Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Land Down Under" Ripped Off the Kookaburra

Men at Work Sued for Copyright Infringement on Children's Song

We have thought it since we first heard the song back in the '80s. That silly flute part in "Land Down Under" sounds just like one of our favorite songs we used to sing in grade school.

     Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
     Merry, merry king of the bush is he
     Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
     Gay your life must be

Kookaburra also eats gumdrops and counts monkeys in later verses. What's not to love?

If we had known there were millions of dollars at stake we might have pointed it out to someone important so the actual songwriter, Marion Sinclair, could have earned her rightful stake.

Instead Sinclair, who wrote the song in 1935 for Girl Guides, sold it to music publisher Larrikin Music before she died last year. So now a bunch of suits stand to win millions from Men at Work. Who's laughing now Kookaburra?

Watch the video to hear the songs compared and read more here.

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