A collection of Australian Songs and some ideas for using them in ELT

[Note: The links below are to just one of many versions of these songs on YouTube (or elsewhere) – please search online if you have another favourite version.]

Individual songs:

  • Summer Paradise by a Canadian band Simple Plan & K’naan, about Australia! (@cioccas) [Link is to song on Lyrics Training]
  • Louie The Fly – Australian theme; mostly simple present and present continuous sentences; lots of useful words and idioms; easy melody; catchy. (Laura McFarlane)
  • Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden – if you can stand it, goes down a treat. is one they usually all know. It’s not my cup of tea, but they enjoy it. (Vicky Bos)
  • Goyte – At Radio Australia we did a story for English learners in China about him and his music and it got a good response from the audience. (Julia Scott)
  • Streets of Your Town by the Go-Betweens is a favourite – great to get the class singing the ‘Shi-i-i-ine’ parts! Be prepared to explain the “And this town is full of battered wives” line, though… (@elkysmith)
  • You’re the Voice by John Farnham — this would work great if you took your class for swimming lessons with an 80s theme … seriously, maybe something from INXS? (Andrew Pollard)
  • Surf City Limits by the Fauves – catchy tune with a good ‘sun smart’ message 🙂 (@elkysmith)
  • T-Shirt Weather by The Lucksmiths – 2 mins, catchy, pretty straightforward lyrics (@elkysmith)
  • To Her Door by Paul Kelly – great for a straightforward narrative (@elkysmith)
  • Dumb Ways to Die is an Australian public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to promote rail safety. The campaign video went viral through sharing and social media starting in November 2012. Steve Muir created this fun lesson plan on All at C: Video Lesson Plans for Teachers with “a lesson based on an Australian railway safety advert featuring a song with a ridiculously catchy chorus”

Australian Christmas Songs

  • We wish you a ripper Christmas by Bucko And Champs (song on YouTube)
    – Shared by Mignon Butler: “For a fun Aussie Xmas song to teach your S’s, ‘We wish you a ripper Christmas ‘ is at the top of my list”
  • Aussie Jingle Bells by Bucko And Champs (song on YouTube)
    – Shared by Mignon Butler: “‘Aussie Jingle Bells’ by the same musicians is a hoot as well”
    Aussie Jingle Bells – lesson plan from James Heath on his ELTideas blog. Includes students’ book and teachers’ notes
    Level: Pre-intermediate plus
    Skills: Listening, Vocabulary
    Topic area: Christmas in Australia
    Time:30-45 mins
    Number of students: 2 +
  • White Wine In The Sun by Tim Minchin (song on YouTube)
    – Shared by Rachael Adams: “Obviously for a particular group, but this brings back so many great Christmas memories. As for grammar, present tense for describing preferences and some future continuous.”
  • Summer Wonderland (song/video from Air New Zealand, featuring Ronan Keating)
    “Finally a festive tune we can get behind here in the Southern Hemisphere, where the pavs are a-plenty, the sun’s a-shining and the bros are a-glistening.”
    A downloadable mp3 is available, also lyrics and sheet music.
    – Shared by Nicki Blake: “Compare and contrast Northern Hemisphere Christmas with Southern Hemisphere Christmas. Perhaps get students to write their own lyrics?”
  • Australia’s Christmas Day by The Borderers (song on YouTube) Lyrics PDF
    Lovely song about celebrating Christmas in Australia, far away from family, the essence of giving, and the one day we have the chance to unite.
    – Shared by @cioccas
  • Christmas in Australia by Tom, Ellen and the Spice time Band (song on YouTube)
    Tom, Ellen and the Spice time Band celebrating Christmas in Australia. A new version of ‘Jingle Bells’ sung by some visitors from the UK judging by the accents. Check the lyrics before playing in class.


  • Sing With Me from Urban Lyrebirds
    Each book is a collection of original songs and accompanying exercises for students learning English.  Each song is followed by five language exercises: vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, reading and writing, and conversation.

    • Sing With Me Book 1 for elementary learners
    • Sing With Me Book 2 for beginner & post-beginner learners
    • Sing With Me Book 3 for intermediate to advanced learners
  • Sounds of Australia from NFSA
    A mix of songs, speeches and many other sounds, the Sounds of Australia (formerly known as the National Registry of Recorded Sound) is the NFSA’s selection of sound recordings with cultural, historical and aesthetic significance and relevance, which inform or reflect life in Australia. Each year, the Australian public nominates new sounds to be added with final selections determined by a panel of industry experts.
  • Australia by Song – a curated list with recordings from the National Film & Sound Archive
    “Is Canberra calling to you? And why is it hot in Brisbane but Coolangatta?
    There was a craze for writing songs about Australian cities and towns in the 1920s and 30s, but the oldest in our collection dates back to 1910.
    Listen to songs about Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra as well as some smaller Australian towns you’ve never heard of!”
  • Australia By Song: songs about Australian towns and locations.
    “This website contains a growing list of Australian towns and locations that have been immortalised by both traditional and contemporary song. Whether you desire for music to take you traveling from the comfort of your own home, or if you’re just interested to see how many songs out there mention Tamworth, Townsville or Tennant Creek, then this is the place for you!”