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  1. Te Aroha

From the recording The River Flows On

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Te Aroha
© Felix Guerrero, 2018

Cape Reinga is located at the northern tip of New Zealand and is a most spiritually significant place for the Māori people. After death, all Māori spirits travel to Cape Reinga where they drink from the sacred spring of Te Wai Whero o Rata, allowing them to depart for Hawaiki, the spiritual home of the Māori. Te Aroha is an ancient pohutukawa tree whose roots provide steps and guidance as the spirit steps into the waters of the Pacific Ocean and begins the long journey to Hawaiki. I first visited Cape Reinga in 2017 and found myself captivated by its beauty and spirituality.

Lyrics

Some of you wanna meet Jesus, some don't believe in God
Some bow down to the almighty dollar, some even burn the Cross.
Lots of ways to justify the hereafter. A matter of interpretation.
But how can you know whom to trust, let me give you an education.

I was chillin' down by the water underneath an ancient tree.
Pondering the way I lived my life and felt a chill from a shuffling breeze.
Then looking up the hillside hollow I saw something coming down to me
Singing a tune to no one in particular, he fell down on his knees,

I heard: Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.

Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.

He was wispy grey like a spectre. Digging in the dirt with his hands.
I went over, said "Hey there buddy. You drop something in the sand?"
I said, there ain't nothing there but dirt. What you dropped is gone I fear
And if you've come looking for water, the springs been dry all year.

At that he got a little color, sorta thickened too it seemed.
He turned to me with a look of fear and said I gotta drink from the spring.
I started this long journey, don't want to turn back now.
Lay me down at the sacred tree, Te Ahora please save me.

He said: Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.
Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.

I thought, Man this is getting too heavy and I turned to give him a beer.
I saw the oceans churning and a whirpool sucking, sounding in my ear
Then I saw the hole he'd been digging looked a little muddy to my eyes
I heard a splash, free at last, the ocean smooth as ice.

Now, Te Aroha is an ancient tree where you start your final trip.
Te Wai Whero o Rata is the spring your soul must sip
Hawaiki is a long long way, you don't want to sink.
When your body dies your spirit's free if you take a drink.

Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.
Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.

Iluvatar, Yahway, or Zeus, you can worship who you want
Bottom line, nobody knows will you vanish, burn, or haunt.
But you better hope that spring's still flowing when it comes your time to drink
I hate to think your well is dry, you'll jump in and just sink.

Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.

Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.
Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.

Te Aroha, Te
Aroha, Te Aroha
Te Wai Whero o Rata.