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Down Under" (also known as "Land Down Under") is a song recorded by Australian rock group Men at Work. It was released in October 1982 as the second single from their debut album Business as Usual (1981). The song went to number one on American,[ British, Canadian and Australian charts. It is the only Men at Work song to make the UK top 20.It has become a popular and patriotic song in Australia.[


Background and writing

Colin Hay told Songfacts: "The chorus is really about the selling of Australia in many ways, the over-development of the country. It was a song about the loss of spirit in that country. It's really about the plundering of the country by greedy people. It is ultimately about celebrating the country, but not in a nationalistic way and not in a flag-waving sense. It's really more than that."[


The lyrics are about an Australian traveller circling the globe, proud of his nationality, and about his interactions with people he meets on his travels who are interested in his home country.

One of the verses refers to Vegemite sandwiches, among other things; the particular lyric "He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich" has become a well-known phrase.[

Slang and drug terms are used in the lyrics:

Travelling in a fried-out Kombi, on a hippie trail, head full of zombie.

Here "fried-out" means overheated,[6] Kombi refers to the Volkswagen Type 2 combination van,and having "a head full of zombie" refers to the use of a type of marijuana. Cultural slang is also used: after the second verse the refrain is "where the beer does flow and men chunder"; "chunder" means vomit.[


The exterior shots for the music video were filmed at the Cronulla Sand Dunes outside of Sydney The video also features several litre-size cans of what appear to be Foster's Lager (although the brand is removed), a beer drunk mainly outside Australia while being marketed as Australian

The song is a perennial favourite on Australian radio and television, and topped the charts in the U.S. and UK simultaneously in early 1983.It was later used as a theme song by the crew of Australia II in their successful bid to win the America's Cup in 1983,[ and a remixed version appears during the closing credits of Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Men at Work played this song in the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, alongside other Australian artists.It was also often played after Australian athletes had received medals during competition, as they walked around the venue on a parade lap after the medal ceremony

In May 2001, Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) celebrated its 75th anniversary by naming the Best Australian Songs of all time, as decided by a 100 strong industry panel, "Down Under" was ranked as the fourth song on the list.[



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."




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?

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!



TAB COLA Commercial   (1982)











It was in the television advertisements that launched Tab low calorie cola in Australia that the then 17-year old Elle Macpherson first began turning heads. In the ads, as Elle walks across the beach in a red bikini with her can of Tab, a man is caught staring at her by the lady he is with. She then dumps a cooler filled with water on him in retaliation, but quickly forgives him and they share a loving embrace. The advertisement made Elle a household name; every male in the country fell in love with her. The whole country claimed her as our own, and as a result of her statuesque appearance on the ad, was dubbed The Body.

In viewing this commercial you need to examine how it may reflect social values of this time in Australia 

So view the commercial a number of times to understand the narrative and  techniques it uses to sell the product and most importantly engage the audience 


The ad commences with an upbeat guitar riff jingle  of Tab Cola and reveals a well endowed girl in a bright red bikini walking from the beach with surfers in the background

She is intercut with a subliminal shot of the Tab soft drink can surrounded by ice. The camera cuts back to her in full body shot as she tucks  her hair behind her eye in a feminine gesture. The tab jingle announces tab is so good for beautiful people  A crosscut of a close up of  tab being poured into a glass with the words tab on it . The camera then cuts back to the girl where the angle accentuates her model like swagger and cleavage. A sequence of shots intercut between the girl and tab being poured into a glass, again subtely highlight her walking closer to the camera focusing on her cleavage. The camera then cuts to a medium shot framing her  lower body as she  approaches a couple sitting together on the beach . As she passes the male he looks up excited and lustfully at her.

The jingle exclaims Tab has lest than 2 calories for a beautiful shape for beautiful people ‘ His companion then pours the cold contents of an esky over his head as they laugh together . The camera then cuts to a close up of the girl expressing a cheeky grin , then cuts back to the couple lovingly embracing. The camera then cuts to a studio shot of a glass of tab in the shape of an hourglass which is animated to decrease the centre whilst screen text ‘Great Taste  Low calorie”  appear on the screen.  the middle of the glass reflecting the hips of a body shape 

Production Context

When writing about your text, it is important to identify the production context. Who made the text? When was it created? What country was it made in? The text’s time and place of production can help us understand the social values that the text embodies.

The Tab Cola Commercial was made in Australia in 1982 .  It is important to view and understand this  commercial  in context to the values of the society at this time . 

Identifying social values

Once you’ve developed a clear understanding of the time and place in which your text was produced, start to think about the values that it embodies. Watch the text a number of times. What values, beliefs and attitudes are reflected in the narrative?  Which  characters  are  the  audience encouraged to identify with? Which characters are represented in a positive way? Which characters are represented in a negative light?

When you’ve watched the text a few times, it’s time to start nailing down the social values. When you’re writing about the social values, especially in the VCE Media examination, they need to be identified clearly. In previous exams, students have used single words like ‘love’ and ‘families’ to identify values in the texts they have studied.

Social values are complex. They cannot be reduced to single words. If you want to successfully identify a social value, you will need to explain it more carefully in a way that clearly identifies values, attitudes and beliefs held during the production period.


Identify the setting of the commercial

Identify who appears in the commercial – what does she wear – how does she appear?  What production elements, e.g camera framing - are used to enhance her representation. ?

What is  the narrative presented. How does the male react to her  and how does his companion act ?

What values does this advertisement suggest about Australian cultural values- regarding leisure / gender / humour ? How are women portrayed in the advertisement ? How are men portrayed . 











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