Everybody has a favourite.
That vinyl single which hit you when you were just turning a teenager and which has stayed stuck in your brain - and your heart - ever since.
The advert for sunscreen when you thought the aim was to get out there and catch those rays until they burnt.
The plummy voice on the ABC.
Now the National Film and Sound Archive has added 11 new sounds to its Sounds of Australia registry. It means they are accorded a special place in the national bank of audio in Canberra.
The 2023 additions include popular music, advertising jingles, symphony broadcasts and a 21st century orchestral concerto.
The Slip Slop Slap advertising campaign from the early 1980s really did save lives by changing Australian attitudes.
It helped us realise that our sun-burnt country meant sun-burnt Australians - and sunburnt Australians developed cancer.
The great chanteuse Robyn Archer gave us Menstruation Blues in 1978. It was powerful and witty and made a big statement about the right of women to speak up-front about their bodies.
It symbolised a more liberated age as taboos broke down.
Wilma Reading's I Only Came to Say Goodbye launched the jazz singer's stellar international career.
And the national sound archive has included I Am Australian. Of course it has.
The NFSA selects sounds for the registry every year, it says, "on the strength of their cultural, historical and aesthetic relevance, and their ability to inform or reflect life in Australia.
"Popular music, advertising themes, spoken word, radio broadcasts and any sound recordings are all eligible, as long as they're Australian and more than ten years old."
Australian audiences nominated hundreds of different sounds in June. The selection panel then chose 11 of rather than the usual ten because the selectors felt that the last two were equally good.
"These eleven extraordinary sounds reflect the power of audio to chart Australia's social, cultural and political development," the curator of the NFSA's Sounds of Australia, Nick Henderson, said.
The 2023 Sounds of Australia, in chronological order, are:
- Anvil Chorus, P. C. Spouse - 1927
- Sweet Nell of Old Drury, Nellie Stewart - 1931
- The Death of a Wombat, Ivan Smith (author), George S. English (composer), ABC (broadcaster) - 1959
- I Only Came To Say Goodbye, Wilma Reading - 1961
- The Loved One, The Loved Ones - 1966
- Howzat, Sherbet - 1976
- Menstruation Blues, Robyn Archer - 1977
- Harry Williams and the Country Outcasts, Harry and Wilga Williams - 1979
- Slip Slop Slap jingle, Phillip Adams (writer), Peter Best (composer) and Cancer Council Victoria - 1981
- I am Australian, various - 1997
- Concerto of the Greater Sea, Joseph Tawadros - 2012
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