I Still Call Australia Home
|"I Still Call Australia Home"|
|Song by Peter Allen|
|from the album Bi-Coastal|
"I Still Call Australia Home" is a song written and performed by Peter Allen in 1980. In it, Allen sings of Australian expatriates' longing for home.
Significance to Australian culture
It has been used to signify Australian patriotism and nostalgia for home. An example is the series of Qantas television commercials where it was sung either by individual Australian musicians or one of several Australian youth choirs. This is also remade in their 2020 safety video, where various covers of the song were made accompanying a 100-year history visualization.
In the 1984 Summer Olympics' Opening Gala TV special (in Los Angeles), Olivia Newton-John performed this song from Sydney, Australia with the choir in a medley with "Waltzing Matilda". Later, both songs were used in the musical about Allen's life, The Boy from Oz, in which Hugh Jackman starred as Allen.
In Australian English speech of earlier generations, "home" referred to Britain. Thus by contrast, "calling Australia home" became for a period a particularly piquant expression of Australian identity.
"I Still Call Australia Home" peaked at number 72 on the Australian singles chart in June 1980 when it was originally released, but re-entered the charts and peaked at number 60 in September 2015 following the screening of the mini-series Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door.
- The song was used as the closing for Australia Day in 1994; performed and arranged by Noel Elmowy, and sung by Chris Lloyds and Andrew Oh.
- The song was used in the evening closing sequence for Tasmanian television station TNT and later by TVT.
- In one version of the song popularly used by Qantas, "Rio" is replaced by "Rome" as Qantas does not operate flights to Rio de Janeiro, but flew to the Italian capital at the time the video was made.
- The version of the song used by Qantas in its 2009 advertisement replaces the entire first verse with one sung in Kala Lagaw Ya, a dialect of the Torres Strait Islands. This version was performed by the Gondwana National Indigenous Children's Choir and the Sydney Children's Choir as well as the Australian Girls Choir and National Boys Choir.
- Qantas later reused the song as part of safety videos since 2018, with the 2018 safety video recorded in many parts around the world, including New York and London. In addition, "Rio" was used in this version of the song instead of "Rome". When Qantas was celebrating the centennial anniversary of its foundation, the instrumental version of the song tailored to each time period portrayed in the safety video (with a children's choir singing at the end).
- The song is a popular inclusion in the repertoire of several Welsh male voice choirs, including the Australian Welsh Male Choir and Morriston Orpheus Choir. The Welsh version replaces "London" in the line "from New York, to Rome, and old London town", with "Swansea".
- Australian comedy team The Chaser composed a parody of the Qantas version of the song, called "I Still Call Australia 51 per cent Home" in response to Qantas outsourcing some of its engineering services to Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa.
- The song was performed by Chris Lilley in episodes one and two of "We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year" (2005).
- The song was performed by singer Kylie Minogue in the Sound Relief concert in benefit of the victims of the Australian Bushfires on 14 March 2009.
- The song featured as pre-game entertainment at the 2009 AFL Grand Final, performed by the 'Qantas choir' and the Gondwana National Indigenous Children's Choir.
- The song was performed by Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John and Russell Crowe to close Oprah Winfrey's Australian Adventure during her final season on broadcast television. This performance originally aired on US television on Friday, 21 January 2011.
- The naming ceremony for Qantas' A380, VH-OQA, the Nancy Bird Walton, the flagship of their fleet, features a choir singing this song
- The song was adapted and translated into French by Sylvie Boisel. The title is L'Australie est ma patrie. She performed it at Sydney Town Hall for the Prime Minister of Australia John Howard and the Wallabies in 2007.
- The song was performed by a choir at the opening ceremonies of the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
- Australian comedian and musician Tim Minchin uploaded a parody of the song called "I Still Call Australia Homophobic" to his Facebook page in reference to the same-sex marriage debate and proposed 2017 survey in Australia.
- The Australian hip hop group TLK used the song as the inspiration for their 2006 song "I still call Australia home" which referenced historical violence against Aboriginals.
- The Australian vocal group The Ten Tenors regularly performs "I Still Call Australia Home" in their concerts.
- Australian tenor Stuart Skelton performed the song at the Last Night of the Proms 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall.
- Duncan Macleod (12 June 2006). "Qantas I Still Call Australia Home". The Inspiration Room Daily. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
- "Qantas Safety Video". Qantas. 25 February 2020. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 10 September 2020 – via YouTube.
- National Film and Sound Archive: Sounds of Australia.
- "home". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.) - "Formerly used with reference to Britain by inhabitants of (former) British dependencies [...]."
- "Kent Music Report No 312 – Week Ending 16 June 1980". Imgur.com (original document published by Kent Music Report). Retrieved 12 August 2017. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives: Australian Chart Book. p. 15. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Ryan, Gavin (19 September 2015). "ARIA Singles: Justin Bieber 'What Do You Mean' Keeps Top Spot". Noise11. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- Chris Lloyds I Still Call Australia Home, archived from the original on 21 December 2021, retrieved 10 June 2021
- "TNT 9 Closedown Early 1980s". YouTube. c. 1980. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
- "TAS TV End of Transmission". YouTube. c. 1986. Retrieved 16 March 2012.[dead YouTube link]
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- "Wonderful Welsh Choirs". Amazon. (track 11)
- Peter Tschmuck; Philip L. Pearce; Steven Campbell (16 April 2013). Music Business and the Experience Economy: The Australasian Case. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 164. ISBN 978-3-642-27898-3.
- Gondwana Choirs Ltd (2010). Annual Report 2009 (PDF). Annual report. Sydney. p. 7.
- "Tim Minchin - A heartfelt song to my homeland..." Facebook. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
- Caroline Overington (11 August 2017). "Minchin: 'I still call Australia homophobic'". The Australian. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
- Chiara Minestrelli (26 October 2016). Australian Indigenous Hip Hop: The Politics of Culture, Identity, and Spirituality. Taylor & Francis. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-317-21754-1.
- Brad Porfilio; Debangshu Roychoudhury; Lauren M. Gardner (23 September 2014). See You at the Crossroads: Hip Hop Scholarship at the Intersections: Dialectical Harmony, Ethics, Aesthetics, and Panoply of Voices. Springer. p. 136. ISBN 978-94-6209-674-5.
- "The Ten Tenors Setlist". Setlist.fm. 27 December 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2022.