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Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree

Little Robyn 19 Jul 08 - 10:05 PM
katlaughing 19 Jul 08 - 11:34 PM
JennieG 20 Jul 08 - 01:05 AM
JennieG 20 Jul 08 - 01:50 AM
Little Robyn 20 Jul 08 - 06:50 AM
JennieG 20 Jul 08 - 07:49 PM
Little Robyn 21 Jul 08 - 05:07 AM
Liz the Squeak 21 Jul 08 - 05:26 AM
Little Robyn 21 Jul 08 - 03:57 PM
JennieG 22 Jul 08 - 04:06 AM
Little Robyn 23 Jul 08 - 03:35 AM
JennieG 23 Jul 08 - 04:12 AM
JennieG 23 Jul 08 - 04:16 AM
Little Robyn 23 Jul 08 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,TeddyR 21 Jan 09 - 09:08 PM
Gurney 22 Jan 09 - 12:33 AM
Little Robyn 22 Jan 09 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,Gina (ChCh NZ) 25 Sep 09 - 05:51 PM
Little Robyn 25 Sep 09 - 06:17 PM
Liz the Squeak 26 Sep 09 - 10:52 AM
Little Robyn 26 Sep 09 - 04:45 PM
Gurney 26 Sep 09 - 11:35 PM
GUEST 13 Dec 10 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,Robyn Holden 28 Jan 11 - 08:14 PM
Jack Campin 28 Jan 11 - 09:02 PM
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Subject: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 10:05 PM

We have some words:


1. When the Tui sits in the Kowhai tree
and the sun tips the mountain tops with gold
when the Rata blooms in the forest glade,
and the hills glow with sunny tints untold.
I love to roam through bush and fern
and hear the Bellbird sing
and feel the touch of the wind on my face
while the joy in my heart does ring.

2. There are some who long for coral sands
and some for wind-swept plains
while others roam the ocean wide
then pine for home again.
But give to me the care-free life
by mountain, lake or shore
of the lovely land of the Long White Cloud,
Our Homeland Aotearoa.

And we have a tune here
but the question is, what is the tune - a hymn, a folksong? And who wrote the words and/or set it to that tune???
I believe it was in school music books in the 50s or 60s but although the tune is vaguely familiar, I can't place it.
Maybe Willow Mackie?
John Archer of NZ Folk is looking for answers.
Thanks,
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 11:34 PM

That's a beautiful tune!


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 01:05 AM

Pretty tune Robyn, and it definitely rings a little bell in my mind....I shall ponder on it further. It says folksong, rather than hymn, to my recollection.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 01:50 AM

I have pondered....it's one of the tunes by Ralph Vaughan Williams in his "English Folksong Suite", comes immediately before "Seventeen Come Sunday". If you can find the names of the tunes in that suite (I would do it but I have to go out now) you will get it.

Cheers
JennieG
PS - who's going to win on Saturday night? us or youse?


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 06:50 AM

Thanks Jennie. I've found it.
It's the second tune here in the First movement

Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 07:49 PM

That's where I knew it from. Could it also have echoes of "Star of the County Down" aka "Dives and Lazarus" in it somewhere?

Much of the time I listen to a classical music radio station and this piece turns up occasionally.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 05:07 AM

Jennie, Dives and Lazarus is the third tune, the second one is called Pretty Caroline and seems to be a broadside ballad.
Apparently RVW named only the first tune in each movement so this one is known as Seventeen come Sunday.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 05:26 AM

RVW's version of 'Dives & Lazarus' or 'Star of the County Down' is well documented as being called 'Kingsfold' (a village in Sussex? - geography is not my strongpoint but I drove through it moving a freind from Brighton to Redhill). This is not it.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 03:57 PM

Someone has found the final piece in the puzzle:

"Words of Homeland Aotearoa are given as H. G. Hall."

So, not the great, long-lost NZ folksong!
An arty poem set to a RVW tune taken from a broadside ballad!

Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 04:06 AM

oohhhhhh....and all this time you were hoping it was The Great Unknown Trad NZ Song....... *grin*

never mind!

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 03:35 AM

Yes Jennie, years ago the NZ Folklore Society tried very hard to find "The Great NZ Folksong" but every time we found something promising, someone would locate an original somewhere else.
For example, there was one that the trampers used to sing, called 'Eidelo boy' or Idle-o boy. It had slightly strange words and looked as if it might be an original. It mentioned a cradle - maybe the thing the gold miners used, we thought.
Then I found Johnny Handle singing 'Whisht, lie low, sing baby lie easy'. No Idle-boy at all, and the cradle being rocked had a baby in it!
Another mondegreen!
Most NZ "Folk songs" can be traced back to a known songwriter or poet.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: JennieG
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 04:12 AM

So can many Ozzie songs. What about some of the


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: JennieG
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 04:16 AM

sorry about that - new computer, and it is very trigger-happy.

