1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Weeping – Bright Blue

Weeping – Bright Blue (It wasn’t Rory it was Wi Ping)

Bright Blue - Weeping

Bright Blue – Weeping

From the first dramatic drum beat to the sax laden fade via the neatly woven riff from Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika and poignant lyrics, this is arguably the most important South African song ever recorded. It is certainly one you should hear before you go deaf, and even after you’ve lost your hearing, you still need to listen to it. The sound is huge, the lyrics are angry (in a passive way) and hints at the end of apartheid drawing near.

Bright Blue had relocated to Johannesburg from Cape Town in the mid 80’s and one night in late 1987 at the Orange 338 Studio in Orange Grove, they recorded ‘Weeping’ along with ‘Yesterday Night’, apparently popping out at 2 in the morning to find Basil Coetzee at the Market theatre to lay down the sax solo that is now as iconic in South African music circles as Raphael Ravenscroft’s ‘Baker Street’ contribution is on the global scene.

Only 500 copies were originally pressed and interestingly the double A sided single listed the tracks as ‘Yesterday Night + Weeping’ which seems to indicate that perhaps the band thought the former (a nice jauntly Afropop tune) was going to be the bigger hit. It was released during a time of political turmoil in late 1987 and ‘Weeping’ topped the Radio 5 charts for 2 weeks in January 1988, no mean feat, given its illegal musical reference to the banned Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika.

A number of cover versions have appeared, most notably by Vusi Mahlasela, Qkumba Zoo and the international artist Josh Groban. An interesting acoustic live version by another SA great, Robin Auld, can be found on Youtube (sound quality not the best – see link below).

‘Weeping’ propelled Bright Blue from being the good eighties South African band, a reputation that their debut album ‘Bright Blue’ had suggested at, into one of the most important South African bands of all time.

Where to find it:

Lyrics

I knew a man who lived in fear
It was huge, it was angry, it was drawing near
Behind his house, a secret place
Was the shadow of the demon he could never face.

He built a wall of steel and flame
And men with guns, to keep it tame
Then standing back, he made it plain
That the nightmare would never ever rise again
But the fear and the fire and the guns remain.

It doesn’t matter now
It’s over anyhow
He tells the world that it’s sleeping
But as the night came round
I heard its lonely sound
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping.

SAX SOLO – Basil Coetzee

And then one day the neighbours came
They were curious to know about the smoke and flame
They stood around outside the wall
But of course there was nothing to be heard at all
“My friends”, he said, “We’ve reached our goal
The threat is under firm control
As long as peace and order reign
I’ll be damned if I can see a reason to explain
Why the fear and the fire and the guns remain.”

It doesn’t matter now
It’s over anyhow
He tells the world that it’s sleeping
But as the night came round
I heard its lonely sound
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping.

SAX

It doesn’t matter now
It’s over anyhow
He tells the world that it’s sleeping
But as the night came round
I heard its lonely sound
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping.

Composed by: Heymann/ Fox/ Cohen/ Cohen

Recorded and released by Bright Blue in 1987. One of South Africa’s greatest songs… includes instrumental references to ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica’.

Thanks to Stephen Segerman.
Video:


Robin Auld Cover:


Josh Groban & Vusi Mahlasela Cover:

Website:

http://www.rock.co.za/brightblue

Single Post Navigation

3 thoughts on “Weeping – Bright Blue

  1. Pingback: Manenburg – Abdullah Ibrahim « 1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

  2. roananhawes on said:

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: