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‘n Suitcase Vol Winter – Piet Botha

‘n Suitcase Vol Winter – Piet Botha (A Cold Case)

Piet Botha - 'n Suitcase Vol Winter

Piet Botha – ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter

One wonders if the person Piet Botha is singing of in ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter was told to Vat Jou Goed en trek Ferreira. The drifter is on a train to nowhere, on the run from a woman who wants to shoot him, and all he carries with him is a suitcase full of winter. There is a stoicism about the man in question. He is on the run to nowhere, but this suits him (dit pas my goed). It is a rather bleak image, but there is also a gritty realism about it.

Piet’s growling voice manages to capture all these feelings. He sounds almost as if he doesn’t care, yet at the same time there is a desperate edge to the vocals. This is all laid on top of some blistering blues. From the first thudding beats of the guitar and building, with the aid of harmonica and piano, into a desperate, desolate soundscape that seems to compliment the emotional and physical landscapes one can imagine this man on the run is travelling through.

Except for the fact that the lyrics are in Afrikaans and there is a full band sound, ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter sounds as if it could easily have slid out of one of the great Delta blues singer’s guitars. The subject matter and the rhythm fit perfectly. This is, without a doubt, one of the great Afrikaans blues tracks.

Where to find it:
‘n Suitcase Vol WinterPiet Botha (1997), Wildebeest Records, WILD 005

(Remastered by Lanie van der Walt at Wolmer Studios in April 2009 and re-issued with catalogue number JHCD002.)

Video:

Lyrics:

Hierdie trein loop na nerens
Maar dit pas my baie goed,
hoe verder hoe beter
Dit is my wens

Klein bietjie liefde
Klein bietjie geluk
Heelwat van dit en dat, maar meestal
‘n Suitcase vol winter

Ek loop iewers deur die storm
En deur die bliksem weer
Want ‘n vrou sal jou doodmaak
As sy kwaad is, in ‘n donker kamer
Met ‘n haelgeweer

Ja die trein loop na nerens
Maar dit pas my goed
hoe verder hoe beter

Klein bietjie liefde
Klein bietjie geluk
Heelwat van dit en dat, maar meestal
‘n Suitcase vol winter

(Written by Piet Botha)

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