We don’t sing as one

The Welsh have been singing at rugby games for generations.

Australians took to singing Waltzing Matilda  more recently.

Why don’t New Zealanders sing?

When we were in Argentina to watch the Pumas play their first home game in the Rugby Championship against the All blacks four years ago, the group practised singing before the game but once we got to the stadium any attempts to get a rousing song going petered out.

The Rugby Union has been using social media to get garner enthusiasm for Tutira Mai 

It means stand as one but it hasn’t got us singing as one.

It’s been shared and liked on Facebook by thousands of people but has failed to get traction at the tests.

Lions fans have been louder, and possibly more numerous than the locals.

Maybe many of the people who go to rugby matches aren’t the people on social media.

And playing Tutira Mai through the speakers isn’t enough to get the crowd singing. As we found in Argentina, that requires strong singers in the crowd.

I like the song, even though Ngatai Huata, the daughter of Canon Wi Te Tau Huata, who composed it, says we’ve got the words and tune wrong but I won’t be at the test and even if I was, I’m definitely not the one to get a crowd  to sing as one.

However, singing or not, I will be backing black and my prediction – based on the fact the team will want a win for captain Kieran Read’s 100th test and they will also be focussed on continuing the unbroken steak of series wins against the Lions – is a win to the All Blacks by um, 21-13.

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4 Responses to We don’t sing as one

  1. Andrei says:

    sorry Ele but that is a dreary song – the chord progression is entirely predictable

    Never heard it before to my knowledge but heard that progression a million times each step of the way I could predict the next chord and when the change would come

    Its no wonder it doesn’t catch on

    I think Liverpool’s famous anthem “you’ll never walk alone” was Rogers and Hammerstein and is very stirring but also very singable even for those who can’t sing- the two things a good anthem needs


  2. Will says:

    I’m not sure if you are looking for a serious answer but here goes.

    Nobody sane would sing that song unless they were dangerously drunk. The melody and rhythm are infantile. The lyrics mean nothing to most of us as we can’t understand them. Those who can should be appalled. Anthems have certain qualities other songs lack. Like a rolling rhythm, rising sixth and crescendo. Fifth form level poetry skills at least. Can’t think of any kiwi songs offhand. ‘Six months in a leaky boat’ is too fast and pitched too high. ‘Mull of Kintyre’ has the right feel but it’s not ours. Someone needs to write something like that.

    Not Dave Dobbyn.


  3. Andrei says:

    Mull of Kintyre is Paul McCartney of course who along with john Lennon were probably the greatest song writers of the 20th century I was trying to figure something that would work in that context and immediately thought of songs written by them for Ringo Starr to sing which were written to be not too vocally challenging

    The Brits use “Jerusalem” but when it comes to the crowd singing a rugby matches it is the Welsh that rule they got so many good songs to choose from and a tradition of singing in the Chapel


  4. homepaddock says:

    You’ll Never Walk Alone is one of my favourites. You’re right about Rogers and Hammerstein, form the musical Carousel. My tartan genes also appreciate Mull of Kintyre, though it always reminds me of an Otago Capping Show Sextet’s parody Mangere Bridge lamenting the building and not building owing to strikes. It started Mangere Bridge, Muldoon’s in tears . . .


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