Home > Sports > Let The All-Blacks Win, or You’re All Going to DIE (Ode to the NZ Haka)

Let The All-Blacks Win, or You’re All Going to DIE (Ode to the NZ Haka)

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have a long standing assessment that the most savage sport ever invented by humans is, without a doubt, rugby.  The “game” features zero equipment, (nearly) zero rules or penalties, and basically one singular objective: get the ball to the other side, by any means necessary (killing is discouraged though).  Go ahead and fill your field with the largest and angriest men on the planet, and you’ve got yourself a bonafide prison sport death match rugby. 

As a hockey player myself, I saw a lot of tough players on a lot of tough teams, and took my fair share of pummellings from both of them over the years.  Thing is, I was never really scared of them at all.  Because of that, I was able to pummel right back, and hold my own.  But here’s where the intimidation factor comes in;  watch the following video of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team doing their crazy we’re-going-to-murder-you-and-win-the-game Haka pre-game dance, which the opposing team has to stand  pretend to be brave, and hold their bowels in and watch, and then somehow go and try to beat them at the game immediately after (probably a lot of ‘here you are sir, I believe this is your ball, please don’t eat me, sir’ ).  For all I know, they may never have lost a game; just handing over all the trophies might not be a bad idea :

Now here’s the thing, while it’s totally fitting in the lunacy of rugby, the other New Zealand sports teams perform it as well, but with something missing; just not quite as scary… could be the scrawniness, perhaps the whiteness too… :

 Ice Blacks

 Tall Blacks

I feel like I’d be just fine after enduring the basketball and hockey versions; in fact, I think after having to see those ones, I’d probably want to kill them more.  The rugby one makes me want to find the closest happy place and recite my safe-word a thousand times.  Funny thing is, the lyrics are actually pretty tame:  

“Ka Mate”
Leader: Ringa pakia!   Slap the hands against the thighs!
  Uma tiraha!   Puff out the chest.
  Turi whatia!   Bend the knees!
  Hope whai ake!   Let the hip follow!
  Waewae takahia kia kino!   Stomp the feet as hard as you can!
Leader: Ka mate, ka mate   ‘I die, I die,
Team: Ka ora’ Ka ora’   ‘I live, ‘I live,
Leader: Ka mate, ka mate   ‘I die, ‘I die
Team: Ka ora Ka ora “   ‘I live, ‘I live,
All: Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru   This is the fierce, powerful man
  Nāna i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā   …Who caused the sun to shine again for me
  A Upane! Ka Upane!   Up the ladder, Up the ladder
  Upane Kaupane”   Up to the top
  Whiti te rā,!   The sun shines!
  Hī!   Rise!

 This is one version that is sung; there are a handful of others that may be performed as well, but also not that intimidating when translated.  Other thing is, the rugby guys could make “I’m A Little Teapot” sound therapy-level frightening.  Now occasionally, an opposing and equally crazy team (usually other Pacific nations, like Tonga is this example) has their own Haka to retaliate with:

All bets are off at this point; let the carnage begin!

  1. September 7, 2010 at 10:57 am

    This was the most awesomest blog post ever! Dave, YOU ROCK!

    • September 7, 2010 at 11:26 am

      A dubious distinction indeed; thanks Grant! Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Caitlin Kelly
    September 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Dave you are such a worry. Obviously Arie and I never got drunk enough to perform our rendition of this for you. Particularly at boys schools, kids are expected to learn at least 1 version of the haka. How terrifying is that? pimply teenaged boys in school uniforms doing the haka!

    • September 9, 2010 at 11:32 pm

      Absolutely terrifying. NZ could take over the world if they just went to war and Haka’ed before anyone started shooting. By all means, do post a video of a drunken Haka being performed! Also, which version do you know? Ka Mate, or a different one?

  3. Robarelli
    September 9, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    It’s only awesome because the atmostphere makes it feel like Rock vs Hogan WMX8, that crowd cranks it to 11

    • September 9, 2010 at 11:29 pm

      a good crowd reaction makes any event better. Point in case: Darts. oonnnnnnnnnnnnnnee hundred and EIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHTYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • September 9, 2010 at 11:34 pm

      PS, Rock – Hogan? I was there, when over 68,000 blew the roof off the Skydome.

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