2468. Chants and hakas

Story 2468 is significant enough a number to deviate into reality. When we were kids, “Two four six eight” was the grace before meals when mum and dad weren’t there:

Two four six eight, bog in, don’t wait.

Two four six eight was also the prefix to a chant at sports gatherings:

Two four six eight, who do we appreciate?

The winner’s name would then be chanted.

Another chant in that ilk was to spell the sports person’s name:

Give us an S
Give us an M
Give us an I
Give us a T
Give us an H
What have you got?
SMITH! SMITH! SMITH!

Of course that chant doesn’t work if the name is Barakat-Bentinckstokes.

My favourite chant (apart from Let’s go Brandon) requires a bit of explaining:

The High School I went to (and also taught at for a decade) was situated in the countryside. It was a large all-boys boarding school catering mainly at the time to sons of isolated farming families throughout the country. Hence the school itself was attached to a farm. The biggest (and oldest) annual athletics occasion was called the McEvedy Shield. Four major all-boys schools met to compete in some large stadium. The entire roll of each school would attend. Chants and hakas abounded. A haka is a traditional Maori challenge and each school in New Zealand has its own. The video shows two opposing high school teams challenging each other before a rugby match. (Incidentally, a “College” in New Zealand is the same as a High School).


At the McEvedy Shield around 2 o’clock the three opposing schools would unite and begin chanting at my school:

Go home! Milking time! Go home! Milking time!

I always found the Milking Time Chant very entertaining, and if anything it highlighted the positive camaraderie between the four competitive schools.

Perhaps you have a favourite chant?

27 thoughts on “2468. Chants and hakas

  1. Nitin Lalit

    “Mo Salah! Mo Salah! Mo Salah! Running down the wing.

    “Mo Salah la-la-la la-ahh, The Egyptian King!”

    “If he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me.

    “If he scores another few, then I’ll be Muslim too.

    “If he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me.

    “Sitting in the mosque, that’s where I wanna be!

    “Mo Salah-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la-la-la.”

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  2. Yvonne

    We weren’t very chanty folks when I grew up in Canada. I guess we were too busy slogging our way to school in hip deep snow, winter and summer. 😀

    Those young rugby blokes must spend a bit of time practicing their hakas. Do you recall how you learned your school haka? Was there a designated bloke assigned to educating the new boys?

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  3. Iseult Murphy

    I love this! My primary school favored ‘Why are we waiting’ or any words, to the tune of Adeste Fideles.
    The only other time I remember chanting was when Ireland got into the World Cup (soccer), and for a summer the whole country chanted ‘ole, ole, ole, ole.’

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  4. observationblogger

    Regarding Chants and Hakas, what I had been meaning to write to you about for a while Bruce was whether you had seen the NZ movie ‘Whale Rider’? I saw it again for the second time a few months back and was so impressed by it. My fav movie about Maori culture was always ‘Once Were Warriors’, but this quaint little movie ‘Whale Rider’ was just lovely and poignant. I know you are not a movie man, but I was really interested on your opinion of them or on one or neither haha

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        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          LOL! I have just commented on your site! I found it too violent (Once were warriors). And I don’t like violence or scary. I don’t even like to watch the news on tv with shooting of mothers wheeling prams etc…

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          1. observationblogger

            Oh, now I understand. I also found it very disturbing regarding the violence and I’m reluctant to see it again for that reason. But by golly it is one heck of a movie. I also evade the news especially here in Colombia for that very reason.

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  5. Badfinger (Max)

    No chants for us…I played baseball and all we did was yell rude things at the other team but not in chants…then after playing the game we had to shake hands with the other team… good game, good game…

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  6. Pingback: Whale Rider (2002) – Niki Caro (Friday’s Finest) | Observation Blogger

  7. Sarah Angleton

    My favorite cheer, from when I was part of the marching band at my university, was “If we’re gonna win, then you must suck!” Obviously, we weren’t very good and didn’t get to use the cheer that often. Second to that was our band’s cheer as we took to the field for the halftime show (American football): “Free beer in the end zone, Go Band, Go!” It probably doesn’t sound like it, but we were actually full of school spirit.

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