As I was trying to say say, some of the NZ mining songs are original aren't they?

My choir sings Hoaere Mai - in Maori, no less. We had a NZ woman who sang with us for a while and she talked us through the words. We have sung it with NZ people in the audience and they liked it.

Cheers
JennieG....whose son now has a NZ girlfriend/friend (not sure which - I'm only his mother!) who is moving to Sydney soon


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 04:12 PM

The main 'tradition' here tended to be poetry rather than song. The songs sung here 100 years back were usually parlour songs or Robbie Burns type accompanied on the family piano - songs that reminded the people of 'home'.
In the gold mining areas, they would stand up and recite something they had written that was entertaining or political and later others set tunes to some of them. Old newspapers of the time would sometimes have these poems and the NZFLS did locate them but they weren't the sort of thing I would sing.
There were songs like 'Strike out the top line' to the tune of 'Throw out the lifeline', urging people to vote prohibition but a song like that has no meaning today.
We didn't even find much in the way of folk songs from Britain - the nearest we got was an old lady playing piano and singing 'The mistletoe bough'.
My family (several generations back) came from Padstow but my Grandmother and her sister had no knowledge of the Mayday festivities, even tho' their sister was named May (born on Mayday). I had to educate them! And they were fascinated but said no-one in their family had ever told them about it before.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: GUEST,TeddyR
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 09:08 PM

I was listening to an album of celtic harp when I suddenly recognized that "Star of the County Down" was one of the tunes in RVW "English Folk Song Suite" but played slower. This search began for more info. Last month the search was for every version of "Blow away the morning dew". Love the suite. First heard it in 1968 when they played it on airline headphones. Then I kept finding it everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 12:33 AM

See you at the Auckland Festival this weekend, Robyn.

If anyone is going to sing the song, these traps for young players:

Kowhai, pronounced Cow-fai (as in the animal and fire.)
Tui       "   Too-ee
Rata       "    Rah-tah
Aeotearoa "    Ay-oh-te-ah-row-ah

You have to give vowels equal value in Maori words.


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 01:49 AM

We're packing right now Gurney!
The Maori O is actually pronounced or and the A is ah.
So kowhai is cor-fai and Aotearoa is usually sung Ah-or-teh-ah-ro-or-ah.
We're looking forward to seeing Jez Lowe in a couple of days!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: GUEST,Gina (ChCh NZ)
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 05:51 PM

My Choir sang this in the 1970's. Even today, the songs pops into my mind and I'm singing it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 06:17 PM

Hi Gina, which choir were you in?
Did you learn it at school?
I'm curious to know how widespread it was.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 10:52 AM

Ah tui... I miss being serenaded by the one that lives near my sister when I was there in April... but I don't miss her!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 04:45 PM

I've just checked on John Archer's site and he has the words and music there.
There's even a picture of a tui for Liz.
Look here.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Gurney
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 11:35 PM

And it is in a Kowhai tree, sipping nectar from the flowers.   The tuft of white feathers at the throat is the reason the English settlers called it a 'parson bird.'

Our two Kowhai trees are similarly in bloom.


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 02:32 AM

A music teacher taught us this song back in the early 60's.
She taught us 'the tui sings in the kowhai tree', not sits.
I wish someone could put this lovely song and music together.
I'm actually Australian but my father worked in New Zealand for a while when I was a child. My mother was chronically homesick, left him and bought us back home to Australia.
I never saw my father again.

I sang this song to my children to put them to sleep, I remembered it as my children have children now and my daughter asked me what was that lovely kiwi song I used to sing to them when she was a child.

I always thought it would have made a lovely national anthem, most national anthems are very staid and boring! but this song is beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: GUEST,Robyn Holden
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:14 PM

I/We sang this song in primary school at Rangi-Ruri (christchurch) in the 50s and it was 'the tui sings'


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Subject: RE: Origins: NZ Tui in a kowhai tree
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 09:02 PM

I think you may have the wrong Caroline for that broadside. The tune you gave is a lot like the first alternative here:

Caroline of Edinburgh Town

Same metre but a completely different song.


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