Down Under (3:40)

Cover of Business As Usual

From Business As Usual and 448 other releases

“Down Under” (also known as “Land Down Under”) is a pop song recorded by Men at Work for their debut album Business as Usual (1981). The song went to #1 on American, British, and Australian charts.

It was reissued in 1982, and is the only Men at Work song to go to #1 in the United Kingdom, and their only single to make the UK top 20. It has become a popular and patriotic song in Australia.

The lyrics are about an Australian traveller circling the globe, proud of his nationality, and about his interactions with people he meets on his travels who are interested in his home country.

One of the verses refers to Vegemite (an Australian food product) sandwiches, among other things; the particular lyric “He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich” has become a well-known phrase.

Colin Hay told Songfacts: “The chorus is really about the selling of Australia in many ways, the over-development of the country. It was a song about the loss of spirit in that country. It’s really about the plundering of the country by greedy people. It is ultimately about celebrating the country, but not in a nationalistic way and not in a flag-waving sense. It’s really more than that.”

Slang and drug terms are used in the lyrics:

Travelling in a fried-out Kombi, on a hippy trail, head full of zombie.

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