Danie Pretorious has that Sid James (him of that laugh made famous in the Carry On films) bemused look to his face. You do not expect him to be a serious chap and in a previous entry on the blog ‘Sjeef By Die Koffie’ we found him living up to his face (if one can do such a thing). But he could also, it seems, be not serious (for ‘Die Ou Kalahari’ is not a serious song), but shall we say, light-hearted without necessarily being funny.
‘Die Ou Kalahari’ is an old Afrikaans standard. It has been recorded by numerous artists over the years including in more recent time Dozi and Die Grafsteensangers. Koos Kombuis even twisted the lyrics a bit for a version on his album ‘Ver Van Die Ou Kalahari’. But perhaps the strangest version is that by American country singer Jim Reeves. Reeves did a few albums of Afrikaans songs and while he gets an A for effort, his pronounciation doesn’t quite get there. Dozi also makes it a country song while a guy called JJ Stephens does a rock n roll version and Marulaboom turns it into a dance record.
But I have chosen Danie’s version because he was an old oom singing an old Afrikaans song and, while covers and new takes on songs can be a bit hit and miss, he seems to encapsulate the essence of this. His sounds like an old toppie sitting on the stoep of a Kalahari farmhouse in his Sunday best, playing his accordion and singing to the passing goats and sheep. That is how this song should sound.
Where to find it:
Huisgenoot 90 Jaar Van Afrikaanse Musiek – Various (2010), NML, NEXTCD267