• Australian band Cold Chisel (L to R) Phil Small, Don Walker, Jimmy Barnes, Steve Prestwich and Ian Moss. (AAP)
Cold Chisel's "Khe Sanh" and Divinyls' "Boys in Town" are among 10 new sounds that have been added to the Sounds of Australia registry.
By
SBS

18 Nov 2014 - 5:19 PM  UPDATED 18 Nov 2014 - 8:49 PM

Four Australian rock songs, the sound of a dingo howling and a concert recorded in a cave are among ten sounds added to the National Film and Sound Archives' Sounds of Australia registry.

Each year the Australian public nominates certain songs, speeches or sounds they want inducted.

This year's batch includes The Divinyls' "Boys in Town", Cold Chisel's "Khe Sanh", "Cattle And Cane" by the Go-Between and Icehouse's "Great Southern Land".

"The starting place for me was to utterly avoid anything that might end up on a tea towel."

Music critic Glenn A. Baker said the songs captured the essence of Australia in their own special way.

"They're all songs that can, as the line goes, "stop a nation", because they've found their way into the thread of our fabric," he said.

"They're really songs that have become an incredibly important part of the Australian psyche."

Mr. Baker said like "Khe Sahn", "Cattle and Cane" may not have been a chart-topper when first released, but its subtle message about Australian expansion and the way Australians viewed themselves was picked up over time.

There was a similar inspiration behind the Icehouse hit "Great Southern Land", with lead singer Iva Davies describing it as an antidote to other songs previously released about Australia.

"There were a lot of clichés attached to the way Australia was presented in the world," he said.

"There was always a jar of Vegemite, there was always a koala bear and a kangaroo.

"So the starting place for me was to utterly avoid anything that might end up on a tea towel."

1990 recording of a dingo howling in the wild also made the list, as did the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander radio show, Deadly Sounds.

Other winning entries include:

  • They Always Follow Me, by Syria Lamonte (1898)
  • Speech at the Opening of the Columbia Gramophone Company Australian Factory, by Admiral Sir Dudley de Chair KCB MVO (1926)
  • Concert in a Cave at Tobruk, by Chester Wilmot, ABC Field Unit (1941)
  • Fireworks and The Orgasmic Opus, by Dr Val Stephen (1967)