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THE mass ap­peal of Great South­ern Land re­mains a to­tal mys­tery to the man who penned it.

Iva Davies says he wrote his most fa­mous song in an af­ter­noon. Though he is very fond and un­der­stand­ably proud of the song that many have sug­gested would make a bet­ter na­tional an­them than Ad­vance Aus­tralia Fair, Davies says he never imag­ined it would be­come such a huge hit.

‘‘ Great South­ern Land con­tin­ues to as­tound me,’’ he says. ‘‘When I wrote it, it was just an­other song for one of my al­bums.

‘‘I have no idea why, par­don the pun, it struck such a chord with peo­ple. ‘‘It has done from the very be­gin­ning. ‘‘I re­mem­ber the record­ing stu­dio’s re­ac­tion to it— they were so ex­cited.

‘‘I didn’t see it as a sin­gle— at five min­utes long. And it wasn’t like you could dance to it.’’

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