Thursday, September 8, 2011

An anthem for our times

On the eve of one of the most momentous events in New Zealand history, it seems right to pause, reflect and—yes—pray for the men about to go into action, bearing the hopes and dreams of a nation on their shoulders. I know that tonight, and indeed every night while the Rugby World Cup is on, men and women will gather and pray to whatever gods may be for the safe return of our boys, bearing the necessary silverware. Around many a humble hearth tonight, hands will be joined and voices raised in songs of acclamation. But what will they sing? The words of our national anthem, though rich in lyric resonance, don't seem quite appropriate for the occasion. Humbly, as just one New Zealander wishing to play his part, however small, in the quest for imperishable glory, I offer this new version.

God of Nations, if you're there,
Now's the time to show you care.
Hear our Rugby World Cup prayer:
God defend our All Blacks.
Keep them safe from injuries,
Guard their hamstrings and their knees.
Till the final's over, please,
God defend our All Blacks.

Men of every other team
Think that they can steal our dream.
Help us prove that we're supreme:
God defend our All Blacks.
Put more power in Carter's boot,
Make our scrum beyond dispute,
May our tactics be astute
In the forwards and the backs.

God of Nations, get this straight:
Failure we just will not tolerate.
If you really are our mate,
End this 24-year wait.
Help the ABs go for broke
Or they'll be a worldwide joke.
If you're such a decent bloke,
God forbid the All Blacks choke.


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