In a Q&A with APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston, Hay said about writing the song, “I think that more than anything, the way that the song felt was that I had this deep love for this country, but not in a flag waving way, in a very deep spiritual way. I didn’t quite understand what it was, but I can still feel it, I can’t often put it into words—I love the place so much. That’s what the song is, it’s about love and celebration in a very true way.”
About the song’s interpretations by Luude and King Stingray, “The young lad Luude brought it to life, it’s just one of those songs—it’s in people’s consciousness.
“The young band King Stingray who have done it—I couldn’t think of a better way to update the song, than to have traditional lyrics from First Nations people who can interpret the song and go ‘OK, this is what it means to me’ and bring it forward to today and further the cause of inclusion. Anything you can do to further the cause, I’m happy to be part of it.”
“This award is very special because it honours the songwriter, and ultimately, the connection of a song on a global scale. ‘Down Under’ is about heart and home, it connects with people in a very fundamental way, and is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago,” said Ormston.
“Our 1,000,000,000 List highlights the enormous potential of Australia and New Zealand’s songwriters and the opportunity for both countries to become global music powerhouses,” said Ormston.
Damian Trotter, Managing Director, Sony Music Publishing Australia said: “It goes without saying what a major role Men At work and ‘Down Under’ in particular have played in not only the musical but also the broader Australian cultural context of Australian life for over 40 years now.
“Apart from its commercial success (evidenced today with this Billion streams award and spearheading the latest global Tourism Australia campaign) ‘Down Under will always be one of the most important songs to have been written about Australia. On the surface it’s a catchy, hilarious song depicting the true Aussie larrikin spirit but it’s genius is that beneath the surface, it is also a sharp commentary on both the best and some of the darker aspects of our cultural identity wrapped up in a way that few have ever managed to capture … let alone in three and a half minutes!
“Colin's music as part of both Men at Work and throughout his more extensive solo work, has touched so many lives and we are all at Sony Music Publishing extremely proud to be a part of his brilliant career."
The 1,000,000,000 List takes into account streaming numbers from all major services Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. It is the first award of its kind to recognise a songwriter’s achievement.