He waiata mā te hoia kāinga ngākau koingō
I Runga o ngā Puke (From the Top of the Hills) is a waiata Māori written by Paraire Tomoana. He composed it at the request of a cousin, Ngahiwi Petiha, who wrote to Paraire while recuperating from a gunshot wound in an English hospital.
Paraire’s son, Taanga Tomoana, explains the story behind the lyrics and sings the waiata himself, in this radio interview in 1970.
E pari ra / The tide surges
In this sound clip Tānga Tomoana describes how his father Paraire Hēnare Tomoana came to write lyrics for the well known and popular waiata E Pari Rā. He wrote the song in 1918 at the request of his friend Maku-i-te-Rangi Ellison whose son, Whakatomo Ellison, died in the war. Paraire wrote it as a memorial and lament for all fallen soldiers. Speculation is that Tomoana used the tune from a German Waltz, the Blue Eye’s Waltz to base his song on. Many other popular songs were written by Paraire including Pōkarekare ana, Hoea rā te waka nei, Tahi nei taru kino, Hoki hoki tonu mai. These are still performed by New Zealanders to this day. E Pari Rā was adopted by the New Zealand Navy as their official song.