United Kingdom

Furniture giant Koala accused of bowing to cancel culture for meddling lyrics to classic song

Furniture maker Koala has prompted fury after launching a campaign to change the lyrics to an iconic Australian song, all after moving its manufacturing to China.

Koala has asked customers to rewrite the lyrics to 1970s classic 'Home Among the Gumtrees' to create an updated 2020 version that makes people feel 'comfortable'.

The company explained it wanted to 'reflect the diversity' of modern Australian living, saying classic songs aren't inclusive enough.  

'Australian homes have radically changed since "Home Among The Gum Trees" was first written in 1974,' the company said in a statement.

'Koala reckons all Australians should feel comfortable at home. But some of our most beloved cultural icons don’t always reflect the diversity and reality of modern Aussie life.'

Australian cricket captain Steve Smith (pictured) is a supporter of the Koala furniture campaign to rewrite the lyrics to 'Home Among the Gum Trees'

The brand said 'we need a song for how we live today' and is asking customers to help paint a picture of the modern Australian home.

'With help from all Aussies, we want to take it from classic country to a big, banging anthem we can all get behind, whether you live among the gum trees, the flight paths, good cafes or big surf,' the company said.

The campaign has been backed by Australian sporting superstars Steve Smith, Moana Hope and comedian Gen Fricker, but not everyone is getting behind it.

Koala recently announced they are moving their manufacturing to China, leading Gideon Rozner from Australia's Institute of Public Affairs to blast the campaign. 

'Rather than meaningless gimmicks about "inclusivity", Koala’s PR efforts might be better suited to arguing for economic reform that would make it commercially viable to move its manufacturing operations back to Australia from China,' he told News Corp.

'Australians want jobs, not more woke tomfoolery from corporate Australia.'

Gideon Rozner (pictured) from Australia's Institute of Public Affairs called the campaign 'woke tomfoolery from corporate Australia'

The song was written by Wally Johnson and Bob Brown in 1974 and appeared on the Captain Rock album Buried Treasure.

Australian country legend John Williamson also recorded a version of the song and it was the theme tune for popular gardening program Burke's Backyard. 

Customers can add their lyrics at changeourtune.com and the updated song will be released in November. 

Former AFLW star Hope is excited to be on board with the campaign.

Her partner Isabella Carlstrom is due to give birth to their first child in a few weeks and Hope said her lyric ideas will reflect the couple creating their family home.

'I’m happy to be involved in this campaign as I grew up in a house of love and I focus more on how my house looks on the inside … growing up, I never knew what a nursery really was until now, and we’ve been setting it up,' she said.

Moana Hope (pictured right with her partner Isabella Carlstrom) said her lyrics will reflect the couple creating their family home


I've been around the world

A couple of times or maybe more

I've seen the sights, I've had delights

On every foreign shore

But when my mates all ask me

The place that I adore

I tell them right away

Give me a home among the gum trees

With lots of plum trees

A sheep or two, a k-kangaroo

A clothesline out the back

Verandah out the front

And an old rocking chair

You can see me in the kitchen

Cooking up a roast

Or Vegemite on toast

Just you and me, a cup of tea

And later on, we'll settle down

And go out on the porch

And watch the possums play

There's a Safeways up the corner

And a Woolies down the street

And a brand new place they've opened up

Where they regulate the heat

But I'd trade them all tomorrow

For a little bush retreat

Where the kookaburras call

Some people like their houses

With fences all around

Others live in mansions

And some beneath the ground

But me I like the bush you know

With rabbits running round

And a pumpkin vine out the back

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