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No. 54 (March 1966)
– 23 –

A TARANAKI POI SONG

Tangi a Taku Ihu

This is the text of the song discussed by Mr Mervyn McLean in the article published above.

The translation is based upon the translation which appears in Dick Scott's ‘The Parihaka Story’.

In the absence of detailed explanations, some of the expressions and references in the song are somewhat obscure. We would be grateful if any reader knowing the background of the song were to provide an explanation.

In the third verse Titoko is presumably Titokowaru, the famous Taranaki warrior.

Tangi a taku ihu e whakamakuru nei
Ko au pea, e, te turia ki runga;
He maihi whare koe ki' miti mai te arero.

Ma ringa tohu au e w[h]aka poi ai, e tika
Taku takiritanga te kahu o te Kuini,
Ka piki nga rongo o Te Whiti kei runga
Hapainga atu ai ki runga o Parihaka

Kia whakarongo mai Moeahu i reira
Hei panui atu ki te iwi o Titoko
Ki taku whakaaro he makau tupu koe
Ka mutu pea, e, nga rangi hanihani!

Tenei ano ra to raukura ka titia
Ma te ‘au o waho e tiki mai e whawhati
Te weherua po i wake ai korua
He kai mutunga koe ki taku tinana nei.

No hea nga mate e patu ra i aku hoa
Te karawhiu ai ki te kino i ahau
Kei noho au i te ao hei kome au ma te ngutu, i.

The sensation in my nose is an omen
Warning me of danger.
You are the bargeboard of our house
Which the enemy will assail.

Let me affirm it was right
To cast off the cloak of the Queen.
Te Whiti's fame mounts on high;
Let me carry my message over Parihaka

That Moeahu may hear
And proclaim it to Titoki's tribe.
I believe that you are a man beloved
And that these days of slanderous talk will end.

Behold, we wear your white plume
Though the wind from without may break it.
You two walk together through the darkest night.
You are my mainstay and my sustenance.

From whence come the misfortunes that assail my companions,
These evils that press upon me?
Let me not remain in this world as an object of derision.