Top Ten Australian Songs

via Peta in comments

ABC radio in Canberra has been asking listeners to nominate their top ten Australian songs. This is the list they came up with.

10. It’s Because I Love You (Masters’ Apprentices)
9. And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Eric Bogle)
8. The Real Thing (Russell Morris)
7. I Was Only 19 (Redgum)
6. Evie Parts 1 2 and 3 (Stevie Wright)
5. Eagle Rock (Daddy Cool)
4. Khe Sanh (Cold Chisel)
3. Friday on My Mind (Easybeats)
2. Sounds of Then (GANGgajang)

And *drumroll* number 1 is ……

Throw Your Arms Around Me (Hunters & Collectors)

So, by now you have probably guessed what is wrong with the list above. Hint, it’s not the songs which in my book are all brilliant.

Peta’s challenge to us is to come up with a top ten list of Australian female artists’ songs. The question is do we include Ladyhawke (NZ), Wendy Matthews (Canada) and other singers that we like to claim as our own?

I’m starting with Casey Chambers – Am I not pretty enough?
Over to you.



Categories: arts & entertainment, Culture, gender & feminism, Life, media

19 replies

  1. I vote we include anyone who calls themselves Australian, only I don’t know the answer re: Ladyhawke and Wendy Matthews.
    Man Overboard – Deborah Conway

  2. I think Wendy Matthews does, not sure about Ladyhawke.

  3. Ariane beat me to it, with Deborah Conway, though my song vote would be for Alive and Brilliant.
    Spawn – Katie Noonan/George

  4. Kylie Minogue’s I Should Be So Lucky. Yeah, now you’re singing it in your head.
    (By the way, technically My Island Home is Neil Murray’s song).

  5. Here is four.
    Come into my kitchen, Tiddas
    Single Bed, Noosha Fox
    Man Overboard, as above
    Science fiction, Chrissie A
    Gee, look who hasn’t bought a record in twenty years.

  6. [rolls sleeves up]
    Don’t know about SONGS, but surely these singers deserve a red hot mention?
    Claire Bowditch
    Renee Geyer
    Missy Higgins
    Sara Blasko
    Liz Frencham
    Deborah Conway
    Angie Hart
    Jen Cloher
    Mia Dyson
    and I’m sure many I’ve left out.

  7. @Orlando: I like Alive and Brilliant too. I remember hearing Deborah Conway laughing about Alive and Brilliant because she didn’t realise it was in 5/4 time until after she’d written it, and that Man Overboard had been such a success, despite it having no chorus.
    Oh, and I have another nomination:
    London Still, The Waifs.

  8. “and I’m sure many I’ve left out.” – which always happens,
    Vika and linda Bull and Suzzanna Espy and Kirsty Stegwazi have all rocked my world recently.
    I’m fine with Kiwis, but what about including Marcia Hines?

  9. Marcia Hines is an Australian citizen, she definitely counts!
    Kasey Chambers: I Still Pray
    Claire Bowditch: Lips Like Oranges
    Kylie: Can’t Get You Out of My Head
    Magic Dirt: Dirty Jeans
    Sarah Blasko: Don’t U Eva (terrible title, great song)
    or my current obsession, Bertie Blackman: Byrds of Prey

  10. The superjesus had some great songs back in the day. The only other Aussie bands I know are too new/small to really stick in a top ten list, much as i love them xD

  11. I dig Sarah Blasko, especially her cover of ‘Flame Trees’, its only a gazillion times better than the original, so that has to count for something 🙂

  12. I’ll put in a second vote for the Divinyls, led by Christina Amphlett, with such classics as “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Any More” and “Pleasure and Pain”; I’ll also suggest “When Will You Fall For Me” as sung by Vika and Linda Bull, as well as “Ninety-Nine Years”. Anything by Deborah Conway wins a vote, since I love her stuff – I’d put forward “Today I Am A Daisy” as another candidate. Kate Ceberano, who did a lot of good stuff, although I’m racking my brains to remember titles (I hate growing older – the memory’s fine, but the retrieval is lousy) – the one which sticks with me is a collaboration with Wendy Matthews, “You’ve Always Got The Blues”. The Waifs, definitely, although I’d put forward “Service Fee” from their album “Sink or Swim” as a really great example. Oh, and the Women in Docs – and the song I’d nominate of theirs is “Supermarket” from “Under A Different Sky”.

  13. Seconding Sarah Blasko’s version of Flame Trees. Also Lips Like Oranges by Clare Bowditch – just love the rhythm and movement of that song leading into the end bit – I NEVER skip past it on my iPod when I have it on shuffle
    Black Sorrows – Never Let me Go and Chained to the Wheel are iconic because of the Bull Sisters. Regarding New Zealanders being counted, if people want to discount them that’s fine, just consider it a nod to awesomeness from across the Tasmin.
    Other off the top of my head…
    Helen Reddy, I Am Woman
    Also really loved Kate Miller-Heidke – Words.
    It seems like there are a lot more women singer songwriters coming through (I am really bad with keep up with new music), and they are actually getting some airplay. So I’m hopeful in 20 years time when we look back there will be more representation in the mainstream lists. But I guess it will depend on the rhetoric that is generated around what is considered memorable/classic songs and who drives that rhetoric.

  14. Thirding the incredibly strong and awesome Chrissie Amphlett and The Divinyls, which were a part of my upbringing. I’m glad someone mentioned Christine Anu, Natalie Imbruglia and Wendy Matthews. Oh, and Sarah Blasko, who I saw live and was absolutely divine.
    Helen Reddy was an Aussie?! What?! I never knew that!
    Kate Ceberano did Bedroom Eyes, which was a fun song back then.
    Dylan! Yes! Marcia Hines! She wasn’t born here, but she stayed here and had an amazing career. As a wee one my Mum played the tape of her greatest hits and Mum would sing them to me. “Shining, too bright to see. Shiiiiining!” I remember how beautiful Mum’s voice sounded when she sang that song to me. Every time I hear that song I want to cry with happiness.
    Also, an artist that none of you will know is my sister Helen Lorenz. She did amazing work in her band, The Water Diviners. So good, and I hero-worshipped my sister. Her music is brilliant and she’s completely unrecognised, which is sad cause she worked hard and did some amazing music. So she’s in my list. 🙂

  15. Tina Arena, maybe? Chains, Sorrento Moon.
    And I love Angie Hart’s voice.
    If we can also count The Clouds, that’d be lovely.

  16. *takes notes for possible songs to do at my singing lessons* My teacher thinks it’s funny that I’m astonishingly unfamiliar with most of the singers and songs she suggests for me to do.

  17. I’d like to throw in a vote for Katie Noonan with her incredible, unforgettable voice.

  18. Kate Miller-Hidke’s recent cover of Tim Minchin’s White Wine in the Sun has to be a contender. Just gorgeous.
    And George’s Breathe in Now. Lovely and wow, Katie Noonan’s voice…

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