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Olympic song judge: You'll learn to love it

Published: 4:48PM Wednesday April 18, 2012 Source: ONE News

One of the judges who picked the official song for the New Zealand Olympic team says people will eventually like it if they give it time.

Stand Tall by Auckland singer/songwriter Sam RB was announced as the team's song yesterday after it received the most votes in a competition.

TV ONE's Close Up took to the streets to get the public's reaction to the song and got a mostly negative response.

But one of the judges in the competition, Mike Chunn, told Close Up he does not believe they picked the wrong song.

Chunn said the Close Up poll was not fair because the song was played on a phone.

"They want to hear it in at least some environment where it sounds okay, not just shoved in their face in the street," Chunn said.

"I'm not buying what they say."

Chunn, a former member of the band Split Enz said people would "learn to love" the song.

"Every new song needs time to settle into the emotional connection of the heart.

"It's understated but it's eloquent and it's elegant and it's memorable."

Many have also taken to social media to criticise Sam's song calling it "weak" and a "snooze fest".

Lilo Merker commented on the ONE News Facebook page: "I don't like it. It is not presenting New Zealand! It is weak. Sorry."

Bill Guy posted: "Typical sleepy NZ Song, no wonder our athletes don't perform to the best ability with snooze fest songs like this."

But others have commended Sam's song calling it "fantastic".

Myschyf commented on a ONE News messageboard: "Really proud of you Sam. All the best and can't wait to see you perform this while our people go and represent NZ at the London Olympics.

"Avoid all these comments. You won and theirs nothing anyone can do about it. Go make our nation proud, this song is definitely inspiring for our Olympians."

And SethNZ posted that the song is "pure magic".

"I'm proud to have voted for Sam's Stand Tall because it's gold!! Pure New Zealand spirit and flavor. Bring on the games!!

A humbled artist

Sam RB, who can often be seen busking on Queen St, will now be heading to London where she will meet athletes and perform at an official New Zealand Olympic Committee function just ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games.

Stand Tall was produced alongside well-known New Zealand musician Eddie Rayner and is said to reflect the struggles and determination required to overcome challenges as well as the songwriter's own pride in New Zealand.

On hearing the news of her win, Sam said she was humbled by all the New Zealanders who got behind her song. "I hope they consider Stand Tall their own," she said.

"I also hope Stand Tall moves all New Zealanders to be proud of our athletes and for the athletes themselves to feel supported by Kiwis around the world," she added.

She said her experiences busking also influenced the song. "I feel proud to be a New Zealander when I'm busking and see the genuine love people have for our beautiful country."

Sam RB's winning trip to London will be her first visit to the UK or Europe.

London Olympic hopeful, sprint cyclist Sam Webster, said music is important for athletes.

"Knowing the songs have been written especially for us makes us realise there's everyone at home backing us," Webster said. "It makes us understand the achievement of actually making it to the Olympic Games."

Sam's song, along with nine competition finalists, is available for free public download from

The competition, developed by the New Zealand Olympic Committee and the Play it Strange Music Trust, called for New Zealand musicians to write a song that would inspire Kiwi athlete.

More than 300 entries were received and 25,000 New Zealanders registered their vote for their favourite song.

Meanwhile, there was a street party in Wellington today and in Auckland more team selections were announced.

What do you think of the song? Have your say on the messageboard below.

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