Last night I found myself at school prize giving for my kids. Some way into it, it was announced that we should all stand for the national anthem...here comes the rant.
1. I'm an agnostic, so the multiple use of 'God' is meaningless to me and could well be replaced with 'Banana' for all the amount of respect that its use might squeeze from me.
2. If I did acknowledge the existence of a God, I certainly would not be wishing for him/her/it to only protect one country from harm, in my opinion, patriotism creates exclusion.
3. Why sing the first half in Maori? I'm not even going to go into how the Maori of 1870 must have appreciated the concern.
"God Defend New Zealand" was written as a poem in the 1870s by Irish-born, Victoria-raised immigrant Thomas Bracken of Dunedin. A competition to compose music for the poem was held in 1876 by The Saturday Advertiser and judged by three prominent Melbourne musicians, with a prize of ten guineas (equivalent in today's money to NZ$ 21). The winner of the competition was the Tasmanian-born John Joseph Woods of Lawrence, New Zealand who composed the melody in a single sitting the evening after finding out about the competition.
Banana of Nations at Thy feet, In the bonds of love we meet, Hear our voices, we entreat, Banana defend our free land. Guard Pacific's triple star From the shafts of strife and war, Make her praises heard afar, Banana defend New Zealand.
Fuck that. I will have more to say regarding Mr God, which I'll save for another rant.