"Down Under" as written by Ronald Graham Strykert and Colin James Hay....
Traveling 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 muscles
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
Yeah

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

Do 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?
You better run, you better take cover

Living in 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

Living in 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

Living in 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

Living in 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


Lyrics submitted by numb

"Down Under" as written by Ronald Graham Strykert, Colin James Hay

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Down Under song meanings
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93 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentLOL, as a qualified Australian, let me translate this one:

    - A VW Kombi van is the Australian poor man's road trip vehicle of choice. "Fried out" means that it's in really poor condition and overheating.

    - "Zombie" is marijuana, though some other people claim it's other drugs.

    - The thunder refers to both Australia's tropical storminess, and also to the awesomeness of the people/country (like footsteps, ie: we're coming! Better take cover!)

    - Vegemite is the national sandwich spread, made from yeast extract (beer scum, kind of). Usually only Australians can stand the taste (I eat it from the jar, haha), so eating a Vegemite sandwich is a good way to prove you're an Aussie (it's our secret "language" overseas).

    - To "Chunder", in Australian slang, is to puke. So, they're saying we get drunk and barf a lot, which...is true. Ahem.

    And of course, Australia is the land down under all the other countries. Hence, the land down under.
    braille16on December 24, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's simple and to me it means a man missing home and finding it where he least expects it all around the globe through different people.

    Good on you for your Australian spirit, and I completely disagree with those from other countries that don't appreciate it. Think of songs that make you proud in your country, that's what this is to us Australians.

    Now, instead of this as our national anthem what about something like "Home Among the Gum Trees" which truly looks at Australia and what makes it so bloody good!
    gumtreebeachon October 09, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOk. Let me explain.
    I'm Australian so I know exactly what's going on.

    It's 'Kombi' not 'combie'. A Volkswagon Kombi is a minivan. It's fried-out because of the heat and it's probably overheating. Head full of Zombie refers to him being wasted on a head full of pot. The thunder I imagine is refering to the sound of the storms rolling over the hills, the smell of rain coming and the feeling you get before there's a big Aussie storm.

    This song rules.
    LONG LIVE AUSTRALIA.
    LeeHarveyon June 10, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentListening to this song sends chills down my spine. This song and Khe Sahn. Both great Aussie songs.
    COBHATEBREEDERon August 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with LeeHarvey about everything, but he left somthing out. When he said "lying in a den in Bombay" He's referring to an oppieum den, wich reconfirms his comment that "head full of zombie" ment that he was wasted.
    Olexon May 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentpeople, being from Australia, let me just tell u that most of the stuff on Crocodile Dundee is absolute shit and ALL of the stuff from the simpsons is even worse. LeeHarvey is quite correct on his interpretation on the song... it was pretty funny that this song flopped on the international charts but shot to the top in Oz.
    hiphop_chickon May 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentl'm australian and l think as with most songs on this site, people read far too much into the lyrics.
    The lyrics are all pretty much straight forward.
    l will say though the only embarrassing thing about being aussie is every event involving an australian there's got to be some wanker screaming out aussie, aussie, aussie, oi, oi, oi. STOP IT!
    l'm thinking about starting a petition to make that illegal.
    sleepsyon March 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd another thing...:
    the song is referred to as both "Land Down Under" and "Down Under" but is actually named "Down Under" which is what it is called on ITunes.
    gumtreebeachon October 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell said abmad.
    Don't know if you love Australia more though, we love our country more than we love meat pie. :P
    vegemite0on0toaston May 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'll have to agree with pishi, nejduharfel and BrandiYannes regarding the exclusive attitude some of the Australians have shown here. Foreign individuals can understand the lyrics of this song. Just because they may have never experienced the awe of Australian storms, doesn't mean that they can't comprehend the concept of it.

    I mean what do Australians have pride of to be so exclusive? That their ancestors were convicts? No, obviously, and the lyrics of this song convey this. Note how the only Australian character in the song who sings the chorus doesn't mention the men being plunderers. Only the other characters who sing the chorus do that (who know of only the Australian stereotypes). However, the Australian-Brussels guy does mention the excessive drinking habit of Australians, which apparently even some Australians admit is true - this plus the reference to Vegemite convey how the two Austrians believe they share a cultural connection and thus are amiable towards each other.

    Basically: foreigners love Australians because of the stereotypes; Australians love Austrians because of their cultural connections; but everyone loves Australia because of the the land's natural beauty, conveyed by the reference to thunderstorms in the chorus and their association with the Australian traveller. This is fundamentally what the song is about, in my opinion.

    Maybe this song is not about having pride in Australia because of being from the country, but just by being of the physical land which contains such beauties like the storms. If true, this meaning is echoed in the title of the song and the fact that Australia is never mentioned as a country in the lyrics but only as a land.

    However, I could just be over analysing a hunch, but that is at least better than saying: "OMG, I am from Australia and the foreigners can't understand the song like I can; it is my birthright!" People aren't amiable towards Australians because they are exclusive; the stereotype is that Australians are friendlily; welcoming. If the characters in this song saw some of the comments here then the protagonist would be one hungry Australian!


    Also I'm not sure how relevant the drug references are to the fundamental meaning of the song; maybe I missed something big there. Also I'm not so sure about the nuking theory, to be honest.


    (Note: the use of the term "foreign" is relative to Australia throughout this comment.)
    GarmGarfon June 17, 2009   Link

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