Music Monday: Pokarekare Ana

It’s Music Monday again, a meme started by The Tattooed Book Geek.  Posting Whakaaria Mai last week reminded me of Pokarekare Ana.

This song doesn’t remind of a particular person or place, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not powerful or emotive.

Pokarekare Ana is a New Zealand love song. Most children are taught it at an early age here, at primary school level if not before. For most New Zealanders, it is a sort of New Zealand anthem, a reminder of home. A patriotic song, I guess. But it is in fact a love song.

It is believed to have been written by New Zealand soldiers during WWI, but no one can prove the true origins. The first person known to have a copy didn’t claim to have written it, only to have polished it up. He said it came from soldiers north of Auckland who were preparing for war in Europe.

If you search Youtube, you’ll find some beautiful versions. I’ve heard Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sing it live – the first concert I ever went to, in the Auckland Domain. There are also a bunch of amateur versions on Youtube.

This one, sung by ordinary everyday New Zealanders, gives you a glimpse of how powerful this song can be. All it takes is one voice to start. There’s another version on Youtube where you can hear an entire stadium singing it quietly, which is pretty moving too. But this one is an impromptu song to celebrate the legalisation of same sex marriage in New Zealand in 2013.

Music Monday: How Great Thou Art by Sir Howard Morrison

It’s Music Monday again, a meme started by The Tattooed Book Geek.

I first learned to sing Whakaaria Mai in primary school. I didn’t like it then, because it was pitched too high for me, and really difficult to sing. It may have also had something to do with my teacher who I hated. *Rolleyes* I also, possibly because of a lack of religious upbringing, had no idea it was the Maori version of How Great Thou Art. But years later, as an adult, I heard Sir Howard Morrison’s version and it just sent chills down my spine. So powerful. So emotive. It gets me every time.

Steve’s grandmother died in 2010. She was the first person I’d lost who I’d been close to since my grandfather had died in 1991. Two of Steve’s grandparents had passed away prior to Nana Rose, but although I thought they were lovely people who I cared for, I hadn’t been close to them. Nana Rose and I had spent hours scrapbooking together. And it was only when she’d passed away and they were planning the funeral that I found out her favourite hymn was How Great Thou Art. *Heart*

I can’t listen to this song and not feel moved. This version, sung by Sir Howard Morrison. It’s just awesome. I’m not religious anymore, but if I was, I’d want this played at my funeral. And even without being religious, it still gets me every time.

Music Monday: Bastard! by Kath Tait

It’s Music Monday (a meme started by The Tattooed Book Geek and I’m also joining in The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge on Writing.com.  Their prompt this week is ‘emotionally raw’. Which is actually pretty tough for me. Music is a huge part of my life. I associate numerous songs with different events and occasions, and far more with individual people. But I had a happy childhood, and I’m one of those people who tends to be fairly emotionally level – I don’t have massive highs and lows, particularly lows.

Which isn’t to say that my life has been perfect. It hasn’t. But when I think of ‘emotionally raw’, my first thought is grief, and I don’t actually have a lot of experience with grief. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve lost grandparents, but none of my immediate family or friends.

The next thing that comes to mind for ‘emotionally raw’ is heartache, and I haven’t had to cope with much of that either. I met my husband when I was 19. I have a song that reminds me of the boy I called my boyfriend for two weeks when I was 14. I have a few songs that remind me of my boyfriend from age 14-16. And a couple that remind me of the boy I dated from 16-17. But none of them broke my heart.

I was hurt by a boy when I was 18, because we decided we liked each other, but then before we even really had a chance to be boyfriend and girlfriend, he told me we couldn’t be because “the thought of holding my hand made him want to vomit”. Turns out it was an unfortunate choice of words and he was basically terrified of being in a relationship. Which made far more sense when he later came out as being gay. *Rolleyes* I do have a song that reminds me of how hurt and upset I was at the time, before any of the explanations came out. It’s called ‘Bastard’ by Kath Tait, and it’s a bitchy little folk song.

