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Ruru! Koukou!

Listen to the Ruru koukou
As he tells us what we need to know
To make it through when the moon is high
And the cold comes in through
A crack in the sky

And yet the dark of the growing night
Means nothing to the keeper of the golden eyes
He knows all the shadows that exist between
The world we know and the ones unseen

The koukou is a warning from the one
Whose work begins when the day is done
And as the Earth is deep in sleep
His signal will her safety keep

But one night from his tree hollow
Ruru clocks something in the bush below
He feels a sudden shift in the pūkohu leaves
It’s the foul approach of thieves!

Ruru! Koukou!

Putting on his uniform
Brown of bark and grey of storm
(and when it’s worn)
He is the ghost undetectable
With the call that is meant to protect us all

And in stealth he makes his swoop
All to get a better view (uh huh)
Ruru’s seen these robbers before
Digging down into the depths of the forest floor

As he’s done since the mud grew trees
And the birds climbed up into the canopy
Ruru summons up the ancient call
To banish the greedy, once and for all

And from the cry the scoundrels run
But Ruru believes they’ll be back for some
(and he waits)
Yet tonight it’s just him and the echo of
A lonely koukou

Ruru! Koukou!

Kaumātua – show us how to koukou

He’s brooding, planning, preparing
He’s listening...

Ruru! Koukou!


from Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne, released November 1, 2010
Voice – Dudley, The Dawn Chorus, Richard Nunns
Beats – King Homeboy
Taonga pūoro – Richard Nunns
Additional lyrics by Dudley


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Dudley Benson Dunedin, New Zealand

I'm a queer independent artist based in Dunedin, New Zealand. I make music about nature and nationalism. Thanks for listening!

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