It’s a tough job and the people are unforgiving.
But when you forget an iconic line in your country’s national anthem, those people are going to notice, and they’re not going to be kind.
Brisbane-based soul singer Liliya Butonova was handed the daunting task of singing Advance Australia Fair (watch it in the video above) ahead of the Brisbane Lions’ finals battle with Port Adelaide at the Gabba.
Analysis, local footy and the biggest moments, Seven and 7plus are the home of footy shows for every fan. Stream them all for free on 7plus >>
And, in front of more than 36,000 fans, she began the task in solid – sparkling would be too strong, to be fair – form.
For the record, this reporter has no singing ability whatsoever, so there’s an immediate respect for anyone who can hold a tune and perform in front of thousands.
But, like millions of other Australians, we do know the words to Advance Australia Fair.
And as we all know, that final, climactic, ultimate line is, “… in joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair”.
However, for some mysterious reason, after pushing through the entire song, Butonova started to wrap it up prematurely.
She was holding the note on the word “FAIRRRRR” before suddenly realising the music was rolling on.
To her credit, she suddenly clicked.
She missed out on the ‘in joyful” part, but did manage to pick it up on “strains”, and then completed the last few words …. “let us sing Advance Australia Fair”.
Of course, if she thought the blunder would go unnoticed, well … she was wrong.
Social media naturally lit up.
“Did… did she just forget to sing the last line of the national anthem?” one fan asked.
And another said: “This is a comedy show at the Gabba.. the welcome to country was off it chops and the national anthem singer just decided to leave some words out… what’s going on in Queensland?”
And another: “They giving out sausages with that national anthem rendition? Cos that was butchered.”
Some fans questioned why the anthem had to be performed at all.
“Why is she even singing the national anthem at all? Do we really need to sing it outside of international matches or grand finals?,” one fan said.
While it was a minor stumbling block, it clearly didn’t effect the home team, who powered on to score a convincing win over Port Adelaide and book a home final in two weeks time.
So yes, as in keeping with the AFL’s tradition, the national anthem will again be performed when Brisbane play off in the preliminary final in their bid to make the grand final.
And while we still appreciate Butonova’s effort, we’re guessing the AFL will give someone else a shot at the anthem next time.