Reflections on the effect of the 1981 Springbok Rugby Tour on the mentality of the Kiwi

After work the other night
I was feeling alright
It was pay day so I went down for a drink

To a pub I know right well
And I know the clientele
I thought “I’ll be welcome here tonight I think”

When I first walked in the door
My mate said “Have one more”
Even before a drink had passed my lips.

Another fellow, already frisky
Said, “I’ll get you a whiskey”
And came back with a brandy and some chips.

And so before too long
Conversation and song
Mixed together, with alcohol to lubricate the voice

Have a gin, and have a rum,
Have a beer, a wine, come, come,
It’s my turn now boys what’s your choice?

Soon I was better at talkin’
Than I’d ever been at walkin’
My legs were like my mind, that is not straight.

By now my head was swimmin’
And I was looking at all the women
Thinking, that one, no that one, no that one would be great.

I went out for a wee wee
And I thought, ‘I’m at the Kiwi’
No wonder everything here is so friendly and bright.

And I thought about the past
How often I’d spent my last
Penny here, long ago, every single night.

For when I was a student,
Ernest, right and prudent,
It was coming to this pub that turned me on my head

For I could have been a teacher,
Doctor, lawyer, even a preacher,
But I went to the Kiwi, so I’m a drunken poet and labourer instead

Memories are sad, enough of this!
I thought and finished off my piss.
Having done what’s done I must do what I must do.

As I stumbled to the bar
Which seemed five times as far
I bumped into ten or twenty boys in blue.

I thought, I’ve seen them before
Was it Gisborne, Hamilton or
No, it was just down the road at Eden Park.

And it’s not that long ago
Or is my memory just slow
To forget that cloud that hung over our country long and dark?

Well I tried to have a talk,
And I watched the blues baulk
When they said ‘The manager has asked you to leave.’

The ones who wielded batons
Are the same ones that we spat on
Aotearoa is such an easy place to grieve.

I think I shall not deign
To enter this hotel again
I was so drunk I didn’t want to cause a fuss

When I got outside it cleared my head
I forgot all that had been said
My main preoccupation was to catch a bus