Gerry Merito – NZ’s Parodist

Continuing the parody theme, let me tell you about Gerry (Jerry) Merito. He was guitar player for New Zealand’s Howard Morrison Quartet. This 1963 photograph shows (left to right) Howard, Wi, Gerry and Noel. It was Gerry who wrote the lyrics of two great kiwi parodies of the ’50s and ’60s.
The first was a parody of US Johnnie Norton’s Battle of New Orleans; the second, of UK Lonnie Donegan’s My Old Man’s a Dustman.

The Battle of New Orleans can be seen at YouTube.
Its lyrics can be found here

The Battle of Waikato – recorded live in 1959

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My Old Man’s a Dustman, released by Lonnie Donegan, can be found at YouTube
The lyrics are here

My Old Man’s an Allblack – recorded 1960

Part of the lyrics are….
Oh, my old man’s an All Black,
He wears the silver fern,
But his mates just couldn’t take him
So he’s out now for a turn.
(Fe Fe Fi Fi Fo fo Fum,
 there’s no Horis* in this scrum.)
Well the All Black team is leaving
And the best of luck to them
And if they find things tricky
They’ll have to play like men
Cos the Springboks will be watching
From Transvaal to Cape Town
That team that ain’t got Horis
To score their last touch down

Follow this link to another version – including the original repartee – can be found, along with more information.

* “hori” was a deprecatory (‘mildly disparaging or uncomplimentary, especially of oneself’) name-call for Māori, no longer used.


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