FILIBUSTER – A Parody of Land Down Under by Men At Work

posted in: Parody, Political Parody | 5

A parody of Land Down Under by Men at Work
Parody written and performed by Don Caron
Executive Producer Jerry Pender


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Parody of Land Down Under
Lyrics by Don Caron

McConnell made it clear who they be.
They follow blind as would a zombie.
Hindering progress. It makes me nervous.
They forgot they’re public servants.

And they say,
“We come with a filibuster,
“A progress-stalling big Red Cluster.
Can you hear all the centrist-bluster?
Sinema and Manchin don’t pass muster.

Manchin said, “I’ll work ‘cross the aisle.”
Though we all know that’s a waste of while.
He said, “Do you speak-a-my language?”
McConnell smirked and gave him a humbling sandwich.

And he said,
“I love-a that filibuster.”
“Make Biden be a feather duster.”
“He’s out of time to pass muster.”
“He’d better run he’d better take cover.”

These are times when action is vital.
In place of action there’s denial.
Participation drops to zero,
Corporate donors say, “You’re our hero.”

They say,
“Keep using that filibuster.”
“Inertia is what you must muster.”
“That’s how we’ll retain power.”
“Inaction is the goal of the hour.”

McConnell made it clear who they be.
They follow blind as would a zombie.
Hindering progress, it makes me nervous…


“Down Under” is a song recorded by Australian rock band Men at Work. It was originally released in 1980 as the B-side to their first local single titled “Keypunch Operator”, released before the band signed with Columbia Records. Both early songs were written by the group’s co-founders, Colin Hay and Ron Strykert. The early version of “Down Under” has a slightly different tempo and arrangement from the later Columbia release. The most well-known version was then released on Columbia in 1981 as the third single from their debut album Business as Usual.

The lyrics to “Down Under” depict an Australian man traveling the globe, who meets people who are interested in his home country. The story is based in part on singer Colin Hay’s own experiences, including a prominent reference to a Vegemite sandwich (a popular snack in Australia), which derived from an encounter, during Hay’s travels abroad, with a baker who emigrated from Brunswick, Melbourne. Hay has also said that the lyrics were partly inspired by Barry Humphries’ character Barry McKenzie, a comically stereotypical Australian who tours abroad.

Slang and drug terms are featured in the lyrics. They open with the singer traveling in a fried-out Kombi, on a hippie trail, head full of zombie. In Australian slang “fried-out” means overheated, “Kombi” refers to the Volkswagen Type 2 combination van, and having “a head full of zombie” refers to the use of a type of marijuana. “Hippie trail” refers to a subcultural tourist route popular in 1960s and 70s which stretched from Western Europe to South-East Asia. The song also contains the refrain, where beer does flow and men chunder. To “chunder” means to vomit.

Speaking to Songfacts about the overall meaning of the lyrics, Hay remarked:

The chorus is really about the selling of Australia in many ways, the overdevelopment of the country. It was a song about the loss of spirit in that country. It’s really about the plundering of the country by greedy people. It is ultimately about celebrating the country, but not in a nationalistic way and not in a flag-waving sense. It’s really more than that.

The promotional video comically plays out the events of the lyrics, showing Hay and other members of the band riding in a VW Kombi van, eating muesli with a ‘strange lady’, eating and drinking in a café, and lying in an opium den. The band are moved along at one point by a man in a shirt and tie who places a ‘Sold’ sign in the ground. The exterior shots for the music video were filmed at the Cronulla sand dunes in Sydney. The band are seen carrying a coffin across the dunes at the end. This, Hay has explained, was a warning to his fellow Australians that their country’s identity was dying as a result of overdevelopment and Americanization. Hay has also stated that the same ominous sentiment lies behind the choral line, Can’t you hear that thunder? You’d better run; you’d better take cover.

In the UK, the song topped the charts in January and February 1983, and is the only Men at Work song to make the UK top 20. The song also went to No. 1 in Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland, and was a top 10 hit in many other countries. “Down Under” is perceived as a patriotic song in Australia; it remains popular and is often played at sporting events.

In January 2018, as part of Triple M’s “Ozzest 100”, the ‘most Australian’ songs of all time, “Down Under” was ranked number 2.

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5 Responses

  1. Sherrie M Bast

    Always wonderful. My breath of fresh air. You are the anti-kool aid and I am ever grateful!

  2. Bonnie

    This was great! Quite clever! I also liked that you published the lyrics and your relaying the interpretation of the original Men At Work recording. Wonder what happened to them?

  3. John Paterson

    For some of us Australians the highlight of the use of this song was when businessman and all-round criminal Alan Bond used it as the anthem played as his yacht “Australia II” returned to it’s base after it won a race on the team’s progress to winning the “America’s Cup”.

    Bond was a very divisive person, but as is sometimes the case he was not all bad. He did a lot of criminal business deals, but he also supported that yachting effort, which was a very popular victory and not just in Australia. He also funded the construction of a replica of the Bark “Endeavour”, Captain James Cook’s ship on his “discovery” voyage along the east coast of Australia. That voyage too has ended in controversy as Cook declared the land to be uninhabited, while entering a lot of reports of encounters with the local inhabitants in the ship’s log book. By effectively declaring the original Australians as non-human, Cook began a process of invasion and then marginalization of those people that continues to this day.

    History is a strange thing.

  4. Wendy Cooper

    Excellent Lyrics again and matched music and pictures with some humour. But oh what overt manipulation by the minority. Wow and thanks I know now what a Filibuster is. It busts up the majority vote.