Monday, February 21, 2011

Australia's Answer







Words: W.T.Sievey
Music: J.B.Connolly






When the call went forth from England,
For men to raise the flag,
Australia's sons were ready
To hoist the dear old rag.
The Mother Country calling
Could never call in vain;
Australia's ready answer
Will always be the same.

Can you hear Australia marching
Her sons down to the sea?
She'll send her best and bravest
To fight 'gainst Germany;
That grand old flag of Union,
The good old Union Jack,
She'll carry across the ramparts,
And WHO shall drive her back?

Our men are sure and steady,
And we can always claim -
When Australia sends her sons out -
They are worthy of her name;
When our boys start in to battle,
They'll hoist the good old flag;
Midst shot and shell and rattle,
Australia's lads won't lag.

Can you hear Australia marching
Her sons down to the sea?
She'll send her best and bravest
To fight 'gainst Germany;
That grand old flag of Union,
The good old Union Jack,
She'll carry across the ramparts,
And WHO shall drive her back?

The Kaiser's threats don't harm us,
We are not afraid of war;
The good old British Empire
Has heard the same before.
The boast and bluff of tyrants,
We'll answer with our guns;
The bluffers will have less to say
When they meet Australia's sons.

Can you hear Australia marching
Her sons down to the sea?
She'll send her best and bravest
To fight 'gainst Germany;
That grand old flag of Union,
The good old Union Jack,
She'll carry across the ramparts,
And WHO shall drive her back?





The outbreak of World War One was met with a great outburst of enthusiasm and patriotism in Australia. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. "Australia's Answer" was published in 1914. While perhaps not strictly a folk song, this is a fine example of the patriotic songs of the time, particularly with its references to Australian troops proudly carrying the Union Jack into battle.


A downloadable pdf of the original music for this song can be found at the National Library of Australia website.

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