Original Lyrics: Maewae
Kaihau, Music: Clement Scott,
English lyrics: Dorothy Stewart, Goodbye
Now is the hour when we must say goodbye.
Soon you'll be sailing far across the sea.
While you're away, Oh, then, remember me.
When you return
You'll find me waiting here.
Sunset glow fades in the west.
Night o'er the valley is creeping.
Birds cuddle down in their nest
Soon all the world will be sleeping.
Most of the popular songs that grew out of World
War II came from the European side of the battle. One of the very few
that reached us from the Pacific was "Now Is the Hour," a song of the Maoris
of New Zealand, originally known as "Maori Farewell Song." It was given
English lyrics and it's English title, and Gracie Fields, the great British
music-hall entertainer, popularized it during the last stages of the war.
This was a period when the conflict in Europe was drawing to an end
and attention was being rived on the Pacific. When the war ended with
the surrender of the Japanese in August of 1945, there were hundreds of thousands
of servicement for whom the plaintive strains of "Now Is the Hour" had a
very emotional tug.