I suppose that was emotionally raw for me at the time. Looking back, it was so inconsequential, but at the time it destroyed me. Isn’t that stupid? I’d never been dumped, and to have this sweet Christian boy tell me that the thought of holding my hand made him want to vomit… I still don’t even really understand the depth of my reaction. I’d been bullied before. Teased, I guess, is how I would have phrased it at the time, but call a spade a spade and all that. I’d been teased a lot for my weight, even though I look back at photos of myself and wish I could convince the younger me that I just wasn’t as overweight as I thought I was. Just because I wasn’t twiggy skinny like so many of my classmates…

Anyway, I didn’t know this boy well. I’d met him at a Christian camp where we were both working as leaders. I was relatively new to the whole Christian lifestyle, not having grown up with it, and he was a friend of a friend. I’d been single for probably a year or a bit more. I hated being single. All that bullying had left me with little self confidence in my looks and body, despite having had two steady boyfriends right throughout high school. I hated being single mostly because I worried no one would ever want the me who I was on the outside. And part of hating being single was a desperation to be with someone…anyone. I had crushes on the stupidest people. Not stupid like they were morons, stupid in that they were totally wrong for me. Crushes for the sake of crushes, in the hope that one of them would like me back, and it didn’t really matter which one, so long as someone did. I guess I was seeking confirmation that someone could find me attractive. So then for this boy to turn around and say what he did…

I remember telling my flatmates, and out of everything, I distinctly remember Vanessa (she was sister to two of my flatmates and I can’t even remember why she was there that day) saying “Wait, he actually used the word vomit?” After that, I remember doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen, which made my flatmates panic a little I think. *Rolleyes* I’m not very domesticated and for me to be voluntarily doing housework meant something was very wrong. *Laugh*

As I said, he was a friend of a friend, and one of my flatmates went to uni with his brother. They were talking about it, and as I understand it, the brother went home and said “You told her that the thought of holding her hand made you want to vomit?” and the guy realised how awful that sounded and rang me to apologise. We never spoke again, but my friends told me later that he came out as gay. It explained even more.

I don’t hold a grudge. He never meant to hurt my feelings, and it was such a non-relationship, it’s ridiculous that this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about it. Does the memory still hurt me? No. Did it hurt me at the time? Yes.

You know, when I started this entry, I had no intention of writing about this incident or using that song. It’s not a great song. It made me laugh the first time I’d heard it, but it’s not a powerful or emotive song. But I’ve written quite a lot, so I guess this is what this week’s entry for Music Monday and Soundtrackers is going to be, huh? A bitchy little folk song for a boy who used an unfortunate turn of phrase to end a relationship that hadn’t even started yet, because he found himself in over his head and was trying to fix the situation before he got in any deeper.

You know what the worst of it is? I can’t even remember his name.

A song to describe me

Prompt: If you could only use music to describe yourself to someone, what song would it be and why?

Ooh, that’s actually really tough. I have to think about how I would describe myself generally first, then what songs would give the other person that impression. How would I describe myself?

Huh. Okay. I’m creative, but not artistic. I’m generous but lazy. I’m inspired but a procrastinator. Family, family history and genealogy are important to me, but I also believe that family doesn’t necessarily mean blood-relations. But on the flip side, when you’re talking about genealogy, blood-relations ARE important, because that’s your genetic line. I’m a strong believer in tolerance, particularly when it comes to religion and gender or sexuality nonconformity. I’m not shy, but I’m intimidated by good looking and/or confident people. I’m addicted to romance novels, an optimist, a romantic and exceedingly sentimental, and yet I don’t consider myself to be a particularly emotional person. I love shopping and pretty things, but if I didn’t have to dress up for work, I’d live in jeans and shorts. I’m a parent, who makes mistakes on what is probably a daily basis, but my children know they’re loved and know they can talk to me about anything, so I like to think I’m winning that challenge.

So… How do you say all of that in a song?

My first thought was Bitch by Meredith Brooks *Laugh* but I don’t know if I’m quite as extreme as that. Yeah, I can be a bitch sometimes, and the song is all about contrasts, but she says ‘I’m your hell, I’m your dream, I’m nothing in between’ and I just don’t think that’s me. Some people, you love them or you hate them, because they’re such strong personalities. My husband is that way for a lot of people. But I don’t think I am. I’m very middle of the road. In fact, I’ve used that phrase to describe myself in the past. Middle of the road. No extremes. I’m not sure it’s as true now as it was then. I think I’ve become more diverse as I’ve got older. Definitely more interesting! *Laugh*

I took a quiz that was supposed to tell me what song suited my personality, and it told me I was Looking Out My Back Door by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I love CCR, but that song is a whole bunch of nonsense written by some folk who were whacked out on drugs. The quiz tried to tell me that it was because I lived in the moment and didn’t worry about tomorrow or some such thing, but that’s bollocks. Yeah, I’m not the one who stresses about things, but I would never use such a bizarre song to introduce myself to someone. If someone told me that that song described them, my first thoughts would be that they’re either crazy or they do a lot of drugs. For god’s sake, the song is about hallucinating animals playing music instruments!

