representatives of the tribals had long criticized that Australia is not a young nation, but one of the oldest cultures of mankind.
The new term should now include Australians first. But hardly any dispute is resolved with minimal change. “Advance Australia Fair” is quite unpopular in the country anyway. Melody is considered to be so scandalous that Australia can sing itself to sleep with it, as did a senator. The real problem, however, begins in the title: “Go ahead …”, but which Australia? “Fair” can be interpreted as “beautiful” and “just”, but also as “light (-skinard)”. Composed by a Scottish immigrant in 1878, the song was sung during the ceremony with which the state was founded in 1901 – with the aim of creating “White Australia” at the time.
But the hymn praised the head of state in London for a long time: “God Save the Queen” is still played in state acts with royal involvement. It was not until the 1970s, after a composition competition failed to win a suitable anthem, that “Advance Australia Fair” prevailed in a referendum against Australia’s most famous song, “Waltzing Matilda”, and in 1984 it became official Anthem was created.
A lot of work has been done on the text. “Australia’s sons” became “Australians all”, including daughters. Three verses in which “Britannia ruled the waves” have been completely removed. Prominent tribals such as opera singer Deborah Cheetham and world boxing champion Anthony Mundine refuse to sing the loaded anthem.
The same oblivion of history flies through them which is also expressed on national holidays. On 26 January, Australians celebrate the arrival of the first fleet of convicts in 1788 with a beach party, fireworks and cheers – regardless of the fact that this day marks the beginning of epidemics, displacement and genocide for indigenous people. Is a symbol. The Union Jack, the banner of the British invaders, is still decorated on the national flag.
There are options for national song. Judith Durham, once legendary singer of the band The seeker, Has written an entirely new text for the old raga, which increases the diversity of the country. And in sports stadiums, fans like to sing a song by their seeker colleague Bruce Woodley. It celebrates all of them, whether they came from Dreamtime 40,000 years ago or much later, chained to a prison ship: “I am you, we are Australians.” An actual hymn.
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