Kookaburra, old gum tree, lyrics, lawsuit and re-release

A friend mentioned over dinner last week that ‘Down Under’ by Men at work had been re-recorded and released. Interesting…
Kookaburra - gay your life must be!

Flute riff

Around the time of the infamous court-case about the flute piece in Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’ I did a little snooping into the purchasing of the rights by ‘Larrikin’ music. Didn’t seem fair or just to me that a song written in the 1930’s by Marion Sinclair (which may or may not have had it’s origins in the Welsh folk song “Wele ti’n eistedd aderyn du?”) should be able to be ‘owned’ by somebody completely detached from the creative process.

So, I had a rant about it on my podcast at the time.

Now, I hear at dinner that flute player Greg Ham is dead and that Colin Hay has re-recorded and released the tune without the infamous flute riff. What twisted forces of evil could be at play here???

Oh, Telstra and the Olympics – well that figures!

From an article in ToneDeaf:

From the Tue July 24 episode of Hack on TripleJ:

  • Hack gets sporty but without using the Olympic symbol cause otherwise London’s brand police would come after us and we wouldn’t dare share a golden moment on social media cause that leads to a crackdown too. Hear how corporate sponsors are dominating the London 2012 games.

A very sad tale of the impact of corporate greed on the creative types.

Kookaburra lyrics

As blurted out on an old podcast – Extraordinary Everyday Lives #073 : Kookaburra sits in CC tree there has been disagreement in my family as to the last line. We even partook in duelling wikipedia updates for a while. My wife insists the last line begins with the word how:

Laugh kook-a-bur-ra, laugh, kook-a-bur-ra,

(how) gay your life must be

I say not.


I’m right!

FangMike Seyfang



About mseyfang

Interruptus Digitalis
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One Response to Kookaburra, old gum tree, lyrics, lawsuit and re-release

  1. Dave says:

    I heard that the re-recorded/released version leaves the “old gum tree” flute riff out.

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