Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind


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Musical Monday (2022/09/19) – Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō / Don’t Forget Your Roots

Most of the music I choose for Musical Mondays are oldies – those that have been my favourites for decades, but I’m not so old (yet) that I can’t become fond of new music. Here’s one such song from the New Zealand band SIX60.

The band was formed in 2008 by four Otago University students sharing a flat (house) at 660 Castle Street in the city of Dunedin. The name of the band is derived from that address. Their first album (SIX60) was released under their own label of Massive Entertainment in 2011 and debuted at number one in the NZ album charts and achieved gold within its first week. They have become one of the most popular (if not the most popular) band in the country, playing to crowds of fans exceeding 50,000, which, when you consider the population of this country is around 5 million, spread over 2,000 Km (1,300 miles) north to south, isn’t half bad, especially when such crowds were achieved in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic.

In July 2021 the band purchased 660 Castle Street and established four $10,000 performing arts scholarships at the University of Otago. Winners of the scholarships reside, of course, at that address.

I’m not sure how you would describe their music genre. Audioculture describes it as “a soul and rock informed sound”, but whatever it is, it appeals to a wide audience from preteens to their parents and grandparents, and this is reflected in the mix of fans seen at their concerts. A level of their popularity can be measured by the fact that at time of writing the band had achieved 19 platinum and 5 gold singles, 3 platinum albums and one platinum EP.

Don’t Forget Your Roots single was released in July 2011. It peaked at number two in the Recorded Music NZ charts and number one on the RIANZ charts. At time of writing the song has certified sales of 8 x platinum. In 2019 the song was re-recorded in te Reo Māori for te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) and was retitled Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō / Don’t Forget Your Roots. I have included two versions. The first is taken from a 2020 live performance and is a mix of English and Māori lyrics. The second is the original from 2011. Enjoy!

SIX60 – Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō / Don’t Forget Your Roots (Live at Western Springs 2020)
SIX60 – Don’t Forget Your Roots (2011)
Don't Forget Your Roots

Whoa, whoa, yeah

Don't forget your roots, my friend
Don't forget your family, yeah
Don't forget your roots, my friend
The ones who made you
The ones who brought you here
Don't forget your roots, my friend, yeah
Don't forget your family, yeah
Don't forget your roots, my friend, yeah
Whoa, yeah

So Johnny was a good man
Armed with the power of his homeland
And with his boots laced tight and a ticket in his hand
Never to return home again
So he lost what he knows and what all is right
For a broken world and a world of lies
But the days were numbered, relationships suffered
He lost the faith of all those who mattered so

Don't forget your roots, my friend
Don't forget your family, yeah
Don't forget your roots, my friend
The ones who made you
The ones who brought you here
Don't forget your roots, my friend
Don't forget your family, yeah
Don't forget your roots, my friend, yeah
Whoa

So Jessie thought that she was all that
Thought she was heading on the right track
Left her mates at the gate as she walked away
Ooh, never to look back again
So she lost what she knows and what all is right
For a brand new image and a world of lies
But the days were numbered, relationships suffered
She lost the faith of all those who mattered so

Don't forget your roots, my friend, yeah
Don't forget your family, yeah
Don't forget your roots, my friend
The ones who made you
The ones who brought you here
Don't forget your roots, my friend, yeah
Don't forget your family, yeah
Don't forget your roots, my friend, yeah
Whoa, yeah
Whoa, whoa, yeah

Don't forget your roots, my friend
Don't forget your family, yeah
Don't forget your roots, my friend
The ones who made you
The ones who brought you here
Don't forget your roots, my friend, yeah
Don't forget your family, yeah
Don't forget your roots, my friend, yeah
Whoa, yeah
Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō

Oooohhhh

Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Kia mau hoki ki tō whānau
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Ki tangata ai koe
I hari mai a koe
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Kia mau hoki ki tō whānau
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō āe

Tangata pai a Hone
Pakari ana te tū mai
Tū ana tariana te ao
Te hoki mai te auraki mai
Ngaro ana i a ia i te mana
He ao hurihuri he ao horihori
Tāweko ana te taura tangata
Motu ana te taura ka rawa āe

Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Kia mau hoki ki to whānau
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipo
Ki tangata ai koe
I hari mai a koe
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Kia mau hoki ki to whānau
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō

Pōhehe ana a Heni (Heni)
I te huarahi tika ia (ia)
Mahue ngā hoa haere atu ana (e huri mai anō)
Ngaro ana i a ia te mana
Kimi tikanga hou i te ao horihori
Tāweko ana te taura tangata
Motu ana te taura ka rawa āe

Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Kia mau hoki ki tō whānau
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipo
Ki tangata ai koe
I hari mai a koe
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Kia mau hoki ki tō whānau
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō

Ringa pakia
Waewae takahia
Kia kino nei hoki

Ka mate, Ka mate! Ka ora, Ka ora!
Ka mate, Ka mate! Ka ora, Ka ora!
Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru
Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!
A hupane, a hupane
A hupane, kaupane whiti te ra!

Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Kia mau hoki ki tō whānau
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipo
Ki tangata ai koe
I hari mai a koe
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō
Kia mau hoki ki tō whānau
Kia mau ki tō ūkaipō


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Musical Monday (2022/09/12) The Bridge

The tune for this song is possibly familiar to many of my readers. It’s Il Silenzio, an instrumental composed by the Italian jazz trumpeter Nini Rosso, which is itself an adaptation of the opening to Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien. The Bridge is the first song in te reo Māori (the Māori language) to gain a number 1 spot on the NZ hit parade. This it achieved in April 1981, knocking John Lenon’s Woman from the top ranking. The Bridge ranked number 1 on April 5, 19 & 26.

The Bridge was sung by Deane Waretini and the lyrics were written Waretini’s cousin, George Tait. The bridge in question represents two ideas. One is the Māngere Bridge which was under construction at the time (completed in 1983), linking opposite sides of the Manukau Harbour and two distinctly different urban settings. The other refers to the linking together of Māori and Pākekā cultures.

Unusual for the period, the single was self-financed by Waretini and he was so cash strapped that he paid the backing group in KFC. He then used guerrilla marketing to get the record on air and into the hands of the public, even recruiting a newspaper boy to sell copies to passers by. The techniques succeeded in getting the attention of CBS, and as they say, the rest is history.

I’m not usually a fan of the trumpet as it often sounds harsh to my ears. But I find they are beautiful in this melody, perhaps because it was composed by a trumpet player? And they balance the rich voice of Deane Waretini perfectly. Enjoy!

The Bridge – Deane Waretini
Taku aroha – i aue, i aue
Ki nga pou1 o te piriti
Āki, pakia mai rau
E nga tai kaha ra e
Pukepuke, i aue

Nga roimata e aku kamo
I rite ki te ngaru
Whati mai, whati mai
I waho e, whati mai.

My concern is for the piles of the bridge, 
Constantly pounded by the strong tides.
The tears well up in my eyes
They are like the waves that break without

…e nga tai kaha ra e
Pukepuke, i aue

Nga roimata e aku kamo
I rite ki te ngaru
Whati mai, whati mai
I waho e, whati mai.


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I am a mono-linguist

I’m not proud of the fact that I can speak only one language. I live in a multicultural society, and yet I can converse only in English. My wife can converse in two languages. My daughter can converse in three languages and can get by in several more.

I’ll concede that in my formative years, and through much of my adult life, the general consensus among New Zealanders, including many Māori, was that as English was “the international language” there was no need to learn any other.

It wasn’t long after marrying a native Japanese speaker that I began to recognise how impoverished my life experience was by knowing only one language. So much of what we experience and comprehend is tied up in the culture and language(s) we live within.

Perhaps I’m more fortunate than many in the same situation in that being autistic, I have always lived within a strange culture with a strange language, and different cultures and ways of understanding the world are no more strange to me than the one I live in. In fact some aspects of other cultures make more sense to me than the one I grew up in.

Although my comprehension of other languages is very limited, I fully understand how language directly colours one’s world view. Knowing more than one language broadens one’s horizons at so many levels, and I regret that I have never taken the opportunity to seriously learn to use another language.

Why am I writing this piece? This week is Māori Language week – Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, and I’m reminded that language and culture are closely intertwined. You cannot fully comprehend one if you do not understand the other.