This is a list of the most well known songs about Australia. There are songs that describe the amazing landscape and culture and some songs that narrate some history.
Songs About Australia – The Best-Known List
- Country Folk – Waltzing Matilda
This is probably the best known Australian country folk song, the words to which were written in 1895 by Banjo Patterson. It is the story of an itinerant worker who steals a sheep, gets caught and sentenced to hanging. Instead he commits suicide and then haunts the site where he was caught for ever more.
- Paul Allen – I Still Call Australia Home
Because of a certain airline company, this could well be the best known song about Australia.
- Rock – Great Southern Land – Icehouse
This song describes some of the wonderful landscapes found in Australia.
- Pop – Christine Anu – My Island Home
This song is the story of one’s love affair with the Australian coastline, despite living in the city.
- Rock – Men At Work – Land Down Under
With references to the ‘fried out combie’ and ‘vegemite sandwiches’, this song really captures one man’s adventures travelling through Australia.
- Australian Rock – Paul Kelly – From Little Things Big Things Grow
This was a protest song, based on the story of the Gurindji Strike and Vincent Lingiari as part of the Indigenous Australians’ struggle for land rights and reconciliation.
- Indigenous Music/Rock – Yothu Yindi – Treaty
This song was written with the intention of highlighting the lack of progress on a promised treaty between Aboriginal people and the federal government in the early nineties.
Less-Known Songs About Australia and Australian Things
Many songs about Australia, great southern land, have been written over the years. These include songs such as “Great Southern Land” by Icehouse. But this is a quest to find the list of songs which to this day not only best represent Australia but are musically pleasing as well.
- Punk Rock – Pennywise – Land Down Under
This is quite a rockin’ cover of the Men at Work song, quite possible making it the coolest song about Australia.
- Folk Rock – The Waifs – Bridal Train
This track tells the story of Vikki, Donna Simpson’s grandmother, a war-bride of a sailor in the United States Navy. She boarded a train from Perth to Sydney to travell to San Francisco to meet her husband.
- Hip Hop – The Herd – I was Only 19
This song was originally released in 1983 by Redgum. At the time, the song hit number one and remained in the charts for a long time.
The song describes a typical Australian infantry regular soldier’s experience in the Vietnam War.
- Piano Rock – Ben Folds – Adelaide
Having spent quite a bit of time living in Adelaide, I can verify this song’s accuracy =). It’s also pretty cool when a famous artist like Ben Folds writes a song about your town, especially when this town is not really widely heard of internationally.
- Pop Rock – The Beautiful Girls – Under A Southern Sky
This is a beautiful song describing some typical Australian summer landscapes as well as traditions. It is more specific to Sydney, but I am sure all Australians can relate to stunning sunsets, the beach and watching cricket
- Australian Hip Hop – The Get Up Mob – From Little Things Big Things Grow
This is a cover of the Paul Kelly classic. It is about the Australian Reconciliation and what it means to say sorry.