As we are constantly being told symbols are important.
National flags, oaths, anthems.
So what happens when symbolism collides with popular culture or, heavens to Murgatroyd, politics?
It gets us into difficult territory mes braves.
I fancy that “Advance Australia Fair” is possibly the most ill-treated anthem in this crazy old world.
It gets mangled far more than “The Star Spangled Banner”.
It is indefensibly buggarised with infinitely more than “God Defend New Zealand”.
Why is “Advance Australia Fair” so often turned into a nasally inspired quasi-runner’s up performance at a pretty crook talent quest.
Even when the singing is passable, why do I feel a little queasy ?
And why is it sung so often at events – sporting & otherwise – that don’t attract national anthems in other western countries.
Should we blame Julie Anthony ?
I don’t think so as her version has great dignity. It is the gold (and green) standard for the ditty.
I think the blame lays at the door of those in charge who also believe ground announcers are a “good things” and $6.50 light beers add to the sum of human happiness.
The Idolesque performances are inflicted on us because somebody somewhere thinks that’s what the “kids” want.
Can we just think about what is our nation’s theme song a little bit before we launch into it?
A bit of R-E-S-P-E-C-T please.
BTW – the use of anthems for somewhat questionable reasons is nothing new.
Back in 1952 the great American reporter Ed Murrow wrote: “The national anthem played and sung before a couple of second rate fighters belabour each other about the head, before horses run or the ball players try to earn their pay does not necessarily add dignity to the song or the event.”