One of the things that makes Australia great: it’s literally great. Like, it’s bloody huge. From the sweaty tropics of the Top End, all the way down to the alpine freshness of Tasmania, there’s ample drama to be sourced from the BOM and as it turns out, just as much inspiration for songwriters from all over the country.
Throughout the decades, there’s been a diversity of tracks with lyrics that evoke Australia’s unique climatic conditions and its never-ending expanse. So we thought it was about time we took a look at some of the tracks that have the weather of Australia top-of-mind, some with lyric sheets that read like a BOM report. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of heat, rain, sweat, sunshine and even a bit of thunder.
Being an epic continent, Australia is subject to some pretty extreme variations in the weather. Here are 6 tracks for this wide brown land to make the BOM proud.
Weather With You – Crowded House
Alright, let’s just get this one out of the way first. Weather With You is a single from the part Australian, part New Zealand outfit Crowded House‘s third album, Woodface. Recorded in Australia and the States, the record was a smash, yielding five singles and charting strongly all over the world.
Though the song doesn’t really go into much detail about Australian weather conditions, it has to be right up there with some the most memorable weather-based choruses ever written. Probably even more appropriate is another single off the record, Four Seasons in One Day. Is it as catchy though? Nah.
My Island Home – Warumpi Band and Christine Anu
My Island Home, first recorded by Warumpi Band and later made even more famous by Christine Anu takes in the true breadth of Australia. It talks about the dry winds blowing from the hills and across the plains, as speaks to the dichotomy of the scorching desert and quenching ocean that’s unique to Australia.
The song’s protagonist is stationed west of Alice Springs—the remotest part of Australia conceivable—and longs for their island home, surrounded by the saltwater. It’s a track sure to stir homesickness in any road-weary Australian traveller.
Sounds of Then (This is Australia) – GANGgajang
There’s probably no other song that details the experience of Australian weather in such a BOM-friendly way as Sounds of Then by GANGgajang. It’s a poetic tale that doesn’t necessarily invoke pleasant memories, instead, it taps into the rawness of Australian conditions.
Australia is a damn hot place and this track brings it home, referencing long nights staring at the ceiling and sweating in bedsheets, heat haze and the relief of summer storms. Think of this song when you’re squinting into a summer sunset.
T-Shirt Weather – The Lucksmiths
Unlike Sounds of Then, this song is a celebration of sunshine’s return. See, Aussies have the singular and completely justifiable right to complain about being too cold and too hot, and when the cloud has gathered for more than three days in a row in Australia, something just feels wrong about that.
T-Shirt Weather by Melbourne band The Lucksmiths is all about the dusting off the cobwebs of winter (which typically lasts for about two and a half weeks down under), slapping on your favourite tee and letting that dappled sunshine hit you on an afternoon stroll. The irrepressible jangle of this guitar-pop classic perfectly captures the mood.
In the Summertime – Thirsty Merc
If T-Shirt Weather was a song about letting the first delicate rays of the sun take the edge off your winter goosebumps, Thirsty Merc‘s In the Summertime has more of a December feel to it. The holidays are just around the corner and you start working out, so as not to completely embarrass yourself at the beach.
If you’re looking for any poetic ambiguity in the lyrics, you ain’t gonna find it. This is a summer with no downside, where the hangovers melt away effortlessly while you’re sunbaking and any thoughts of returning to work are postponed till mid-January. It’s the theme song to Bondi Rescue, for fuck’s sake.
Wide Open Road – The Triffids
Okay, it’s a bit of stretch when it comes to its weather-referencing credentials. But what makes it powerfully reminiscent of the weather of our fair land is the way it talks about the flatness, emptiness and sheer scale of the Australian sky. It couldn’t have been written about anyplace else.
Wide Open Road by The Triffids leads us into the grand, empty expanse of Australia as old and as stable as time itself, with its dust and dryness that goes on forever. Hailing from Perth—the most isolated city in the world—the song’s late creator David McComb was well-placed encapsulate the climate of Australia and weave it masterfully into a single song.