Sailing away

Sailing away

To help raise money and support for New Zealand’s 1986-7 America’s Cup campaign, a veritable ‘who’s who’ of New Zealand entertainment and sport, under the collective title All of Us, released the single ‘Sailing Away’. It spent nine weeks at the top of the charts, a record for New Zealand artists that was not bettered until 2009.

Here is a clip of the song from NZ On Screen:

Some of the lyrics – sung to the tune of the well-known Māori folk song, ‘Pōkarekare Ana’ – are cringeworthy:

Here we come and we are sailing, here we come we’re on our way
In a boat just called New Zealand, We’re together that’s our way
One people on the water, one people on the land
It’s New Zealand all together
Kiwis working hand in hand
Sailing away, sailing away, New Zealand can do it, take it away.

Paul Casserly, writing in the New Zealand Herald in 2012, commented that the song reflected a different New Zealand: ‘we are no longer “One nation on the water”’. He went on to suggest that ‘the chances of us all getting behind a yachting event to this extent again seem unlikely, absurd even.’ Casserly and other commentators with similar views had a point. While many Kiwis vocally supported Team New Zealand as they raced for the cup in 2013, enthusiasm did seem slower to build than in 1987 and 1995.

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