- Peter McCormick wrote "Advance Australia Fair" in 1878
- Just over 100 years later, in 1984, it became the Australian National Anthem.
- There are five verses but some of them use archaic language so it was decided that only the first and third verse would be used at official functions.
- In 1988 a woman named Ruth Ponniah decided to write a new verse to the song (not in any official capacity; just for fun) - and the lyrics certainly reflected her Christian upbringing:
Ten years later on May 19,1998, the Religious Media Agency announced that "Christ Returns to the Australian National Anthem" which surprised a lot of people because they had no idea that he'd ever been there in the first place. The agency, however, was not deterred and casually declared that, "An original verse to Advance Australia Fair referring to 'Christ our head and cornerstone' will be sung at the National Prayer Gathering [aka Global March for Jesus] for the first time in public since it became the National Anthem."
With Christ our head and cornerstone,
We'll build our Nation's might.
Whose way and truth and light alone
Can guide our path aright.
Our lives, a sacrifice of love,
reflect our Master's care.
With faces turned to heaven above,
Advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.
Two years later the Australian population was preparing for the year 2000 celebrations and Mal Garvin (spokesman for the event) announced that, "An early version of 'Advance Australia Fair' referring to 'Christ our head and cornerstone' will be sung at the Celebrating 2000 event at Stadium Australia." He explained that this "lost verse puts Christ into the National Anthem" and it will "remind our legislators that our future is secure to the extent that we surrender our hearts to Him and recognise His rightful place in our land. It seems to us to be appropriate that we restore this verse to the anthem as it was often sung, just as we get the new millennium," he said.
He lamented that "certain Australian governments seemed to disapprove of the sentiment of some of these verses, and were inclined to discourage their remembrance". He went on to remind us that, "The extra 'lost' verse was sung as part of the anthem in Tasmania as early as the 1930s ... Some of the verses are very difficult to locate in old references," he said, "and it could be that the original has been lost."
"The verse we are using was passed onto us by a woman in Queensland who believed it to have been in the original version,” says Promotions Officer, Dave Mitchell. “While we have been unable to verify that with any historic documents, we have been unable to say she is wrong either."
Christians have been pushing this "lost" verse ever since, and in 2011 it was reported that, "50 New South Wales Christian schools of mixed denominations are now singing the second version of 'Advance Australia Fair' which [begins] 'With Christ our head and cornerstone, we'll build out nation's might'." Despite criticisms, Stephen O'Doherty, CEO of Christian Schools Australia, said he will "encourage schools to sing the Christian version loudly." http://news.ninemsn....national-anthem
So there you have it - a little old lady was unofficially fiddling around with the Australian national anthem in 1988, and since then the Christians have invented a history that takes it all the way back to 1878. They are using phrases like:
- an original verse
- an early version
- a lost verse
- that has been restored.
- and was part of the anthem as early as the 1930's
When, in fact, the words were written as recently as 1988; one hundred and ten years after the original, and four years after the song became our national anthem.
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