New Zealand Music Month: “all it takes is one song to bring back 1000 memories”

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May is NZ Music Month.

For those of you outside NZ (expats excepted), it’s understandable if you don’t know that New Zealand music totally rocks. For a small nation, we produce some extraordinarily talented musicians.

Although I’ll never stop feeling Scottish, I haven’t actually lived in the country of my birth since I was a child. So the soundtrack of my life features a lot of Kiwi music.

This month I’m going to have a little musical nostalgia trip. Maybe not every day, but as inspiration takes me, I’ll post a song and maybe a little about what it means to me.

I have to start with Poi E; one of the most joyous pieces of music I know. Sung entirely in Maori, this was a huge hit in 1984, and remains an important way-point in our nation’s musical history.

I’d love you to join me in this impromptu gig. Dance along; tell me what you think about my choices; share your own Kiwi music play-list. Or tune out and enjoy the soundtrack to your life. It doesn’t matter. My music, your music. As Nietzsche said:

Without music, life would be a mistake. — Friedrich Nietzche

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26 thoughts on “New Zealand Music Month: “all it takes is one song to bring back 1000 memories”

  1. New Zealand must produce some quality musicians. Why else would Australia try and claim them for their own? 😉

    We’ve sung Maori songs in my singing group from time to time and I love them. There’s something so lyrical about them and they are often quite moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe. I know what you mean about singing in Maori. I’m not a great fan of our national anthem, but it does sound so much better sung in Maori. I even know the words now after years of the boy-child’s school assemblies and prize-givings 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re so right, what a wonderful joyous song that just seems to lift you up to start dancing! Sadly I noticed the little sign on the screen saying “one hit wonders.” lol
    I’m looking forward to more of you month of music from New Zealand. Great idea for a series, thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amanda. It is true that (sadly) the Patea Maori Club only had one hit. Patea is a small town that, like many others, had one main employer — which of course, closed down. The Maori Club was quite an important institution locally, and the song was really a chance for the community to get involved and show their spirit and resilience.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no, that’s so very sad. Much more upsetting than most “one hit wonder” stories.
        I hate hearing when a traditional group like The Maori Club hit hard times especially as you say since their song managed to involve the whole community. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually the Maori Club has survived. The town is getting by and the club is still a focus for the community. But the story of small towns battered by the closure of local industry is widespread — and of course, not just here!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed the music! Thanks for posting it. There were parts that reminded me of music from the movie Whalerider, which was also made in New Zealand, I believe.

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    • Thanks. Yes; Whale Rider was very much a New Zealand movie. It was based on a novel by a Maori writer which in turn drew on Maori mythology. As with Poi E, Whale Rider is part of the recognition and celebration of Maori culture. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Cheers, Su.

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  4. I’m a Brit living in NZ, and I had not really heard any New Zealand music until getting here (outside of Flight of the Conchords!). Fab new and old artists here – just discovered Fat Freddies Drop! Thanks for sharing Poi E, another fab new discovery 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. I’m probably biased, but I do think that Kiwi music punches above its weight. Check out the gigs over summer; even pretty big bands will often play small gigs and it’s a good chance to experience the music live.

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