The game of politics (both verses)

This song, probably composed around the 1911 election, shows that public scepticism of politicians is nothing new.

Published about 1911. Sung by the Parliamentary Library Choir.


To play the game of politics, a member to become,

Learn all the little bag of tricks, and this is how it’s done:

First toady to the Labour crowd, and promise all they ask;

Tell all the women you are proud to undertake the task

Of driving all the liquor out, to make the country pure,

No matter how you turn about whence once your seat is sure.

This simple plan will never fail, Then always be prepared

To slide down from your seat upon a rail, And Join the winning side.


The men who ruled the country long, who thought they knew the game,

Who made new laws — some right, some wrong — and spread New Zealand’s fame

For piling law on top of law, till folks became quite puzzled;

The people say they’ll have no more, Joe’s crowd must now be muzzled!

Some were left out in the wet, two Honourables, too!

The Democratic Baronet has fallen in the stew!


Sit on a rail and feel quite sure, and don’t have any fear,

Just fool the people and secure three hundred pounds a year.