‘Papa minds the Baby’ – Lullaby Competition for the Prime Minister

A competition to write a lullaby, to be gifted to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has been announced by the New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī (NZSM).

Lullaby competition

The competition is open to all New Zealanders, and in celebration of Suffrage 125 marking the 125th anniversary of women getting the vote in New Zealand, the music must be set to the poem, A Lullaby—a satirical text written by New Zealand poet Thomas Bracken in 1892 on the theme of role reversal.

NZSM Director Sally Jane Norman say the formerly satirical, but now prophetic, lullaby comes from A Suffrage Songbook, a newly discovered treasure of the suffrage movement held in the Victoria University library.

She says she is delighted to note that the last laugh comes over a century later when the words have turned to reality with the Prime Minister returning to work to ‘look after the Nation’, leaving her partner Clarke Gayford, to ‘mind the baby’.

Thomas Bracken is also the writer of God Defend New Zealand—New Zealand’s national anthem.

A panel of NZSM experts will judge the entries and the winner will perform their winning composition at a concert on Sunday 14 October, as part of a week-long celebration of women and music in Aotearoa, hosted by the NZSM.

The concert will also feature new commissions from A Suffrage Songbook by female composers, including Jasmine Lovell-Smith, whose great-great grandfather was married to Kate Sheppard, leader of the women's suffrage movement in New Zealand.

For further details and to apply visit www.victoria.ac.nz/nzsm/lullabycomp