Music

“The Song’s Just Not That Good”: Watch Briggs Dissect The National Anthem On ‘Q&A’

"We’ve been here for 60,000 years. We had better songs."

Briggs on Q&A

Rapper and Yorta Yorta man Briggs has used an appearance on Q&A to dissect the national anthem and speak out about the “insane” disadvantage faced by many Indigenous Australians.

Briggs appeared on the panel after starring in a video for The Weekly in which he went through Advance Australia Fair line-by-line in order to highlight the problems with an anthem that fails to acknowledge Australia’s first peoples.

“What I was presenting to Australia was basically a scoreboard,” he told the Q&A audience. “I presented a video with a list of disadvantages and why the national anthem doesn’t represent.”

“The idea that Australia is young and free, when Indigenous people are some of the most incarcerated people on the face of the earth. Wealth for toil and only one in ten Indigenous Australians are financially secure.”

“I don’t think a lot of people are that attached to the actual anthem,” he added. “It’s only 35 years old. I don’t think anyone is really that attached to it because the song’s just not that good.”

Q&A Host Tony Jones then joked that the rapper could write a new one.

“Paul Kelly could do it,” Briggs replied. “He’s alright. Dan Sultan. Paul and Dan.”

Briggs also said addressing the anthem might be the first step towards confronting even more serious problems faced by Indigenous communities.

“There are bigger issues, like with our health outcomes and incarceration, but my whole approach with these kinds of things is if we’ve can’t change the simple things, the small things, what hope is there to change the bigger stuff?” he said. “If we can’t take the steps to changing the simple things like a bad song, a bad song, how do we move forward to change everything else?”

“You know that some people are going to take umbrage with that, and suggest that it’s actually a really big thing,” Jones responded.

“Thirty-five years old,” Briggs shot back. “Get over it. We’ve been here for 60,000 years. We had better songs.”

Later in the episode, Briggs shared a sobering story about just how bad discrimination in Australia can be.

“To compare Indigenous disadvantage to any other disadvantage in Australia, it’s crazy to me,” he said. “[In the] ’80s my parents got turned away from home ownership. They had the deposit but as soon as the person who was selling the house found out that they were Indigenous, that house was no longer for sale. And that was the ’80s. The disadvantage we face is still here. It hasn’t left us. We still wear it. We still wear it in all of our communities. Some of the communities that we have in Australia are Third World and we’re one of the richest countries. That is insanity.”

“I have got a manager and one of his jobs is deleting the racist comments, every day,” he added. “Every day. And it’s a big job. I probably need two managers. But the message is so much more important.”