Australian singer-songwriter Gordi made an awkward blunder during the Australian Open men’s singles final pre-match ceremony, singing incorrect lyrics for the national anthem.

Instead of singing “For we are one and free” in the second line, she recited the former lyric “For we are young and free”, which was scrapped seven weeks ago.

LIVE BLOG: Australian Open men’s final

On New Year’s Eve, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Governor-General David Hurley had agreed to the federal government’s recommendation to amend the anthem.

“During the past year, we have showed once again the indomitable spirit of Australians and the united effort that has always enabled us to prevail as a nation. It is time to ensure this great unity is reflected more fully in our national anthem,” Mr Morrison said.

“Also, while Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, our country’s story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect.

“In the spirit of unity, it is only right that we ensure our national anthem reflects this truth and shared appreciation.”

It was the first modification to the anthem since the Hawke government in 1984, when it was changed from God Save the Queen to Advance Australia Fair.

Gordi sang the outdated lyric at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday evening, and the slip of the tongue unfortunately didn’t go unnoticed.

Unlike most performances of the national anthem, the 28-year-old sang without any accompanying music, her a cappella rendition echoing around the iconic venue.

She also recited the national anthem ahead of Saturday evening’s women’s final at the same venue, where she sang the correct lyric.

Gordi, real name Sophie Payten, stepped into the spotlight after spending time working as a junior doctor in Victorian hospitals on the COVID frontline last year.

Payten has juggled her music career with a medical degree and helped ease the burden on overworked healthcare workers.

“Recently I’ve kind of been the medical equivalent of gap filler,” she wrote on Instagram in September. “Victorian hospitals are having huge numbers of staff being furloughed – meaning because they’ve had exposure to COVID-19, they have to go and isolate for 2 weeks.

“This means huge staff shortages so I’ve been filling the gaps where I can. Healthcare workers are stressed and working outside of their comfort zone. One hospital I was in had their palliative care ward turned into a ward with COVID patients on it requiring serious intervention measures. The full PPE kit is pretty damn awful to wear so it gives me great comfort to walk out onto the street and see everyone wearing a mask.”

— with Sam Clench

Originally published as Aus Open’s awkward anthem blunder


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