"Down Under" (also known as "Land Down Under") is a Platinum-certified single recorded by Australian new wave rock group Men at Work. It was initially released in October 1981 as the second single from their debut album Business as Usual (1981).
The song went to number one in their home country of Australia in December 1981, and then topped the New Zealand charts in February 1982. Released in North America in mid-1982, the song topped the Canadian charts in October. After initially being ignored in the US, the song then charted in America some months later, finally hitting the top spot - for four weeks - in January and February 1983. In America the song entered the charts on 6 November 1982 at 79, taking 10 weeks to climb to #1.
In the UK, the song topped the charts in January and February 1983, and is the only Men at Work song to make the UK top 20. The song also went No. 1 in Ireland, Denmark and Switzerland, and was a top 10 hit in many other territories. It has become a popular and patriotic song in Australia.
The lyrics are about an Australian traveller circling the globe, proud of his nationality, and about his interactions with people he meets on his travels who are interested in his home country.
One of the verses refers to Vegemite sandwiches, among other things; the particular lyric "He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich" has become a well-known phrase.
Slang and drug terms are used in the lyrics:
Here "fried-out" means overheated,Kombi refers to the Volkswagen Type 2 combination van,and having "a head full of zombie" refers to the use of a type of marijuana. Cultural slang is also used: after the second verse the refrain is "where the beer does flow and men chunder"; "chunder" means vomit.Travelling in a fried-out Kombi, on a hippie trail, head full of zombie.