Monday, 7 March 2011

Home, Home Op Die Plaas

Here is something that will enable us here at 27 Leggies HQ to tell the men from the boys (metaphorically speaking, of course) among our loyal readers. Afrikaans country music.

Country music is enormously popular among the Afrikaans-speaking population of South Africa, both in its more traditional form (known as boeremusiek) and the more modern pop-country, most of which is about as dire as American pop-country but with the added advantage for most of you that you won't understand the words.

We start with a few standards from way back in the 1960s: Danie Pretorius' "Die Ou Kalahari", which was covered in a bilingual version by none other than Jim Reeves, followed by Die Sangende Beesboer (The Singing Cowboy) himself, Mr Charles Jacobie. Finishing off this segment, we have Groep Twee with their 1966 hit version of a song that dates back to 1940 and was apparently first popularised by musically minded jukskei players (jukskei being a sort of Afrikaans version of boules which involves throwing wooden pegs at a stick - more details here in the unlikely event that you are interested).

"Die Ou Kalahari" (The Old Kalahari) - Danie Pretorius

"Ruiter In Die Nag" (Rider In The Night) - Charles Jacobie

"Die Oukraalliedjie" (The Old Homestead Song) - Groep Twee

Bringing us more up to date, we have Emo Adams with a tarted up version of the same song, which also incorporates another old standard, "Vat Jou Goed En Trek, Ferreira" (Take Your Goods And Go, Ferriera). This comes from his 2008 album "Tall, Dark and Afrikaans". Then we have Andries Vermeulen with a tribute to girl known, for reasons unclear, as Cauliflower Anna, before finishing off with Wicus Van Der Merwe and his frankly hilarious - honest - account of a day's fishing on Hartebeespoort Dam. It cracks me up every time.

"Die Nuwe Oukraalliedjie" (The New Old Homestead Song) - Emo Adams

"Blomkool Anna" (Cauliflower Anna) - Andries Vermeulen

"Hartebeespoortdam" (It's the name of a dam, folks) - Wicus Van Der Merwe

I always think of Wicus' tale of good old boys having fun by the water as the Afrikaans equivalent of Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee". Unfortunately the powers that be at YouTube have disabled embedding by request, but for one more click you can treat yourself to a bit of AJ.

And for those of you wondering why Emo Adams descibes himself as tall, dark and Afrikaans, here's why. In this clip he is expressing his undying devotion to his teacher, Mrs de Kok, who appears to be considerably younger than he is.

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