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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Stewie Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia (967* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 06 Oct 20


RERENGA’S WOOL
(B.Paterson (attributed)/m.Anon)

’Twas down at Wellington
A noble Maori came
A Rangatira of the best
Rerenga was his name
He stalked into the bank they call
The Great Financial Hell
And told the Chief Financial Fiend
The tribe had wool to sell

The bold bank manager looked grave
The price of wool was high
He said, ‘We’ll lend you what you need
We’re not disposed to buy
You ship the wool to England, Chief
You’ll find it’s good advice
And meanwhile you can draw from us
The local market price’

Rerenga thanked him courteously
And said he wished to state
In all th Rotoiti tribe
His mana would be great
Wedged into a cargo ship
Full up from stem to bow
A mighty clip of wool went Home
Form Rotoiti-au

It was the bold bank manager
Who made the heavy cheque
Rerenga cashed it thoughtfully
Then clasped him round the neck
‘To show my gratitude’, he said
As he pouched the pelf
‘I’ll haha for you, generous sir
In honour of yourself’

He haka’d most effectively
Then with an airy grace
Pressed noses with the manager
And vanished into space
And when the wool return came back
Aha what sighs and groans
For every bale of Maori wool
Was loaded up with stones

As recorded by Tommy and Margaret Wood on 'Song of a Young Country' LP.

Youtube clip

It is attibuted to Banjo Paterson. The full poem as printed in 'Saltbush Bill JP, And Other Verses':

Click

Note in 'Song of a Young Country':

Since the 1840s, first the Company's agents, then the government's agents, had been buying land from the Maori for resale to the settlers. Land ownership was complicated and anyone who presented himself as a great Chief with sole selling rights to a block of land was welcomed with open arms - his claims not too closely investigated and an advance quickly given to help prevent a change of mind ... Anybody could be chief, and sell his enemy's land from under him.

--Stewie.


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