Folk Music

Advance Australia Fair


‘Advance Australia Fair’ replaced ‘God Save the Queen’ as Australia’s
national anthem in 1984. The words and music were composed by Peter Dodds
McCormick (1834-1916) who was born in Port Glasgow, Scotland, and migrated
to Australia in 1855. ‘Advance Australia Fair’ was first sung at the St
Andrew’s Day concert of the (Sydney) Highland Society on 30 November 1878.

We at the British Australian Community believe it is important to publish
here the full words of our national anthem, since nothing but the first
stanza is usually sung. So here is the original version:

Australia’s sons 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 hist’ry’s page, let ev’ry stage
Advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
‘Advance Australia fair!’

When gallant Cook from Albion sailed,
To trace wide oceans o’er,
True British courage bore him on,
Till he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England’s flag,
The standard of the brave;
‘With all her faults we love her still,
‘Britannia rules the wave.’
In joyful strains then let us sing
‘Advance Australia fair!’

While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We’ll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England soil and Fatherland,
Scotia and Erin fair,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
‘Advance Australia fair!’

Should foreign foe e’er sight our coast,
Or dare a foot to land,
We’ll rouse to arms like sires of yore,
To guard our native strand;
Britannia then shall surely know,
Though oceans roll between,
Her sons in fair Australia’s land
Still keep their courage green.
In joyful strains then let us sing
‘Advance Australia fair!’

There is yet another verse, apparently first sung in 1901, which reads as
follows:

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make our youthful Commonwealth,
Renowned of all the lands;
For loyal sons beyond 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!’

It should be noted that the sixth line of this stanza, “We’ve boundless
plains to share”, is often quoted out of context. The clear intention, in
1901, was that we would only share our land with “loyal sons beyond the
seas” – no doubt Canadians, New Zealanders and the like – and decidedly not
with all the unwanted gate-crashers who currently insist on inflicting
themselves on us.