Ake Ake, Kia Kaha e! - Songs of the New Zealand 28 (Maori) Battalion

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New Zealand 28 (Maori) Battalion
Ake Ake, Kia Kaha e! - Songs of the New Zealand 28 (Maori) Battalion

[ Atoll Records New Zealand / 2 CD ]

Release Date: Monday 20 April 2009

It could have been called 'the singing Battalion'! When the soldiers of the Maori Battalion sailed for the Second World War, they took with them songs that embodied the love and prayers of those at home.


CD 1:
1 Padre Wi Tetau Hüata (Ngäti Kahungunu, Waikato) makes
introductory comments in Mäori about the Battalion and then introduces the Battalion's Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Monty Fairbrother, who makes a situation report. The himene Au, e Ihu (O Lord look down upon me) is followed by the blessing. Recorded in Taranto, November 1943. [3:43]
2 Two popular action songs: Pä mai tö rëo aroha (Let your aroha flow on to the marae of the Mäori people) and the plaintive song of return, Hoki, hoki tonu mai. Recorded in 1943. [2:52]
3-4 Warrant Officer EH (Ted) Nëpia (Ngäti Kahungunu), the
Battalion historian, introduces items recorded between September 1941 and 1943 in Egypt and in Italy. There are haka, including Ka mate! Ka mate!, and then the song Karu, karu, which is often referred to as 'an ancient Mäori fishing chant' but in reality has its origin in a Cook Islands himene, Taku vaerua (My spirit). Following this is Auë te mamae, te aroha (O the pain and the aroha), which is set to the tune of Shabby old cabby by Nat Simon and Al Stillman. [9:48]
5 Tuini Ngäwai (Ngäti Porou) was renowned for her songs dedicated to the Mäori Battalion. Her prayer-song, Arohaina mai (Great King above extend your love onto us), took on the status of a hymn. In one concentrated effort, she composed the words seeking God's blessings on the Battalion. The melody is Love walked in by George Gershwin. The song is sung by Tuini Ngäwai's Te Hokowhitu-ä-Tü Mäori Club. [3:32]
6 Christmas Day 1942. Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bennett (Te Arawa) recounts the Battalion's preparation for the day, the fortuitous arrival of Christmas food supplies and mail but, alas, no tïtï or muttonbirds. They had fallen into enemy hands. This provoked a wry comment from the German forces! The track ends with the Battalion singing Tapu te pö (Silent night, holy night). [5:00]
7 In 1943, Captain James Hënare (Ngäti Hine), later the
Battalion's Commanding Officer (1945-1946), speaks on behalf of 'A' Company in a message to the people of Tai Tokerau, Northland. The traditional Northland song Häruru te Reinga follows. [3:09]
8 Captain Matarëhua Monty Wikiriwhi (Te Arawa) of 'B' Company speaks on behalf of the Company. Two songs follow: Te Arawa, about the arrival of the tribal waka at Maketu (based on the Ngäti Porou song Paikea), and Haere rängä hoia e (Farewell you soldiers). [3:19]
9 Members of 'B' Company sing Te rëo pöwhiri (The voice of
greetings) to the tune of You are my sunshine, composed by Jimmie Davis, and Te Arawa e about tribal identity. [4:18]
10 Major Wi Pewhairangi Reedy sends greetings to Ngäti Porou together with a special message to Sir Apirana Ngata hoping that the coming Christmas in 1943 will be the last one the Battalion spends overseas before returning home. The tribal song Ngäti Porou e follows. The 'C' Company men then perform a tribal haka led by Major Reedy. [5:24]
11 Lieutenant Albie Bennett (Te Arawa) introduces the Battalion singing a song of derision, Hïtara waha huka, üpoko märo (Hitler, foaming mouthed and hard-headed!). The Mäori words by Tuini Ngäwai are set to the popular shearing song Click go the shears. The final line of the words proclaim '...kari ana te kauae, o te parari paka nei a Hïtara e' ('...let's punch the jaw of this bloody bugger Hitler!'). It was first publicly performed by massed Ngäti Porou school children at the Ngarimu VC Hui in Ruatöria in 1943. [1:42]
12 Captain Fred Baker and Second Lieutenant Ricky Smith speak on behalf of 'D' Company, followed by Turi Waaka, Peti Nohinohi, Hori Pömana, Hori Häpeta and Ricky Smith singing the chorus of Wonderful mother of mine. [3:46]
13 The group, as in track 11, sings Haere rä töku aroha (Farewell my own true love). [2:57]
14 At a concert in the Western Desert, members of 'B' Company present three songs of lament: E wawata (with soloist Private S Waretini), Moe mai e hine and, from the First World War, E pari rä. [5:26]
15 Colonel RH Thompson during a Battalion reunion recounts two humorous stories about land mines and about a pig! [3:40]
16 The Battalion sings a favourite Mäori hymn for all occasions, Tama ngäkau märie (Son of a peaceful heart). Slight damage in the original recording can be heard in the final verse. There is also wind noise. [3:51]
17 Brigadier George Dittmer, the Battalion's first Commanding Officer, reminisces during a Battalion reunion. [0:31]
18 Song: Ka rongo te pakanga nei (Listen to the battle). [1:09]
19 New Zealand National Broadcasting Service commentator Arch Curry speaks from the North African campaign. Artillery guns are heard in the background. [1:35]
20 It was common for Mäori lyrics to be combined with easy rhythm melodic Western tunes. Whakarongo ake rä (Hear us as we greet you) is based on the melody of Percy Wenrich's Moonlight Bay. [2:26]
21 Rukuhia rä e hoa mä te Moana is a song of tribute to Lieutenant Te Moananui-ä-Kiwa Ngarimu, who was bestowed with the highest award for gallantry, the Victoria Cross, for his action at Tebaga Gap, Tunisia, in March 1943. ['Moananui-ä-Kiwa' is also spelt 'Te Moana Nui-ä-Kiwa'. Both forms are correct.] [1:03]

