Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Plenty of Room for Singing

Music is instantly connective. The choice of The Feelers’ cover of the Jesus Jones song Right Here, Right Now as an opening marketing anthem for the 2011 Rugby World Cup has come in for a fair bit of flak from passionate New Zealanders hoping for a Kiwi classic.

But I have to say I think the song is right on the money. Sure, it’s not a New Zealand-written song. It’s an international song. It’s by a British band, originally written about events in Eastern Europe, and has since been used for many campaigns in the US. What makes it a song for the Rugby World Cup is that it’s an international tournament. Of course RWC 2011 is about New Zealand as hosts, but it’s also about the whole world playing the great game.

The cover by The Feelers – a truly great New Zealand rock & roll band – gives a Kiwi voice to a song that captures the power of the moment and the surreal experience of seeing history in the making (think Jonah Lomu steamrolling Mike Catt). The chorus says it all:

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now,
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now,
Watching the world wake up from history.

That said, I think there’s plenty more room for singing. It’s an area where the football fans have the edge over rugby lovers. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a song on the lips of every All Blacks supporter – touch wood – come the final at Eden Park? There’s nothing that captures the spirit of an electrically-charged finale like tens of thousands of people willing their team to victory with one voice.

So a challenge to the disenchanted: chose another anthem for New Zealand fans – something we can sing to show how much we care and hope.