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

Overview

The New Zealand School of Music is delighted to announce a lullaby competition, with the winning entry to be gifted to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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.

The poem's theme of role reversal at that time was a source of much hilarity. The last laugh comes over a century later however; 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’.

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 full text of the poem is below.

A LULLABY
by Thomas Bracken, 1892

Lullaby, Hushaby, Lullaby Deary,
Papa will nurse you and sing Cockaleery,
Mamma must go at her dear Country's call,
To make lovely laws for Pa, Baby and all;
Then Hushaby, and do not cry
But close your eye and kiss by-bye,-
For Papa minds the Baby.

Lullaby, Hushaby, Lullaby Deary,
Papa will nurse you and rock you so cheery, 
Mamma must go look after the Nation,
Papa knows nothing about legislation; 
then Hushaby, and do not cry
But close your eye and kiss by-bye,-
For Papa minds the Baby.

Lullaby, Hushaby, Lullaby Dovey,
Papa will give you the bottle, my lovey,
Papa will give you the ring for your tootins,
Papa will put on your dear little bootins; 
Then Hushaby, and do not cry
But close your eye and kiss by-bye,-
For Papa minds the Baby.

Eligibility

This competition is open to all New Zealanders. By submitting an application we assume applicants identify with feminist themes and have an interest in the Suffrage 125 celebrations.

Application dates

  • Applications open 23 July 2018
  • Entries are due by 31 August 2018

Criteria

  • Entries should be written to the words of 'A Lullaby' by Thomas Bracken
  • Entries should be written for vocal solo and may include up to 5 or 6 instruments, or electronics
  • Consideration may be given to the practicalities of performing the work live
  • There are a variety of ways this commission can be interpreted, and all are welcomed. Entries will be judged by a panel of staff from a wide range of compositional/musical disciplines at the New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington

Prize

  • $500 prize money
  • Performance of the winning piece on Sunday 14 October 2018 in Wellington
  • Video recording of the winning piece being performed live

Terms and conditions

Applicants must:

  • be able to attend the concert on Sunday 14 October in Wellington where the winning work will be performed
  • be able to arrange performers to perform the work, or perform the work themselves, on Sunday 14 October 2018 in Wellington
  • be happy to be included in any publicity around the concert and competition
  • be happy to have the performance of their work filmed and recorded, and for this recording to be shared via various publicity channels

How to apply

Apply using the application form below.
A demo recording of each entry is to be uploaded as a private soundcloud file and the link included on the application form.