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Land down under (Men at work) (Australia)

A lively song from Australia: the land "Down Under". The only Australian song which hit number one both in America and Britain in the 80's.

Travelling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said,

"Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover."

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscle
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
And he said,

"I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover." (Yeahhh!)

Lyin' in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I said to the man, "Are you trying to tempt me?
Because I come from the land of plenty"
And he said,

"Oh, you come from a land down under? (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? (ooohh)
You better run, you better take cover."

‘Cause we are...

Livin' in a land down under,
Where women glow and men plunder, (yeahhhhhhhhhh)
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? (thunderrrrr!)
You better run, you better take cover.

Livin' in a land down under,
Where women glow and men plunder,
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? (oooo yeahhhh!)
You better run, you better take cover.

We are...

Livin' in a land down under, (ooo yeahhhh)
Where women glow and men plunder,
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? (oooo da da laa yeahhh!)
You better run, you better take cover.

[Fades Out]

FRIED-OUT= very very hot, esp. because of the sun (it feels like a frying-pan on the fire)

COMBIE= bigger than a van but smaller than a mini-bus. It can seat 6 to 10 people or so. Not in fashion anymore, but very common in hippie times.

HIPPIE= (also HIPPY) someone who has chosen to live a different sort of life based on peace and love and has rejected conventional ideas about things such as dress and social values, usually wearing long hair and smoking pot (marihuana). The hippie movement was most popular during the 1960’s.

ZOMBIE= a living dead (fictional monsters or nullified people by voodoo techniques in Haiti). But the expression "HEAD FULL OF ZOMBIE" is because he’s been smoking pot (marihuana) so he feels totally dull and like a zombie (not a normal expression).

GLOW= shine (because they’re beautiful/elegant)

PLUNDER= to steal property from someone by using force and often causing damage (to rob)

THUNDER= the loud sound a lightening produces during an electrical storm. The thunder is referring to the sound of the storms rolling over the hills, heralding the coming of a storm.

YOU BETTER RUN= you should run / if I were you, I would run. The "grammatically correct" sentence would be "you had better" or "you’d better", but in conversational English the auxiliary "had" is usually dropped out so, in practice, BETTER plays the role of an auxiliary verb meaning "Should".

TAKE COVER= get shelter, go somewhere where you are protected. "Cover" is pronounced /kʌvə*/

BRUSSELS= the capital of the EU (European Union) and Belgium

HE WAS SIX FOOT FOUR= he was six foot and four inches tall (when giving a person’s height, FOOT has no plural). 1 foot (ft.) = 12 inches (in.) / 1 foot = 0.3048 metres, 1 inch = 2.54 cms.
6.40 ft = 1.95 mts

FULL OF MUSCLE= really built-up

SPEAK-A= The syllable –A is just a SCHWA producing an extra syllable which comes great for the rhythm of the song, but means nothing.

VEGEMITE SANDWICH= Vegemite is a dark brown savoury food paste made from yeast extract, used mainly as a spread on sandwiches, toast and cracker biscuits, as well as a filling of pastries like Cheesymite scroll, in Australia and New Zealand. It is similar to British and New Zealand Marmite. Vegemite is popular with many Australians and New Zealanders, who commonly consider it a national food and a cultural icon. It can be found in shops around the world, particularly where there are large populations of Australian expatriates. When the tall man gave him a vegemite sandwich he was proving that he is also from Australia.

BEER DOES FLOW= The verb DO in an affirmative sentence is just emphasizing the main verb. The beer flows means there’s a lot of beer to drink (the same as "rivers flow")

CHUNDER- to be sick (BrE), to vomit (an old-fashioned word still in use in Australia). It originates from old seafaring days when sailors would get seasick and stick their head out of the porthole in their cabin. As they did this they would shout "Watch Under!" to warn people in lower cabins of the forthcoming puke. Over the years this has evolved in Chunder. In this song, men chunder because they drink too much beer.

LYIN'= lying

DEN= in this case it means "an opium den", a place in some Asian countries where you could smoke opium. Bombay is a city in India.

Something which is SLACK is loose, not firmly attached to its position. JAW is the movable lower part of your mouth. So A SLACK JAW refers to the fact that he was high on drugs and his mouth was half open just the way all of your body is relaxed and loose after smoking opium.

ARE YOU TRYING TO TEMPT ME?= since he is in an opium den, the other man is probably offering him more opium (tempting him with more drug)

THE LAND OF PLENTY= The country of abundance. If you say that there is plenty of something, you mean that there is a lot of that thing so you have enough and even more than what you need (= more than enough / a real lot). If I say "I’ve got plenty of wine" I mean I’ve got more wine than what I need, so I can share.

FADE OUT= if a sound or an image fades out, it gets weaker and weaker till it finally disappears.

The expression DOWN-UNDER is used to refer to Australia because it is in the southern hemisphere, right on the other side from Britain. This song has become a popular and patriotic song in Australia. It is played in the end credits of the movie "Crocodile Dundee". The song is also partially played in the documentary television series, "The Adventure of English", to help illustrate Australia's newfound confidence in its linguistic identity in the late 20th Century.

The song is a perennial favourite on Australian radio and television. "Men at Work" played this song in the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

This song has got a bunch of Aussie (Australian) slang, and talks about a man who travels around the world with some hippie friends to different countries (namely Europe and Asia) and there he finds other Aussies. At first he feels threatened by them, but when they find out they’re all Aussies it’s all right and he feels at home. (AUSSIE= coll. Australian word meaning "Australian")

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