Sunday, February 05, 2006

Southern Man

I've spent most of the morning listening to Turkish music ... needing respite, or perhaps a simple return to my roots, I put my version of New Zealand's National 'Anthem' on the stereo ... 'anthem' because New Zealanders sing along so very enthusiastically. Okay, so they sing along at rugby matches, specially Otagggoooooooooooooooo matches, but it's delicious and very Kiwi.
You want the lyrics ... okay, sure.

Some of the boys
Got it into their heads
About moving up North
To follow the bread
That ain't for me
That kind of thing just don't rate
This is one southern boy
Who ain't crossin' the Strait.

Now I might not be rich
But I like things down here
We got the best looking girls
And the best damn beer
So you can keep your Queen City
With your cocktails and cool
Given me a beer in a seven
With the boys shooting pool

Chorus
I'm a Southern Man
Well I'm Southern bred
I got the South in my blood
And I'll be here till I'm damn well dead

'Cos here we just know
What makes a Southern boy tick
And it ain't margaritas
With some fruit on a stick
Well it might not be fancy
But when you come from down here
You know you got the best girl
And you got the best beer.

(Produced and sung by Murray Grindlay)

New Zealand's South Islanders like to think they're a special bunch - and we are really. Some might say parochial after reading the lyrics, with translations surely required for those outside the bubble that it my little native island.

'Up North' is reference to the North Island of NZ, where the vast majority of the population live. However, 'down South' is Lord of the Rings territory... mostly, and so very very beautiful.
'the Strait' is Cook Strait ... the body of water between the North and South Islands. It's a stunning stretch of water to travel if you're ever down that way.
'the best looking girls' ... well, that goes without saying, she writes modestly.
'the best damn beer' is a reference to Speights beer ... pride of the South since 19..' Wow, that just slipped out as if I was channeling some Crocodile Dundee-sounding Kiwi bloke (I know he's an Australian but these guys sounded 'that rough'). There was an extensive advertising campaign, as evidenced by the photographs here. They seem to have moved on as I couldn't find a link to it on the Speights website.
'Queen City' ... is almost undoubtedly a play on words but 'the Queen City' is Auckland, viewed with suspicion by those in the South. The often-made comment being that nothing exists for Aucklanders beyond their Bombay Hills.
'Give me a beer in a seven' ... a seven ounce glass (I didn't know I knew that).

Anyway, a small, slightly mad glimpse of what made me the charming creature I am today ... ;)

2 comments:

Homie Bear said...

I had to laugh when a South Islander picked me up when I was htiching a ride in Abel Tasman, and he complained about how crowded it was getting, though it was nothing compared to the North Island. Waaaaay too many people over there he said.

woman wandering said...

You made me laugh with your story, homie bear, and I went searching ...

He's right ;) the South Island is filling up with about 981,400 people living on a geographical landmass that is half the size of Italy or Colorado.

Up North really is crowded with 3,116,100 people crammed in there.

Mmmm, and was amused to see that we have approximately 5.7 people per square kilometre (although I'm not sure how up-to-date that figure is).

Meanwhile, here in Antwerpen I share my kilometre squared space with a thousand times more people.

And Istanbul ahhhh, well that was a joke. When I was living in Atakoy, the next 'suburb' over had over 3 million people living there ... they used to laugh when I told them my entire country had just passed the 4 million mark in population numbers.