The Secret Life of Ten Guitars
Ten Guitars tells the story of a band of male guitarists who woo the ladies with their guitar playing. It became synonymous with the “Maori strum”, even though it was written by an Englishman and originally sung by a man who took a German composer as his stage name. That aside, it’s taken its place on the hit parade of all-time Kiwi classics.
10 Guitars has been one of the best-loved songs at New Zealand backyard parties since the 1960s, and at one point every pop, rock and country singer in the nation had their own version. But the song was actually written for the King of Romance, English crooner Engelbert Humperdinck. Julie Hill explores why New Zealanders took to the song known as Patea's national anthem with such a passion.