Men at Work was essentially a pub band from Melbourne Australia before they got their big break.It was naturally assumed that the bouncy cheerful song Down Under was nationalistic promotion of their native land. In reality it was much more than that. The story line of an Australian man travelling the globe, proud of his nationality, and about his interactions with people he meets on his travels was actually a parody of the boorish Australian tourist with little regard of his land natural beauty and heritage.
In an interview Colin Hay had this this to say about the song, “The chorus is really about the selling of Australia in many ways, the overdevelopment of the country. It was a song about the loss of spirit in that country. It’s really about the plundering of the country by greedy people. It is ultimately about celebrating the country, but not in a nationalistic way and not in a flag-waving sense. It’s really more than that.”