Men At Work: Down Under Meaning
Song Released: 1981
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Down Under Lyrics
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said,
Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?...
I agree with everything the Jamaican dude said except the piece about rolling tourists. Sounds more sexual, to me (offers to get stoned and have sex), but with the last request (a dude) he turns it down.
Eurasia travel/"hippie trail"
Brussels/Bombay Opium den
People are nice/interested
He's nervous because he can't figure out why they want to give it up, but then is told the rumor... and he starts believing it...
So they feed him, prolong his high, because he's built and hung, like they've heard Aussies are.
anonymous Jan 11th, 2009 1:33pm report
My interpretation goes so:
This person, a hippie if you prefer to label, is traveling to different parts of the world. His vehicle breaks down and finds a caring soul to help him and feed him. He refers to her as making him "nervous" which is understandable because some of the side effects of marijuana(the term for the slang 'Zombie') are distorted senses and anxiety. The woman asks him if he's "from the land down under where women glow and men plunder.."; in the music video they portray this woman as a fortune teller. Not refering to the video the woman could be asking him this because she is curious and may have heard rumors about life in Australia.
The man that he meets in Brussels is also from Australia as the "hippie" finds out when he's trying to order food. This shows that there are many different people in the world that you can meet and sometimes they're from where you're from. Kind of like a "its a small world" cliche.
The third verse is a little more difficult. There is a man who is trying to offer the "hippie" something. Most likely trying to sell it to him as if its 'just what he needs'; perhaphs saying that his good is the best in the world. Whichever the reason is, the "hippie" declines in a way telling the man that he comes from a land that gives him everything he needs and he doesn't need this foregin good. The man then realizes that the "hippie" is from Australia and asks him if he is "from the land down under..." and continues as if he had heard rumors just as the woman had. Which could be very reasonable because there were rebellions and civil war in Bombay which could have a citizen looking for a place of serenity, in this case Australia.
The thunder is also a little confusing, but if not taken too complex then its a little better. Australia does have thunderstorms which could be very dangerous. Making sense as to wanting to run and hide. It seems very like simple analysis of the reason for thunder, but it perplexes myself.
anonymous Jan 8th, 2009 1:35pm report
The singer is in a minivan (a "combi") traveling in Eurasia (on "the hippie trail"). He smokes pot ("zombie"), goes to Brussels and visits an opium den in Bombay.
Everywhere he goes, he meets people (the lady, the huge Belgian, the opium seller) who are super nice to him. He can't figure out why, and he's nervous. (Maybe he's worried they want to roll him or something-- rob the tourist while he's stoned?)
But every time, it turns out they're making him breakfast, pulling out the Vegemite, and getting him extra-special stoned because they just love Australians! They all go on and on about how robust Aussies are-- the women are so pretty and the men are so strong!
The one thing I can't figure out is the "thunder." Why must he run and take cover?
[On a personal note, I've always loved this song, and I can totally relate. I'm Jamaican, and I've travelled to many countries. And the same thing happens to me! When people find out I'm Jamaican, I always get a big smile, no matter what country.]
anonymous Jan 3rd, 2009 1:59am report
Not every damn song is about god you twat.
It's clearly about Auzzies who're in another bloody country that isn't Auzzie country.
You're an idiot.
So shut up.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Nov 23rd, 2008 11:32am report
that's pretty close...i think it's that these guys, who are Australians, are traveling the globe, meeting other people, and these other people are asking the guys "are you from the land down under?" it's a bit of an Australian patriotic song...hope that made sense! :)
JohnDMcClane Sep 2nd, 2007 9:19pm report
I saw someone request this song, so I'll do my best to explain it as I see it.
I think it is, that they're in another country, and asks people if their from "A land down under" (which is Australia). Then, at the end of the song, they find another man who's from Australia. PLEASE do correct me if you thinks something else
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