Tune of the Day: Advance Australia Fair
“Advance Australia Fair” was composed in 1878 by the Scottish-born schoolteacher Peter Dodds McCormick, under the pen-name Amicus (Latin for “friend”). The song did not gain its status as the official anthem until 1984: in order to become the anthem, it had to face a vote between the Royal anthem “God Save the Queen”, the unofficial anthem “Waltzing Matilda” and “Song of Australia”. “Advance Australia Fair” received 43% of the vote, defeating the three alternatives.
Now, “God Save the Queen” is usually played at the start of Royal functions and “Advance Australia Fair” at the end, unless it is more appropriate to play both anthems at the start. “Advance Australia Fair” is played at all other official functions.