So I googled a bit more, and found a few that might work, but most were by artists that I’m not really into. And I was still happy to consider them, but they weren’t leaping out at me. Anyway, I was reading the lyrics to All Kinds of Kinds by Miranda Lambert (I like some of her songs but hadn’t heard this one) and I had a lightbulb moment. *Idea*

So here you go. I’d be happy enough to use this song to introduce myself to someone. I’ve shared this song before, because I really like it and it makes my fingers itch to write something powerful and affirming. It probably also gives a real good indication of my age too, because it came out when I was a teenager, and people do tend to relate most to the music of their teens. What kind of person does it make you think of?


I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people’s hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self-esteem
I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye

I believe you can’t control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires

Home and hearth

Prompt: On January 5th 1959, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” backed by “Raining in My Heart” was released by Coral Records. It was the last release of Buddy Holly before his death.

I’m not a particularly big fan of Buddy Holly, but there’s one song of his that always throws me right back to my childhood. And no, I’m not old enough to have been alive in 1959 or when he released any of his songs. I’m only 37. Buddy Holly was way before my time.

When I was young, New Zealand didn’t have a particularly good television network. We had two channels, both owned by the same network. And where I lived, in the wop wops (that means, in the hicks, or in bum fuck nowhere, whatever you call it when it’s miles away from anywhere), we only got one radio station – Radio New Zealand. So aside from the news and similar shows (like documentaries), there wasn’t a lot to watch. What we did get was British television shows. Only Fools and Horses. Blackadder. ‘Allo ‘Allo! The Two Ronnies. Open All Hours. To The Manor Born. Last of the Summer Wine. Fawlty Towers.

And Heartbeat, which apparently started in 1992. I could have sworn it was older than that. Maybe it’s the just the theme song that makes it seem so dated. Anyway, I can’t really tell you what the show was about, other than it was based around a small town cop. Just a soap kinda thing. IMDB says ‘Constable Nick Rowan is a English Policeman in the 1960’s who decides to be reassigned to the same small village where his wife was born. There, he patrols the countryside as a part of a small attachment in the area dealing with the various events and problems that come up while at same time keeping a eye on Claude Greengrass, the local rogue.’ Ah, it’s set in the 1960s. That’s why I thought it was older. I didn’t realise it was backdated.

Anyway, whenever I hear the first few bars of this song, it transports me back to my childhood home. Which is weird, because we moved out of that house in 1993, so I’m not even 100% sure I ever watched the show there. *Blush* But it reminds me of watching TV by the fireplace, in our little farm house. It reminds me of Queen, our snow white cat, sleeping in front of the fire. It gives me warm fuzzies, because my childhood was very happy and it reminds me of those days. Often when I think of my childhood, I think of the farm, which of course was a huge part of our lives, but this song reminds me of the house, which is nice.

What songs remind you of your childhood?

#real life

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much lately.  Just….work.  I can’t say much, obviously, in a public forum, but yeah.  Work.  I heard this song while I was driving to work, and it really summed up how I was feeling last week.

When things calm down again, I’ll be back.  In the meantime, I’ll try to post when I can.  I recorded a poem on my phone the other day when I was driving home, and my friend Rachel nominated me for a blog thingie, so I’ll try to post those.  Oh, and I made some homemade foodie Christmas gifts on the weekend which I want to post about.  I’ve got heaps of entries from blogs I follow to read (stashed in my inbox!) so will slowly work my way through those too and throw some likes, etc. out to my fellow bloggers.

So I guess I’m just asking you to be patient with me until real life lets me get back to the virtual world.  🙂  Thank you, kind readers!

Music for the occasion tag

I couldn’t resist! Ha ha!

The rules are super simple. Answer the questions, tag the creator (www.theroadtoelle.com) and tag some friends to answer! Simple, huh?

A song that reminds me of home:
Bliss by Th’ Dudes

Play this song in a pub full of kiwis (New Zealanders) and I guarantee every one of them will start singing at the top of their lungs. Yes, it’s old. Yes, it’s dated. But it’s a classic NZ anthem.

