Story: Māori composers – ngā kaitito waiata

Hirini Melbourne

One of the most influential and highly regarded of contemporary Māori composers was Hirini Melbourne (Ngāi Tūhoe). He is seen here at right, performing with long-time collaborator Richard Nunns at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. Listen to Melbourne performing his song 'Tīhore mai', a description of the native forest after rain. The words are below.

Tīhore mai te rangi
tīhore mai
mao mao mao te ua
whiti mai te rā,
mao mao mao te ua
whiti mai te rā,

E rere te kōtare
ki runga pūwharawhara
ruru parirau
kei mate i te ua,
ruru parirau
kei mate i te ua.

Tīhore mai te rangi . . .
e rere e noke
mai i tō pokorua
kai ki i te wai
kai mate i te ua,
kai ki i te wai
kai mate i te ua,

Tīhore mai te rangi
tīhore mai
mao mao mao te ua
whiti mai te rā,
mao mao mao te ua
whiti mai te rā,

e ... i ... e ...
whiti mai te rā

e ... i ... e ...
whiti mai te rā.

Clear up sky
clear up
stop stop stop rain
come out sun
stop stop stop rain
come out sun.

Fly kingfisher
up onto the clump of astelia.
Ruffle the raindrops from your wings
in case you catch a chill.
Ruffle the raindrops from your wings
in case you catch a chill.

Clear up sky . . .
Escape earthworm
out of your burrow
in case it fills with water
and you drown.
in case it fills with water
and you drown.

Clear up sky
clear up
stop stop stop rain
come out sun
stop stop stop rain
come out sun.

e ... i ... e ...
Let the sun shine

e ... i ... e ...
Let the sun shine

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Richard Nunns Collection
Reference: PAColl-9112-3-076

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Image courtesy of Richard Nunns. Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision – Radio New Zealand collection. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision (Tihore mai te rangi - Hirini Melbourne/Reference number ID44030)

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How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Māori composers – ngā kaitito waiata - Later composers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/speech/44283/hirini-melbourne (accessed 22 November 2019)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 22 Oct 2014