Chris Rattue: Our anthem was a wreck long before Crystal Collins sang it

Author
Chris Rattue, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 4:57PM

Chris Rattue: Our anthem was a wreck long before Crystal Collins sang it

Author
Chris Rattue, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 4:57PM

New Zealand's anthem was a joke long before Crystal Collins gave it a makeover in Denver.

American jazz artist Collins was extremely apologetic after mangling God Defend New Zealand before the Kiwis-England league test on Sunday morning.

Just like the Kiwis, she started out on a high note and got worse and worse and worse.

The apology is all ours Crystal, for giving you such bad material to work with.

The tune for GDNZ is average to bad, but the words to GDNZ are a train wreck.

No one knows what they mean - they sound like the ravings of a third rate poet in a mad religious phase. The bloke who wrote it needed help, not encouragement.

The full version of God Defend New Zealand is soaked in references to what the Kiwi cyclist George Bennett once brilliantly described as "a storybook which got out of hand".

For those interested in statistics, 'God' appears 11 times in the title and lyrics of God Defend New Zealand, 'Thy' five times, 'Thee' three times and 'Lord' gets one mention.

This is 20 deity references too many if you have an ounce of rational thought or can't work out why religion gets a free pass into national institutions.

Moving on...

It was crystal clear the under-strength Kiwis needed a tune-up before their crash in Denver, a match that will be remembered most for a tune being down.

But I don't know anyone who was offended by Collins' warbling at Mile High Stadium. It was more of a good laugh.

For anyone who feels bombarded with anthems and patriotic fervour for the minor crime of watching a lot of sport, Collins' off notes could be welcomed as light relief. After all, no one died, or even got concussed.

New national league boss Greg Peters said all the expected official-type things expressing disgust, and he didn't have much choice.

Unfortunately, Peters didn't get to also mention what he thought of the veteran Kiwis hooker Issac Luke wantonly stamping on an opponent's hand.

When you are trying to soothe a nation desperate for any sign of hope after enduring gratuitous B flats intermingled with AWOL F sharps, it is hard to think of everything.

The way Collins was to prepared to accept the blame and a social media beating was humbling, and a lot more so than watching someone try to drive their footy sprigs into someone else's hand.

Anthems - do we really need them? Will the younger generation, raised in the borderless internet world, even relate to them?

And what would international sport be like without anthems? Or is the real question how would anthems fare without sport?

Might a national sports song complete with lyrics of this world have legs? After all, If people are supposed to burst into song as if there is a war going on week after week after week, at least give us something with charm to dispense.