1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Ancient Dust Of Africa – Edi Niederlander

Ancient Dust Of Africa – Edi Niederlander

Edi Niederlander

Edi Niederlander

Edi Niederlander is one of South Africa’s little know treasures. She has not been very prolific with her output (1 album in 1986, 1 in 1989 and 1 in 2001), but what she lacks in quantity, she most certainly makes up for in quality. Besides her solo work, she has helped out a few other luminaries of the SA music scene such as Paul Clingman, Duncan MacKay & Brian Finch.

She first came to most people’s attention when ‘Ancient Dust’ received some airplay and managed to creep up to number 16 on the Radio 5 charts. The song is a beautiful paean to Africa, which captures all the pain and beauty of the continent in both the lyrics and the gentle cyclical rhythms of the music. Edi’s voice seems to float over the music as if it is soaring above plains of Africa. It is not easy to write about the continent with becoming clichéd, but Edi does it with apparent ease and in ‘Ancient Dust’ has come close to creating the perfect song that the continent deserves.

Where to find it:
Ancient Dust – Edi Niederlander, Mountain Records (1988), MOULP(V)40
Also available from Amazon.com as a MP3 download


The stars of heaven spun madly
In the pool of the jungle night
When the hand of God came down to draw
The curtain from the light
My eyes beheld a timeless world
As a stillness filled the air
And the ancient dust of Africa
Was settling in my hair

I’ve wandered down her avenues
Of antelope and dust
I’ve wandered down her alleyways
Of agony and rust
I wandered through an endless stream
Of starving young and old
And the ancient dust of Africa
Had settled in my soul

I’ve climbed her highest mountains
I’ve sunk beneath her seas
I’v cursed the rancid fever
That she carries in her breeze
But the glory of the eagle
Had echoed from the start
That the ancient dust of Africa
Had settled in my heart

(Written by Edi Niederlander)

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