There is No Depression in New Zealand
December 6, 2017 11:51 PM   Subscribe

There is No Depression in New Zealand (03’12) (1981)

There is no depression in New Zealand; there are no sheep on our farms,
There is no depression in New Zealand; we can all keep perfectly calm,
Everybody’s talking about World War Three; everybody’s talking about World War Three,
But we’re as safe as safe can be, there’s no unrest in this country
We have no dole queues, we have no drug addicts, we have no racism, we have no sexism, sexism, no, no
There is no depression in New Zealand; there are no teeth in our heads
There is no depression in New Zealand; we sleep in a well made bed
Oh but everybody’s talking about World War Three, yes everybody’s talking about World War Three,
But we’re as safe as safe can be, there’s no unrest in this country
We have no SIS, we have no secrets,
We have no rebellion; we have no valium, valium, no, no
There is no depression in New Zealand; there are no sheep on our farms,
There is no depression in New Zealand; oh we can all keep perfectly calm,
perfectly calm, perfectly calm, perfectly calm, perfectly calm...


An alternative anthem? (NZ History)
The year 1981 was a time of great economic anxiety in New Zealand, which was characterised by rising unemployment, industrial strife and a growing resentment of the Muldoon government. On the social/political front an impending Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand carried with it the fear of massive civil unrest. This sense of unease was captured by the seminal Auckland band Blam Blam Blam, which, in July 1981, released ‘There is no depression in New Zealand’.
Blam Blam Blam profile at Audio Culture.
Blam Blam Blam made two videos for their 1981 hit, ‘There is No Depression in New Zealand’. Their best-known clip draws on the underlying disquiet of the political climate of the time, with mimed beatings and phone surveillance amid rural scenes and a weather report predicting calm, calm, calm.
New Zealand Folk Song describes how the song was taken up by the McGillicuddy Serious Party , who sung it's words to the tune of the national anthem. The McGilliduddy Serious Party was formed as a political party to use satire as a way of highlighting the absurdity of other partys' policies.

One of the McGillicuddy's previous candidates (and now ex-Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei) eventually sang the lyrics (translated into te reo Māori) in her maiden speech to Parliament.

Hear more Blam Blam Blam on Bandcamp
posted by Start with Dessert (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yesss, I've loved this song for ages! Thanks for posting!
posted by Berreggnog at 2:49 AM on December 7


So good. their other masterwork, Marsha.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:19 AM on December 7


oh and this too
posted by Sebmojo at 3:37 AM on December 7


and, holy shit, this
posted by Sebmojo at 3:45 AM on December 7


Here's an interview with "Depression" lyricist Richard von Sturmer from a couple of years back, and some 2016 sound recordings of him reading some of his recent poetry, via the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre at the University of Auckland, which I'm delighted to see is still going.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:24 AM on December 7


This was one of the first pieces of culture that made me feel less alone in the world. I could barely believe someone had put words (and a catchy beat) to the feelings I had about NZ and how out of place I was there. It made my world so much bigger in a few minutes.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:29 PM on December 7 [1 favorite]


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