We don’t have many songs we sing in a ‘foreign’ language.
Everyone knows Pokarekare Ana. Either the Seekers version or the one learned in primary schools all over Australia. Constant repetition does not seem to take the gloss from this lovely song.

We offer a nice relaxed rhythm, and play the song in two keys – C and G. After reflection we think it would be a good idea to do more songs in at least two keys . This allows singers to select the key that most suits their voice, and will give the player an opportunity to improve their skills.

Pokarekare Ana was published in 1921 by Parare Tomoana, and based on a traditional melody. Most versions refer to Rotorua as it scans better.

Original Lyrics

Pōkarekare ana,
ngā wai o Waiapu
Whiti atu koe hine
marino ana e

E hine e
hoki mai ra
Ka mate ahau
I te aroha e

Tuhituhi taku reta
tuku atu taku rīngi
Kia kite tō iwi
raru raru ana e


Whati whati taku pene
ka pau aku pepa
Ko taku aroha
mau tonu ana e


E kore te aroha
e maroke i te rā
Mākūkū tonu
aku roimata e



They are agitated,
the waters of Waiapu,
But when you cross over girl,
they will be calm.

Oh girl,
return to me,
I could die
of love for you.

I have written my letter,
I have sent my ring,
so that your people can see
that I am troubled.


My poor pen is shattered,
I have no more paper,
But my love
is still steadfast.


My love will never
be dried by the sun,
it will be forever moistened
by my tears.