When your English is not perfect...

I love this song!

Long before I discovered the use of google lyrics search, and before coming to Texas, I was a teenager in Lima, Peru. It was there where I realized my favorite type of music came from the 80s. And one of the songs that allowed me to discover that, was Down Under from Men at Work. One thing, when you speak a language other than English, is that you tend to like songs for their rhythms and notes rather than the lyrics. You also tend to sing whatever the words sound like as opposed to what the song is really saying. Anyway, of course I now know how to sing Down Under better and what they're saying, but I actually didn't have it 100% accurate until now. After listening to it like 3 times yesterday in my car, I decided to look at the lyrics... here's a few things about the song I just learned today (not only in terms of the correct word but also the real meaning): 

- I did not know Australia was known as "the land down under" 
- "where women glow and men plunder" to plunder means 'to take by force or wrongfully'
- "where beer does flow and men chunder"  chunder is slang for throwing up, yuc! I like that better than the v word though.
- some lyric translations*: 
Fried out Kombi - a broken-down van. The lyrics are often translated as "Combie," but the correct spelling is Kombi. It came from the VW Kombivan which was very popular in the '60s and early '70s, especially with surfers and hippies. --> I actually knew what a 'combie' was because we have them all over in Lima!

Head full of Zombie - Zombie was a particularly strong batch of marijuana which was floating around Australia for a long time. People called it "Zombie Grass." --> Absolutely no idea! I just imagined a bunch of zombies on a trail... 

- I did not know a Vegemite sandwich looked so...        yucky: 

- In the original video {not the one above}, the guy who stands up and offers the Vegemite sandwich is the band's drummer, Jerry Speiser. He wasn't really "6 foot 4 and full of muscles," he had to stand on something to get extra height. He also wore a wig.--> I actually like to imagine him somewhat like this:

- I thought land down under was referring to a happy place where everything was perfect... 

- I would always sing : I said to the man, "Are you trying to touch me?" as opposed to I said to the man, "Are you trying to tempt me?" 
- I would always sing "where women blow and men plunder" as opposed to "where women glow and men plunder." It sounded a bit strange indeed...

Isn't it funny when you discover you've been singing the incorrect lyrics for years? And isn't cool when you learn that a song has a deeper meaning than what it seems? 

zombiegiant, happyland


  1. Hahahahha, oh this made me laugh!
    I promise you, Australia is really quite lovely :)

  2. I am sure it is Athena! I want to go there one day! :) I am just not sure if I'll have a Vegemite sandwich hehe. Thanks for visiting!


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