New Zealand beer drinking songs

The songs I am about to share with you have grown into New Zealand classics.  They have cemented themselves into a playlist, that continues to be favourites of the future generations.  They are the kind of song that can get all the jolly patrons of a bar up and singing along.  True beer drinking masterpieces.  These are the songs that every New Zealander should know the words to and the ones that don’t will make their voices heard when the chorus kicks in.  It’s funny to think that songs like these are mostly unheard of in other parts of the world when for us they are ingrained in our culture.  So here is a short list that is only a taste of what kiwis have grown up with. Enjoy.

The Exponents

The Exponents are a four piece rock band fronted by vocalist Jordan Luck.  Their roots stem back to the South Island city of Christchurch.  They have been around since the 80’s although starting off with the name “The Dance Exponents” and there has been the odd member change since then.  They created the ever popular songs Victoria, Who loves who the mostI’ll say goodbye, Whatever happened to Tracey and the most popular Why does love do this to me.

It may not sound like much at first listen, but I promise you that turning up the volume and adding the intensity of a live band is guaranteed to get everyone dancing and chanting the chorus “I DON’T KNOW, WOOOAAHO, WHY DOES LOVE DO THIS TO ME!”


The rock band Dragon first appeared way back in 1972 in Auckland.  During the 70’s they spat out hits such as April sun in Cuba, Are you old enough?, and Still in  love with you.  Although they formed and spent their first few years touring New Zealand, they became really famous when they moved to Australia and tapped into a much larger market.  The band has endured tragedy, adversity and notoriety as several members died of drug over doses and they went through a couple of break ups and reunions.

Their song Rain, released in 1983 always proves popular with a beer in hand.

The dudes

The Dudes were a pop/rock band that was around in the late 70’s, early 80’s.  Walking in the light, Right first time, Be mine tonight, and Bliss were all hits they created.  The line up included Dave Dobbyn who proved to be a man of many talent as he continued to add to the list of Kiwi classics even after the band dismembered.

The song Bliss was destined to be a beer drinking classic with the lyrics “grab yourself a beer, forget about the last one, get your self another” and has established itself as New Zealand’s unofficial drinking song.


An alternative rock band that for as long as I can remember always seemed to have a new rocking single blasting over the airwaves.  In fact they have had 19 singles in the New Zealand top 40 charts over the years which is first equal with New Zealand legend Dave Dobbyn.  They have toured and headlined festivals across New Zealand again and again.  Hits include Pacifier, The general Electric, Run, My minds sedate, bullet proof, Comfort me, Home again and so many more.

Home again with its unforgettable guitar rift and sing along lyrics is always a favourite.

Dave Dobbyn

Dave was a member of The Dudes and then was the creative force behind DD smash who had a number of hits.  Since then he has gone on to release plenty of fantastic solo work as well.  He started his solo career by writing the sound track for the movie Footrot Flats: The dog’s tale.  Amongst this was his song Slice of Heaven that he recorded with the band The Herbs.  This song was also used heavily in advertising New Zealand tourism at the time so got labeled as New Zealand’s unofficial anthem by some.

Split Enz

Split Enz were one of the most popular New Zealand bands during the late 70’s and early 80’s.  The band drew inspiration from a variety of genres.  They gained a reputation for their on stage performances with elaborate sets, costumes, hairstyles and makeup.  Band member Neil Finn went on to join the band Crowded House, a band who have always created debate about whether they are a New Zealand or Australian band with band members from both countries.

I see red is such a fun song with its electric fast paced sound and lyrics.

The more I looked through classic New Zealand music the more familiar great sounding songs I found.  To limit the list to what I have shared was hard.  I hope you enjoyed what you heard.

What do you think?

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Ryan - Pukekohe

So basically I spent the first 11 years of my life growing up in Namibia which is in the magnificent continent of Africa. In 1998 my family decided to fly to the other side of the world, to beautiful, green New Zealand. This was ...

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Continent: Oceania
Capital: Wellington
Population: 4,252,300
Area: 268,680 km2
Currency: Dollar
Languages: English

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