1981 Springbok Tour Commemoration: “It was 30 years ago today”.

September 3, 2011

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


2 Responses to “1981 Springbok Tour Commemoration: “It was 30 years ago today”.”

  1. i remember a pub you took me too – i guess it would have been ’73

    it was like maybe my second trip to Auckland – i really knew very little about the place

    you took me to a bar where you said they had great music

    it WAS great music and a great night

    one time i was standing at the bar getting us some beers when the fellow next to me leaned over and asked:

    “hey bro, how does it feel to be the only pakeha in the bar?”

    i looked around, suddenly realising that everyone in the bar was Maori (or so i have always assumed – they might have been Pacific Islanders but back then i didn’t have a clue) – and not only that but they were all BIG and they all looked really tough.

    well you know, i had a rush of feelings right then – if feelings were colours i would have been a kaleidoscope. I guess the bloke must have enjoyed that. But after a bit, i took a pull at my beer and said:

    “hey, you gotta have a token pakeha”

    he picked up on my foreign accent – and we got to talking

    then you came along – a bit staggering, with huge grin…

    was a great night that – set my attitude forever after


  2. rose said

    thanks this really helped me any more info on the springbok tour contaced me at 3388921 thanks shania

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