Skip to main content

Dave Dobbyn and 'Loyal'

Video for Dave Dobbyn’s ‘Loyal’

‘Call me loyal’

Dave Dobbyn is one of the most significant New Zealand musicians of the past 30 years. He’s enjoyed success as a solo artist and as a member of the bands Th'Dudes and DD Smash. Dobbyn has won more awards for songwriting than any other New Zealander, and in 2001 he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Dobbyn has been called an ‘icon’ and a ‘national treasure’; some of his songs have achieved similar status.

‘Loyal’ (1988) is one of these iconic songs. In 2001 APRA members voted it the third-best New Zealand song of the 20th century.

Team New Zealand chose it in 2002 to front its campaign to defend the America’s Cup yachting trophy. The song’s anthem-like qualities were seen as ideal, and its lyrics and sentiments seemingly captured the mood of the campaign.

By the time Russell Coutts and the Swiss had sailed away with what some had come to see as New Zealand’s cup, there was a feeling that ‘Loyal’ had also lost something. Some people were unhappy about its association with a nationalistic campaign to drum up support for Team New Zealand. For others, the song was now overexposed.

Once the seas had settled in the wake of the America’s Cup defeat, New Zealanders reaffirmed their loyalty. In 2006 an online survey of 3000 people chose ‘Loyal’ as New Zealand’s greatest song ever.

See also Dave Dobbyn’s website


This video clip is sourced from the Dave Dobbyn YouTube channel. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage does not claim any responsibility for the contents or copyright status of the clip.

How to cite this page

Dave Dobbyn and 'Loyal', URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated