This is the second arrangement made of a song written around 1918 by Erima Maewa Kaihau (1879-1941). It follows on from E moe te ra made in 2007 – both pieces arranged at the request of David Gordon of Diocesan School for Girls. Erima Maewa Kaihau was also involved in the complex gestation of the song Now is the hour.
Akoako o te Rangi is also very much in the late Victorian tradition of ‘parlour ballads’ and owes little to traditional Maori song forms or styles. In fact the rather erratic word underlay of the Maori text suggests that the English version (hardly a translation though of the Maori) may have been te first made.
The text is short although there may have originally been further verses (the printed music, published in 1918, contains just the one verse). It is a love song – the scent of a loved one wafting on the breeze to awaken the sleeping lovelorn singer.