SYDNEY (AP) – A judge ordered Australian band Men at Work on Tuesday to hand over a portion of the royalties from their 1980s hit “Down Under,” after previously ruling its distinctive flute riff was copied from a children’s campfire song. . . “Kookaburra” was written more than 70 years ago by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition, and the song about the native Australian bird has been a favorite around campfires from New Zealand to Canada…
The following “Kookaburra” recording is from this collection of nursey ryhmes.
Here are some interesting quotes from Wikipedia as well as the sad news of Greg Ham’s death in 2012. Ham performed the famous flute solo in “Down Under”
In 2009, music publisher Larrikin Music, then headed by Norman Lurie (now retired), sued Men at Work and their record label EMI for plagiarism, alleging that the flute riff copied the 1934 nursery rhyme “Kookaburra”, to which they owned the publishing rights. The Federal Court of Australia ruled that “Down Under” did infringe the copyright of “Kookaburra” and awarded Larrikin 5% of the song’s royalties backdated to 2002. Several appeals by EMI and Men at Work were unsuccessful. In an interview with The Age newspaper, Ham said that he was deeply affected by the judgment and felt it had tarnished his reputation, saying: “I’m terribly disappointed that that’s the way I’m going to be remembered—for copying something.
Ham was found dead on 19 April 2012 at his home in Carlton North, Melbourne, having suffered a fatal heart attack.
It is believed that the recent lawsuit of Larrikin Music vs. Men At Work was a contributing factor to his ill health.