Songs heard a million times

Recently the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra launched Sounds of Australia a collection of recordings to mark Australian history and culture. One of the most recent additions was “Most People I Know (Think that I’m Crazy)” by Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs.

Fair enough, thought I. That’s a song I’ve heard a million billion kajillion times and think of as being very Aussie. I also thought it was one of our first hits overseas. However, my extremely accurate research indicates that that might not be so. I’ve been asking several of my USian friends if they know the song. So far none of them do.1

So, do any of you non-Australians know this song? And if you did were you aware that it’s Australian?

For bonus points do you non-Aussies know “Eagle Rock” by Daddy Cool? (Try not to laugh to hard at the vid.) So far no-one I’ve asked, not even Scott, knows this one:

And how about Yothu Yindi’s “Treaty”? It could not be more Aussie. Hope it winds up in Sounds of Australia:

As should “From Little Things Big Things Grow” by Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly:

Version the most recent:

Version the original(ish):

Thank you non-Australians for participating in my extremely scientific survey.

  1. Except for Scott and I think he’s tainted from having spent so much time in Australia and prolly heard it there. []


  1. Lizabelle on #

    I’m not Australian but I’ve lived here for two and a half years, and I only know two of these – the Kev Carmody/Paul Kelly song and the Daddy Cool one. I have never, ever heard that first one!

  2. Martin on #

    Maybe you should ask about the biggest hit ever to come out of Australia? A hit all over the world, I kid thee not…

  3. Dave H. on #

    Never heard of any of those songs.

  4. Liset on #

    Sorry, haven’t heard of any of them!

  5. Leila on #

    I know the older Paul Kelly version of FLTBTG by heart — I own most of his albums and have seen him play twice. Thanks for posting the newer video, I hadn’t seen it!

  6. Justine on #

    Lizabelle: Did you know those songs before you came to Australia? Do you know “Treaty”? (You didn’t mention it.)

    Leila: Had you heard of the other songs?

    Blog overlord says: Is scientific survey! Please to answer all questions!

  7. Leila on #

    Nope! Just the Paul Kelly.

    Well, actually, the first song sounded vaguely familiar, but I’m not counting it because vaguely familiar is just so… vague.

  8. Justine on #

    Leila: Thank you! Though don’t forget is not just Paul Kelly song, is also by Kev Carmody.

  9. Leila on #

    Yes, of course! I know it from PK albums (and the Jimmie Dale Gilmore/Butch Hancock Live in Australia — he shows up near the end of that one and the three of them sing it), so that tends to be how I remember it.

  10. Patrick on #

    I think I might have heard Most People I Know but I didn’t know it was Australian. It doesn’t have any of the usual references I would expect, such as Paul Hogan. Never heard of the others.

    Best Aussie song ever–

  11. Jenn on #

    I’m not Australian, but I have heard “Treaty.” Not sure where, prolly my husband found it, since he loves looking for different kinds of music.

    One of our favorite Australian performers is Kasey Chambers. Not sure if that is a very Australian sound, but her CDs will be accompanying me to CA for the ALA con, since I always take them with me when I travel. Saw her live once at Old Settler’s Festival in Austin, and she was great!

  12. Gabrielle on #

    Well, as you might know I’m Canadian and the only song I knew was From Little Things Big Things Grow and I heard it from you! Sorry.

  13. Kelly McCullough on #

    USAian, and not a one I’m afraid.

  14. Justine on #

    Stop apologising, people. There are gazillions of USian songs I’d never heard of until I lived here. I am seeking information not breast beating.

    Jenn: Kasey Chambers is very Aussie. We has people what writes all genres of music. I have friends who produce some of the finest electronic music going. And then there’s all our fabby composers like Peter Sculthorpe. Aussie music is wide and diverse.

  15. Amber on #

    Paul Kelly’s grey hat should be in the national archive, if only it could be crowbarred from off the man’s head.

  16. rebecca on #

    i had never heard of any of them, but i really like “treaty.”

  17. Lizabelle on #

    Justine: Nope, I didn’t know any of these before coming to Australia, and I still don’t recognise Treaty (I did just google Yothu Yindi, though, and will be looking out for their stuff. I like).

    Also, the actual Sounds of Australia list is fascinating!

  18. hillary! on #


  19. emily beth on #

    none, i’m sorry

  20. ms cynic on #

    Lizabelle. You are obviously living in a rare Australian town without access to a SHIT FM station (also known as the Austereo Network) or you would have heard all of those songs more times than I’ve had hot breakfasts.

    Do you live up a tree?

  21. Michael on #

    I’m pretty sure Elton John wrote Crocodile Rock in response to Eagle Rock. What about some Cold Chisel clips – Choir Girl for eg.

  22. Lizabelle on #

    ms cynic: Trees contain too many Australian spiders. I live in a beach suburb, work from home, tend to avoid places that play SHIT FM music and when I do (rarely) listen to the radio it is generally to indie-ish stations. All of which prob makes me sound horribly insular, but I like it that way :).

  23. rebecca on #

    this is utterly off topic, but….is it true that mangosteens are available in the u.s. now? wikipedia says you can get them for $45 a pound in nyc. (my mother has recently become obsessed with mangosteens. apparently they are very healthy for you.)

  24. Lindsay N on #

    I didn’t know any of them, but I really enjoyed listening to From Little Things Big Things Grow and Treaty. Both were amazing.

  25. Ted Lemon on #

    Nope, never heard of it. And i would have – it sounds like it was done in the seventies.

    The first thing I heard from Australia that I /liked/ was a song by Goanna. Something about beds burning. Dunno if they were actually big in Australia, but they got radio play in the U.S.

  26. Jessica on #

    Songs by INXS or Midnight Oil would possibly be more well know. Not just because they’re a little more recent but also because, correct me if i’m wong, they had a huge US following.

  27. sass on #

    ted I think you might mean midnight oil ‘beds are burning’…. goanna did have a hit about indigenous australians / land ownership too though – ‘solid rock’.

    as for all the songs you posted … they’re the kinds of things that really make me realise I’m australian when I go overseas and no one has hard of them, even though I feel like I have the words imprinted in my dna somewhere.

  28. Justine on #

    Sass: Yup, like finding out that the only people who know that Errol Flynn was Australian is us Aussies. (Love the name of your blog!)

Comments are closed.