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Lorde's handwritten lyrics of 'Royals' up for auction

Lorde's handwritten lyrics of 'Royals' up for auction

The Play It Strange Trust is auctioning a lyric sheet of “Royals” – penned and signed by Lorde along with co-writer Joel Little.

Lorde otherwise known as Ella Yelich-O’Connor, and Joel Little have previous connections to the Play It Strange Trust and team.

Ella Yelich-O'Connor performed 'Six Months In A Leaky Boat' with Eddie Rayner's ENZSO at the Play It Strange concert in the Auckland Domain as part of Fonterra's 10th Anniversary in October 2011. A short while later she sang a set with Zac Fraser-Baxter (both Takapuna Grammar students) at a Play It Strange fundraiser at Devonport's Vic Theatre in November 2011.

Joel Little performed a Goodnight Nurse song with Descend - a trio of twelve year olds from Parnell District School at Playing It Strange in Parnell - a street party,in December 2008.

Joel and Ella received the very prestigious APRA Silver Scroll Award in 2013 for the song that is now heard in all corners of the earth. On the tail of that win, the request was put through Joel for a lyric sheet – Lorde kindly obliged and upon Joel’s return from the Grammy celebrations Play It Strange CEO, Mike Chunn and their general manager Debbie Little (Joel’s cousin) took a trip to Golden Age Studio in Auckland and collected this priceless lyric sheet signed by the award-winning duo.

The time has come to take the sheet from its special hiding place and have it framed, with all of the care and quality it deserves, to auction off on Trade Me for the benefit of Play It Strange in running future programmes for our young lyricists and songwriters.

About the framing: The lyric sheet is float mounted onto a grey archival mattboard showing 5cm top and sides and 6cm at the bottom. It is then framed in soft, antique pewter molding with slat spacers and U.V inhibiting museum grade glass to best effect and highest conservation standards.


Young New Zealand – in fact all New Zealanders – hear recorded songs every day. They are a crucial aspect of life and it is clear that young New Zealanders wish to produce their own.

Play It Strange shines the spotlight into NZ schools and brings into the light the great songs that are written there. Songs that mirror their lives, our lives and who we are as a nation. Their songs are, in essence, the fabric of an emerging NZ music tradition.

While the Top 40 songs - as picked by the Play It Strange panel with Jordan Luck as the head judge - are recorded and manufactured onto CDs and posted online for the world to hear, it is more than this.

Pat Pattison, professor of songwriting at Berklee University in Boston, said to CEO Mike Chunn. “The true worth of Play It Strange is not who wins the songwriting competition or even who gets to record their song in a professional studio. What really matters is that hundreds of young NZers start and finish writing a song. They record it, write out the lyrics, complete the entry form and send it in. It is about the self-belief in that particular craft of the imagination and that is where the overall value of this programme lies.”

As well as songwriting competitions, Play It Strange runs other programmes that round out the creative world of contemporary popular songs and young New Zealanders.

Play It Strange recognizes that there are three elements to the bringing of recorded songs to the public’s awareness:

1. songwriting

2. studio and stage performance

3. the recording of those songs

Running parallel to the songwriting competitions are:

1. the JAM BUS mobile recording studio which records primary and intermediate school students and distributes CDs to all participating students

2. A Strange Day’s Night Concerts

3. Band of Strangers concerts

TradeMe link will be live by 8am


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