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:
Oh girlReturn to me,
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.