Story: Popular music

'Maori Battalion marching song' (2nd of 2)

Anania Amohau of the Māori Battalion wrote this song for Te Arawa's contribution to the Centennial Exhibition of 1939–40, based on the melody of the American university football song 'The Washington and Lee swing'. Amohau's lyrics centered on the 28th (Māori) Battalion and its contribution to the war effort, and the 'Maori Battalion marching song' was soon adopted as the battalion's anthem. It was published by Charles Begg & Co and played throughout New Zealand during the war. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B_K-1060-COVER (Music Box AMO Mao 1940)

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.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Maori Battalion - In Maori/sa-d-00912-05-s02-pm)

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How to cite this page:

Chris Bourke, 'Popular music - Wartime music and early recording, 1930s and 1940s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 May 2022)

Story by Chris Bourke, published 22 Oct 2014