Tagata Pasifika The Pacific voice on New Zealand television since 1987

Pacific soldiers song from the 1943 Taranto concert

Commemorating our Pacific soldiers in the Māori Battalion. Lest we forget.

Listen to the first song sung by Pacific soldiers at the 28th Māori Battalion’s 1943 concert in Taranto, Italy.

The concert was recorded just before Christmas 1943 during a lull in fighting.

At the beginning of the song, Jimmy O’Dwyer sends greetings in Samoan and mentions the following men: Sammy Churchward, Luis Aspinall, Poe Foster, Eric Henry, Doug Irwin. They send love and sing in Samoan, accompanied by a ukulele.

The lyrics appear to be written by the soldiers themselves.

English translation:

I do not give up,
It’s something I agreed with
To carry the Samoan colour in my heart
The pearl of the Pacific
The island small like fly droppings
I never forget, thinking of past days
Whether in life or in death,
I remain loyal
Samoa in the search for a true colour
I travel around different nations
I remember the saying about a butterfly
They travel around the world
But come back to die at the same place.
Despite the harsh experience
The sound of bullets and bomb blasts
I don’t give up cos Samoa is waiting
Samoa please remember
Never give up praying
Because of this harsh reality.
Thank you for your love

Fa’afetai lava to Rev Karima Fai’ai for the translation.

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