Jul 252011

At some point while no one was looking, Nick Cave’s “The Ship Song” became Australia’s unofficial national anthem (sorry, “Waltzing Matilda”). In January, we heard Amanda Palmer cover it to represent the country on her Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under album, and now a cultural landmark no less than the Sydney Opera House has commissioned an all-star performance of it. Aussie musicians young and old collaborate on a beautifully-filmed performance that goes from one artist to the next in a seamless medley.

Local hero Neil Finn (of Crowded House) kicks things off at the piano, but soon a troop of ballerinas take over while Kev Carmody strums away. Younger acts like the Temper Trap and Angus and Julia Stone participate as well, making a video truly greater than the sum of its parts. According to the Telegraph, it was filmed over the past 10 months as a tribute to the famed building. Watch it below, and follow along with a performer list.

Various Artists – The Ship Song (Nick Cave cover)

Performers are, in order of appearance: Neil Finn, Kev Carmody and The Australian Ballet, Sarah Blasko, John Bell, Angus and Julia Stone, Paul Kelly and Bangarra Dance Theatre, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Opera Australia, Martha Wainwright,* Katie Noonan and The Sydney Symphony, The Temper Trap, Daniel Johns and the Australian Chamber Orchestra

* The outlier of the group, as she hails from Canada.

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  3 Responses to “Australia’s Finest Musicians Come Together at the Sydney Opera House for “The Ship Song Project””

Comments (3)
  1. Do you have any memorabilia from this event?

  2. martha wainwright an outlier? get ted to say his own name and see which part of australia you think he’s from. as if the middle name isn’t just a bit of a clue. neil finn, too. :shakehead:

    • It’s a well-known fact that every successful Kiwi is declared an honorary Australian — except, for some reason, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. I guess Aotearoa had to be allowed to keep one of their marvels.

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