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"Advance, Australia Fair"

Written by Scottish-born composer Peter Dodds McCormick and first performed in1878, Advance Australia Fair was officially declared the national anthem by the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, on 19 April 1984. This version is one of the earliest recordings, thought to be made in 1915, when Australian troops were landing in Egypt.

Despite it’s status as the official national anthem, Waltzing Matilda (1895), a more uplifting tune with lyrics by Banjo Paterson telling the story of a criminal stealing a sheep, is still widely regarded as Australia’s ‘unofficial’ national anthem.

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"Advance, Australia Fair"

Written by Scottish-born composer Peter Dodds McCormick and first performed in1878, Advance Australia Fair was officially declared the national anthem by the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, on 19 April 1984. This version is one of the earliest recordings, thought to be made in 1915, when Australian troops were landing in Egypt.

Despite it’s status as the official national anthem, Waltzing Matilda (1895), a more uplifting tune with lyrics by Banjo Paterson telling the story of a criminal stealing a sheep, is still widely regarded as Australia’s ‘unofficial’ national anthem.


Year: 1915

Length: 03:09

Production Company: unknown

Credits: Written and composed by Peter Dodds McCormick / Performer: The Orpheus Quartet

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title: 230344


People: Peter Dodds, McCormick, The Orpheus Quartet

Location: Recorded in the United Kingdom

Tags: Australia, song, music, popular music, Peter Dodds McCormick, national anthem

Subject: Australian National Anthem


Image Title: Advance, Australia Fair sheet music

Image Source: Cantorion http://cantorion.org/music/3789/Advance-Australia-Fair-Voice-Piano


Advance Australia Fair – lyrics (the original 1879 version) 

Verse 1 

Australia's sons let us rejoice, 

For we are young and free; 

We've golden soil and wealth for toil, 

Our home is girt by sea; 

Our land abounds in Nature's gifts 

Of beauty rich and rare; 

In hist'ry's page, let ev'ry stage 

Advance Australia fair. 

In joyful strains then let us sing, 

Advance Australia fair. 

Verse 2 

When gallant Cook from Albion sailed, 

To trace wide oceans o'er, 

True British courage bore him on, 

Til he landed on our shore. 

Then here he raised Old England's flag, 

The standard of the brave; 

"With all her faults we love her still" 

"Britannia rules the wave." 

In joyful strains then let us sing 

Advance Australia fair. 

Verse 3 

While other nations of the globe 

Behold us from afar, 

We'll rise to high renown and shine 

Like our glorious southern star; 

From England soil and Fatherland, 

Scotia and Erin fair, 

Let all combine with heart and hand 

To advance Australia fair. 

In joyful strains then let us sing 

Advance Australia fair. 

Verse 4 

Should foreign foe e'er sight our coast, 

Or dare a foot to land, 

We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore, 

To guard our native strand; 

Britannia then shall surely know, 

Though oceans roll between, 

Her sons in fair Australia's land 

Still keep their courage green. 

In joyful strains then let us sing 

Advance Australia fair.