Are you a brain-dead Aussie Aussie Aussie?
As Lleyton Hewitt limbers up for tonight’s showdown with Andy Roddick, The Punch has gone to the trouble of writing down the lyrics for our putative national song, so that any tennis enthusiast who’s recently been lobotomised can sing along with The Fanatics and not miss a single word.
It goes: Aussie Aussie Aussie. Oi Oi Oi. Aussie Aussie Aussie. Oi Oi Oi. Aussie. Oi. Aussie. Oi. Aussie Aussie Aussie. Oi Oi Oi.
It’s a ripper isn’t it? The result of more than two centuries’ development by a nation which inherited a rich tradition of song from the Celts, as demonstrated in the above video of the Irish crowd at Croke Park singing The Fields of Athenry.
There’s an Aussie tie-in with this stirring Irish song. It’s about a fellow who’s been jailed and sent to prison in Australia. The lyrics recount the last conversation he and his his wife will ever have, singing to each other across the prison wall before he’s put on the ship.
The story of Aussie Aussie Aussie is similarly powerful, in that it’s about an Aussie Aussie who Oi Oi Aussie Oi, Aussie Oi. I mean seriously - just how dumb are we as a nation? Or rather, how dumb do we like to pretend to be?
There are primitive chaps wearing next to nothing, standing on one leg on the dusty expanses of the Kalihari Desert, who with their rudimentary click-click language could come up with a better song than Aussie Aussie Aussie.
I’d venture that this dumb tune has probably done more to cement our international standing as a nation of boorish, one-dimensional sport-loving yobs, than a couple of Indians getting jostled and having their iPods swiped outside Spencer Street Station.
It’s not an opinion ventured by way of snobbery either. Sport is one of the key reasons for existing. The beer snake is a feat of modern engineering. And the song “Members are Wankers” is, to my mind, not only highly amusing but makes a valid point.
But the shattered Czech number 23 Radek Stepanek had every right to bag the professionally irritating Fanatics, those yellow T-shirted rabbits who traverse the globe armed with the world’s most embarrassing song-book, to cheer on our stars while tormenting everyone else. “They have been annoying,” he said by way of understatement.
The Fanatics’ line-up of tunes suggests the need for some kind of intervention on health grounds as it’s the most haphazard selection of weirdness you could imagine.
There’s “If you all love Lleyton clap your hands”; inexplicably, there’s What About Me? by Moving Pictures, the equally unfathomable You’re the Voice by Farnsey, something called “Super Super Lleyton” and of course everyone’s favourite Aussie Aussie Aussie.
You’ve got to give them credit for being eclectic. You could throw in I Like it Both Ways by Supernaut and it wouldn’t look out of place. Hey, let’s watch it now.
During the Sydney Olympics that red-hot sports nut Bob Carr - who once predicted that NSW would beat Victoria in Origin - was interviewed by Andrew Denton on his old Triple M Breakfast Show.
After playfully quizzing him about whether Cathy Freeman was a runner or a swimmer, Denton concluded by saying: “Thanks for joining us Premier and as we always say here on the Denton Show, Aussie Aussie Aussie…”
“Indeed,” Carr replied.
Indeed, indeed. Let’s boycott this song now and if we can’t come up with a better one, stop humiliating ourselves before the vastly more talented choirs such as the Barmy Army with this demeaning rubbish.
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