Wednesday, 25 Jul 2018

‘Papa minds the Baby’—a lullaby competition for the Prime Minister


A competition to write a lullaby, to be gifted to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has been announced by Victoria University of Wellington’s New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī (NZSM).

The competition is open to all New Zealanders, and in celebration of Suffrage 125 marking the 125th anniversary of women getting the vote in New Zealand, the music must be set to the poem, A Lullaby—a satirical text written by New Zealand poet Thomas Bracken in 1892 on the theme of role reversal.

NZSM Director Sally Jane Norman say the formerly satirical, but now prophetic, lullaby comes from A Suffrage Songbook, a newly discovered treasure of the suffrage movement held in the Victoria University library.

She says she is delighted to note that the last laugh comes over a century later when the words have turned to reality with the Prime Minister returning to work to ‘look after the Nation’, leaving her partner Clarke Gayford, to ‘mind the baby’.

A LULLABY
by Thomas Bracken, 1892

Lullaby, Hushaby, Lullaby Deary,
Papa will nurse you and sing Cockaleery,
Mamma must go at her dear Country's call,
To make lovely laws for Pa, Baby and all;
Then Hushaby, and do not cry
But close your eye and kiss by-bye,-
For Papa minds the Baby.

Lullaby, Hushaby, Lullaby Deary,
Papa will nurse you and rock you so cheery, 
Mamma must go look after the Nation,
Papa knows nothing about legislation; 
then Hushaby, and do not cry
But close your eye and kiss by-bye,-
For Papa minds the Baby.

Lullaby, Hushaby, Lullaby Dovey,
Papa will give you the bottle, my lovey,
Papa will give you the ring for your tootins,
Papa will put on your dear little bootins; 
Then Hushaby, and do not cry
But close your eye and kiss by-bye,-
For Papa minds the Baby.

Thomas Bracken is also the writer of God Defend New Zealand—New Zealand’s national anthem.

A panel of NZSM experts will judge the entries and the winner will perform their winning composition at a concert on Sunday 14 October, as part of a week-long celebration of women and music in Aotearoa, hosted by the NZSM.

The concert will also feature new commissions from A Suffrage Songbook by female composers, including Jasmine Lovell-Smith, whose great-great grandfather was married to Kate Sheppard, leader of the women's suffrage movement in New Zealand.

New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī ‘Papa minds the Baby’ Lullaby Competition

Application dates

Applications open 23 July

Entries close 31 August

Prize

$500 prize money and the opportunity to perform your winning composition on Sunday 14 October 2018 in Wellington. There will be a video recording of the performance.

For further details and to apply visit:www.victoria.ac.nz/nzsm/lullabycomp

For more information contact Communications Manager Sarah Boyd on 04-463 6105 or sarah.boyd@vuw.ac.nz or for specific inquiries about the competition, contact Sarah Smythe, New Zealand School of Music, on 04-463 6590 or sarah.smythe@vuw.ac.nz


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