I could also have chosen anything by the Exponents or the Mutton Birds, or How Great Thou Art as sung by Sir Howard Morrison (sends shivers up my spine every time) but I had to pick just one, right?

Five songs that are must-haves for a road trip:
I Was Made For Lovin’ You by Kiss
You’re The Voice by John Farnham
American Pie by Don McLean
Dream On by Aerosmith
Never Tear Us Apart by INXS

My actual road trip playlist is well over 100 songs, so this was a near impossible choice. They’re all songs that every member of my family (myself, hubby and the two kids) know the words to, enjoys and will sing along. They’re upbeat (except maybe American Pie!) and you can wind the windows down and crank it up. Oh man, now I feel like a road trip! Anyone?

A song that inspires me:
The Longest Time by Billy Joel

This song always reminds me of my friend Chelsea, and the creative, colourful journals she used to keep. I was a bit OCD about my journals, which were very neat and uniform, and I was so jealous of her creativity. She was the first person to help me step out of my comfort zone when it comes to creativity.

A song that puts me in a good mood:
Dear Penis by Rodney Carrington

It was my father-in-law who first introduced me to this song. I could also have used this for the next question as I know all the words! It’s funny and it makes me laugh. I nearly chose Gonna Make You Happy Tonight by Tripod, which is another good one.

A song I know all the words to:
Lola by the Kinks

I knew all the words to this song long before I ever heard it performed by the original artist. My uncle used to visit us and he’d play this one on his guitar. Also, Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road by Loudon Wainwright III, and My Old Man’s A Dustman by Lonnie Donegan. That reminds me, it’s been so long since I heard Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour… I must make sure my kids know that one. 😛

A song that annoys me:
Lips of an Angel by Hinder

I detest cheaters and I hate the lyrics to this song and the attitude the narrator has to his girlfriend. Drives me mental. I’ll admit, the Crazy Frog song was my first thought though!

A song I used to like but don’t anymore:
As Long As You Love Me by The Backstreet Boys

Yeah, I went through a Backstreet Boys phase, I’ll admit it. It was short lived, I promise.

A song I thrashed:
Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd

This is absolutely my favourite song. I’ve been known to listen to it on repeat and it still doesn’t get old. I love this song! It works best with Young Lust first though, amiright?

A song I like to play loud:
Freaks by Timmy Trumpet and Savage

My kids introduced me to this song, and it’s so damn catchy. A fun song to play loud and dance around the house to.

A song that makes me want to dance:
Runaround Sue by Dion and the Belmonts

Speaking of dancing… When I was growing up, my dad played in a band. We lived in a small rural community, so he mostly played easy listening, middle of the road stuff. There is a whole list of songs that remind me of my dad and my childhood, but this one always makes me want to get up and dance, like we did at those old community hall gigs.

A song I like to listen to when I’m angry:
Teenagers by My Chemical Romance

I used to have an angry playlist. Actually, I lie, it was an angry CD. Ha ha! But this song reminds me that I’m not the only one dealing with teenage dramas, and it’s just a phase. I actually first heard this song when my younger (by 2 years) sister was going through her rebellious teenager phase, so it definitely reminds me that all is not lost!

A song I like to listen to when I’m going to sleep:
Why Worry by Dire Straits

This is the perfect song for nodding off to, both in terms of music and lyrics.

A song by a band that I’ve seen live:
I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons

I’ve seen some amazing bands and artists live (all fairly recently!), including Adele, the Eagles, Guns N Roses, etc. I went to Mumford & Sons with my sister, mum and mother-in-law for my sister’s birthday. I only knew two songs, and my expectations were low. How much can you expect from a band that has a banjo player? But it was amazing. High energy, great fun… One of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.

A song I play when I’m doing the housework:
Fake It by Seether

I have a whole playlist, but this song is right near the top. Nothing to do with the lyrics, just a song that makes me want to get off my ass.

Tagging:
Christina Weaver
Reb Kreyling
Pooja at Life’s Fine Whine
Thompson Crowley
Tiny Rubies
A.C. at An Anonymous Escape From Life
Nic Starr
Jess of Earth
Rachel Peck
Susie Lindau
Phil Taylor at The Phil Factor
Michelle at The Writing Hufflepuff
Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek
and of course, anyone else who would like to give it a go!