BBC Song Analysis Fail

Men at Work
Photo by Red~Cyan
Go and have a look at this article by the BBC.  No, it’s ok I can wait.

Now, does that look like an article that tells you “What the Men at Work song Down Under is all about”…no, absolutely not.  Sure, they explain a couple of the terms…and they even manage to speak to the writer of the song himself…and it still leaves you with a sense of…well…nothing.

I wouldn’t normally have taken this on, but as an Englishman I feel it my duty to clean up the mess that the BBC have made.  Fear not Mother England, I will salvage the BBCs reputation…even at the expense of my own.

I bring you… Down Under by Men At Work

Traveling in a fried-out kombi
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

Now, I will go as far as to agree with the BBC and state that, a fried-out kombi is indeed a vehicle..and not, as I first thought, a combination convection grill/microwave oven.  With that in mind…and seeing as those particular VW vans were the mainstay of hippy travel for many happy years, I would guess that the hippy trail also fits.

Quite how you follow a hippy trail is beyond me though, it probably goes in circles and stops a lot for “relaxation breaks”.  It will no doubt be littered with “doobies” and bio-degradable condoms…making following it a bit easier than first thoughts suggest.

Now we come to a problem.  If a strange lady makes you nervous, why oh why would you allow yourself to be taken in and given breakfast?  It makes no sense…well..unless you consider the “hippy trail” and the inevitable munchies that will occur…I suppose.

And she said,
Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Cant you hear, cant you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.

Ok, so she is a little nosey…and has clearly heard bad things about Australia…namely their (apparently) sweaty  women and their (again, apparently) thieving men.  Personally I think she is going a bit far there..I mean, it was a very long time ago that Australia consisted of convicts.  I have a question though, what kind of place…that you can be taken in to, and served breakfast…wouldn’t be able to protect you from a thunderstorm?  Unless you had made some sort of breakfast faux pax…say, ketchup instead of brown sauce, asking for coffee instead of a cup of sweet tea or, worst of all…toast instead of fried bread.  Let’s face it, breakfast faux pax of this ilk deserve severe punishment, and being thrown out into a thunderstorm suggest getting off very lightly.

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

I always suspected that Brussels is the root of all evil.  Claiming that a banana isn’t one because it didn’t bend enough, stating that we can’t call sausages…sausages, same for chocolate.  Bastards the lot of em.  And here we finally have the proof…some musclebound evil sociopath, handing out Vegemite sandwiches with a malevolent grin on his face…He probably even advertised them as Marmite..just to entice people to have them.  Bastard

And he said,
I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Cant you hear, cant you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.

Ahh, so our evil Brusselian sociopath is claiming to be an Aussie.  I’m not entirely sure that he could convince anyone that wasn’t on the hippy trail…but hey, you can only convince what’s in front of you I suppose.  However, he is now essentially stating that Aussies can’t drink…which has admittedly been my experience, but you expect a little bit of national pride here.  Also, I can only assume that Australia never gets thunderstorms…like, ever!  I mean, they are all bleedin’ terrified of the things.  All this running and taking cover…it’s thunder ffs…christ on a rope, I can’t imagine their reaction if there was some bloody lightning.

Lying 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?

Bombay…man this guy gets about a bit doesn’t he.  I mean, hippies are normally so tanked up that they “visit the world” purely in their mind, so for one to move around so much…strange to say the least.  He appears to be visiting bombay with a slack jawed redneck too…which is nice.  Is Australia really the land of plenty though?  Plenty of sunburn I suppose…Plenty of things in the water designed to kill you too (thanks Dylan Moran)…plenty of what “Men at Work”, plenty of what?  The public needs to know…well, I do at least.

And he said,
Oh! do you come from a land down under? (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Cant you hear, cant you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover

Well, it would seem that the good people of Bombay would struggle to deal with storms too, although the rumours of sweaty women and all the men being burglars, seems to have reached there too.  Oh well, no smoke without fire I suppose…

So there you have it, not my best song analysis…but to be fair, look at what I was working with people….seriously.

Men At Work, try working at trying harder to make sense.

I am off for a chunder after a zombie in a combi in Bomb…i  Oops!

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