CD 2:
1 Mäori Battalion march to victory, set to the music of an American marching song, became the Battalion's rallying cry. The Band of the 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, conducted by Lieutenant CCE Miller, plays the march followed by a recital-style vocal by an unnamed soloist, together with the verse. The song is then sung by the Battalion. [3:58]
2 The Battalion sings E ngä hoia e (We are the soldiers!). [2:18]
3 Another Tuini Ngäwai song dedicated to the Battalion, Te hokowhitu toa (Take the mantle of your people with you), set to Jimmy Eaton's tune I'm gonna lock my heart and throw away the key. The performance is by the Te Hokowhitu-ä-Tü Mäori Culture Group. [1:48]
4 Men from the Pacific Islands, including Samoa, Niue and
Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, were also among those in the Battalion. A Mäori compère introduces a Samoan spokesman followed by the Samoan song of farewell, Töfä my felini, oh I never will forget you, Samoa e nei galo atu, sung in Samoan and English, Goodbye my friend, I never will forget you; Samoa, you are not forgotten. [4:27]
5 'A' Company presents songs and greetings to people in many locations in Northland, introduced by an unknown commentator. The identified speakers are Waka Rewa (Northern Wairoa), Alf Pitman, Maru Wharerau, Ben Porter, and Maurice Robertson. The songs include the hymn, Koutou katoa rä (All of you who are standing here), Me ata tukutuku (Be gentle) and Pö ata rau (Now is the hour). [6:53]
6 E te ope tuatahi was written by Sir Apirana Ngata as the
recruiting song for the First Mäori Contingent in World War One and stimulated many young Mäori men to enlist for active service. Eventually 2,227 Mäori and 458 Pacific Islanders were to serve with this Pioneer Mäori Battalion. Their successors, the 28 (Mäori) Battalion of World War Two, sing the song with an introduction by Private Täpiri. [1:43]
7 In November 1943, during a Battalion concert at Taranto, Southern Italy, a 19-year-old Italian youth sang Vivere (Let's live!), a popular song of the time composed by Cesare Andrea Bixio. Anecdotally, the young man was the son of an Italian barber attached to the Battalion. The Mäori-speaking compère introduces the singer as, possibly, Valamona Tomarina. [2:08]
8 Two songs recorded at Taranto in 1943: Mokemoke täua, ka hoki mai anö (We are both sad but will return) and E te iwi e whakarongo mai (O people, listen to me). [4:28]
9 Tënei mätou e tü atu nei proclaims 'who we are as we stand here to entertain you'. The song is sung to the tune of Sol K Bright's Sophisticated hula is the talk of the town. [1:14]
10 May 1940. The 1st Mäori Reinforcements, part of the 4th
Reinforcements to the 2NZEF, is ending its training at Papakura Military Camp before leaving on the Polish liner SS Batory for the Middle East. Tracks 10 to 18 were recorded at the camp during the farewell ceremonies. Speakers included Princess Te Puea Hërangi. The Reinforcements sing God save the King followed by karakia or prayer, possibly led by the Chaplain, Captain Wïremu Netana Pänapa. [1:09]
11 Lieutenant Arapeta Awatere, who would later become Battalion Commander, and Sergeant Wänoa of Ngäti Porou's 'C' company both speak and Mäori Battalion is sung in Mäori. [4:42]
12 Captain Wiremu Netana Pänapa (Ngäti Whatua), future Bishop of Aotearoa, sends greetings to the Battalion. [2:05]
13 Song: Te aroha, also known as Auë mama, auë papa (O my
mother, O my father, give your love to me). [1:33]
14 Lieutenant Whareaitu (Te Arawa) and Lieutenant Karaitiana (Ngäti Kahungunu) send greetings to the men of the Battalion already overseas, followed by a haka. [5:41]
15 Lieutenant Webb sends greetings to Mäori Battalion members from Te Waipounamu (the South Island) followed by the song Putiputi kaneihana e (You are like a lovely carnation). [2:08]
16 Princess Te Puea Hërangi, the respected and influential Mäori leader who set up Türangawaewae marae at Ngäruawähia, brings greetings to the Reinforcements from her people of Waikato. [0:56]
17 Reverend Mutu Kapa (Ngä Puhi/Waikato), an esteemed churchman and classical Mäori orator, greets members of the Battalion. There is a haka and then a waiata in ancient chant form, E kore te aroha e (If it wasn't for love). The Reinforcements end the track with E rua nei aku ringa (I have both hands). [5:11]
18 The patriotic World War Two song associated with singer Vera Lynn, There'll always be an England (E kore e Ingarangi i hinga), is sung by an unidentified soloist and chorus with piano accompaniment. The Reinforcements' sequence concludes with a short speech by Major Jimmy Wales, officer in charge of training. [3:26]
19 The song of farewell, Pö ata rau (Now is the hour), sung in Mäori and English by the Battalion. This version was recorded in Taranto during 1943. [4:06]
20 Members of the 28 (Mäori) Battalion sing The Soldiers'
Hymn, Au, e Ihu. [3:20]