Happy Belated Australia Day!
The incident, which I speak of, is non other than Kate DeAraugo’s massive blunder while singing the national anthem. Actually it was minimal, though unforgivable. Here’s how it happened: on the afternoon of January 26th 2006 I had been watching the Australian Open and after a particular ladies’ singles match, the pop singer sang and decided to commence the line "We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil" with, well, "With" instead. It is probably the most common mistake made when people sing Advance Australia Fair. It is bad enough that many people are ignorantly singing it without the supposedly "most revered" pop musicians (I say this because it has been brought to my attention that she was the latest Australian Idol) not getting the words right to our national song. In primary school one of my music teachers forced our class to learn the national anthem correctly, and for good reason too. I am grateful to that teacher for ensuring that I (as well as my classmates) could sing the national anthem correctly, and not just for the reason to spare myself any public embarrassment but to exhibit that I am a literate (this could be debatable ) citizen who sings with a sense of pride about a nation that has been a safe home to me for the last decade and a half and a place where I have had many wonderful opportunities. Hopefully such aforementioned incidents – should they become noticed – do not reflect Australians’ ignorance and apathy to the world.
Let me introduce you to the word "mondogreens". Dictionary.com defines it as "a series of words that result from the mishearing or misinterpretation of a statement or song lyric". It’s mostly common among younger people and my mum of course. They are actually quite amusing to hear because sometimes they are just simply hilarious. To make light the situation concerning Ms DeAraugo’s indiscretion, let us now look a few mondogreens of lines of the Advance Australia Fair.
"Australians all let us rejoice" --> "Australians all eat ostriches" / "Australia’s sunset oranges"
"Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free" --> "Australians all eat sausages, Four minus one is three"
"Our home is girt by sea" --> "Our home is dirt by sea"
Plaza, A (Ed). (2006). The Newsletter, 2.