Like Pauline Hanson herself, Simon Hunt’s novelty single Pauline Pantsdown made serious waves when it first emerged way back in 1998. Perhaps the most alarming news to have come out of last weekend’s election is that Hanson has been re-elected and now, Hunt is considering a follow-up. Speaking to news.com, he said, “I pretty much thought she had fallen to rest — I didn’t think we needed to deal with her any more, but here we are again.”
Australian artists have never been shy of standing up to the nation’s politicians but, putting more stern-faced acts like Warumpi Band, Paul Kelly and Midnight Oil to one side, we take a look at five of the more lighthearted Oz Politics songs from years gone by.
Stairway To Kevin, The Chaser
Former PM Kevin Rudd rode in on a wave of social media populism. While the affable charmer may not have lived up to expectations, his ‘Kevin 07′ logo remains forever burnt into our collective psyche. Things would be amiss if political comedians The Chaser didn’t make at least one appearance here. Mixing their needling analysis of Kevin’s 2007 campaign antics with Led Zeppelin’s FM classic marked one of their finest musical moments.
The Phillip Ruddock Blues, TISM
Before we wanted them on Eurovision, TISM spent over a decade taking the mickey out of just about every aspect of Australian culture. These anonymous provocateurs didn’t pull any punches when it came to immigration. While the subjects of the finger pointing have changed, the sentiment behind these lyrics remains just as applicable to Australia’s current political climate.
Wipe That Shit Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face, The Smith Street Band
The Smith Street Band are no strangers to making political statements, but this was one of their boldest. Admittedly this one might lean more towards a serious political statement lyrically, but consider the juxtaposition of the very straightforward song title with the cover art depicting former PM Tony Abbott. Makes it hard not to stifle a chuckle.
I Was A Teenage Voter, The Drugs
Pulled together by Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall, 2004 compilation album Rock Against Howard collected no less than 34 protest tracks from Australian artists. While Triple J-endorsed up and comers The Drugs may have slid into obscurity since, their survey of voting antipathy, especially after this clusterfuck of an election, remains painfully spot on.
Dwayne’s Song (My Best Friends Are Aboriginal), Eddie Perfect
Comedian, musician, actor and television personality Eddie Perfect has a large back catalogue of caustic social commentary, but when it comes to Australian politics, the issues surrounding race lay dead centre. Dwayne’s Song and its many scathing lyrics like “They’re people I hate/But it’s justified because they’re my mate,’ cast light on benign racism in the nicest way possible. A friendly reminder for those relying on racial disclaimers to check their privilege.
Image: Syndey Morning Herald