National Geographic : 2004 Aug
in particular struck their fancy, a lilting Scot- The lyrics were so crammed with outback tish number called "Thou Bonnie Wood o' slang that you virtually had to be an Austra Craigielea," to which no one seemed to know lian to understand them. But that doesn't any words. Paterson, who was smitten by seem to have slowed its popularity abroad. Christina, had an idea: They could put their To date more than 500 versions of the song heads together and adapt his ideas to the are known to have been recorded worldwide. music. So off they went, the handsome solic- Burl Ives, Bill Haley and His Comets, Bon itor and the pretty songstress, to collaborate Jovi, Liberace, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, in private. the Coldstream Guards band, even the Vien What happened off the score sheet is a lit- na State Opera Orchestra have all had a crack tie vague. None of the people present at the at it. It has been done jn blues and heavy homestead ever spoke much about it, but the metal; in yodeling and steel bard arrange upshot was that Paterson's ments; in Japanese, Swedish, and pidgin in Papua ew Guinea. Winston Churchill engagement to Sarah allegedly sang it to what must have been a was abr -tlybroken off, bemused Charles de Gaulle at a dinner at Chequers in 1941, proclaiming at the end of and the two women, it: That is one of the finest songs in the world! hi'thert the best of -something that millions of Australians had Salready decided for themselves, although the friends,never spoke t songlostouttothe magisterial"Advance Aus ^eah other for the rest traliaFair" ina 1977 referendum to deter ;. s-.'Y. o3jt}r:€r.i rsai- w* ~ n.tf.+ .^ .^^ j^^. . /1} '