Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ANZAC Day - Return to me

It's ANZAC Day on the 25th, and time to look across the Tasman for one of the most beautiful songs you will ever hear -- Pokarekare Ana

Pokarekare Ana was written by Maori troops in the First World War. It is based on the story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai, which starts as a Romeo and Juliet story, but ends happily. Here is a translation of the lyrics: 

They are agitated the waters of Waiapu,
But when you cross over girl, they will be calm.
Oh girl 
Return to me, 
I could die of love for you.

I have written my letter, I have sent my ring, 
So that your people can see that I am troubled.
My pen is shattered, I have no more paper 
But my love is still steadfast.

My love will never be dried by the sun, 
It will be forever moistened by my tears.

There are so many versions of this song, that I spent ages looking for "the" one. In the end I gave up, because I love them all. 

Here is the traditional version: 

Here is a choir singing it: 

And here is a truly beautiful version for the classical music lover: 

Which is probably nothing like it was first sung by those troops, almost a century ago. 

Sidenote: Pokarekare Ana is sometimes referred to as NZ's unofficial national anthem. It's a beautiful, heartfelt love song. Australia's unofficial national anthem is about a guy who steals a sheep, evades arrest, then kills himself. We need to step up our game. 


  1. Charming! Delightful! Thank you so much for sharing this. :) But I think Australia's song is lots more fun. Except for ON THE BEACH. Have you seen that? I never would have thought Waltzing Matilda could make me cry, until I saw that movie. 'Scuse me now, while I wipe away a tear, just thinking about it. ~sniff~

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

    1. Hi Marian. Australia's song is definitely more fun. I haven't seen the version in On The Beach, but I have heard a few very sad renditions.

  2. The first is a great beach song, but I like the choir best, especially when they're singing in the original language. That way it goes right to the gut.

    And what's this song with the sheep?

    1. It's a beautiful song.

      The Aussie song is Waltzing Matilda. It's...unique? :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Charlotte. I posted about the Aussies last year, so it was time to focus a bit on the Kiwis.



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