The national anthem of Australia is used to being sung, not spoken about.
But the Advance Australia Fair was the talk of several towns ahead of the State of Origin opener in Adelaide on Wednesday night.
When the NRL scrapped it for Origin matches, the anthem was initially dropped from the programme.
The predictable uproar involved Prime Minister Scott Morrison pressing the case for its reinstatement, just two hours later.
In a year of suffering, Morrison promoted the anthem as a sign of national unity in a phone call to ARL Commission Chairman Peter V’landys, who immediately ordered a reprieve.
Advance Australia Fair was also a highlight of last year’s season, when Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker and Josh Addo-Carr, the Indigenous Blues trio, talked about their reluctance to sing before the game.
Walker, Addo-Carr and others stood quietly on Wednesday night as Adelaide singer-songwriter Rachel Leahcar was performing the anthem.