1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Magic Man – Neill Solomon and the Uptown Rhythm Dogs

Magic Man – Neill Solomon and the Uptown Rhythm Dogs (Wise man sings Magic Man)

Not many songs on this list start with an mbira introduction, but this one does, albeit very brief. (The mbira, in case you don’t know is a traditional African music instrument made of a piece of wood with metal keys that are played with the thumbs – Google it if you still don’t know what I’m talking about). This leads into a melancholic bout of guitar plucking into which Neill’s rough, plaintive cry is fed.

It takes 1 minute and 5 seconds before the vocals arrive and a further 1 minutes 57 seconds into the 4 minute and 43 second song the rhythm section appears, but each section of the song holds its own magic. The instrumental introduction has its beauty in the crystal twang of the strings, the first vocal section has an edgy plea that draws you further into the song and then the bongos rattle away as the song gets into full swing. By now you are completely mesmerised. And then it
suddenly stops and the spell in broken.

Where to find it:

The Occupant – Neill Solomon (1981) WEA Records (WIC 8005)
Slowly From The South – Various Artists (2009) Fresh, FRESHCD (D) 163

Lyrics:

When do you laugh at your friend
I said
When do you laugh at your friend
A simple Man
A cripple man
Walking alone

A simple Man
He Looks at his friend
And he laughs
Oh how he laughs
At the cripple man

He didn’t say a word
With a smile on his face
With tears in his eyes
With disgust

I may not be
As good as you
And may not
Walk as well
I may not suit your social friends
But I have something
As Well

I am different
Yes, I am different

I am a magic man
I cast my spell on you
I am a magic man
I cast my spell on you
I am a magic man
I cast my spell on you

But you
I’ve put you in a black tuxedo
With a bow tie
To go to your premier
And drink your glass of wine

You said you live a life of luxury
You’re always wanting more
You try your hand at anything
And always take it all
Take it all
Take it all

Oh magic man
You cast your spell on me
Oh magic man
You cast your spell on me
Oh magic man
You cast your spell on me
But you
You’d better be good
Yes you, You’d better be good

I said magic man
Woah-wo magic man
I said magic man
Woah-wo magic man
I said magic man

(Written by Neill Solomon)

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One thought on “Magic Man – Neill Solomon and the Uptown Rhythm Dogs

  1. Pingback: Orang Outang – Hawk « 1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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