1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Paradise Road – Joy

Paradise Road – Joy

Paradise Road - Joy

Paradise Road – Joy

‘Paradise Road’ is without a doubt a South African classic. The song had a 9 week run at the top of the SA Top 20 in 1980. Charisma’s ‘Mammy Blue’ (which spent 12 weeks at the top) was the only local act to do better. Richard Jon Smith’s ‘Michael Row The Boat Ashore’ also managed 9 weeks, however of these 3 songs, ‘Paradise Road’ was the one that was not a cover version of an international song. It also seems to have been the one that has stuck in the local psyche, perhaps helped by its inclusion in the musical ‘Umoja’ which had international success.

Apart from the lush orchestration and powerful, goosebump inducing vocal performance of Felicia Marian, Thoko Ndlozi and Anneline Malebo, there are the subtle political undertones in the lyrics. Talk of “fire smoking”, the “sky is blazing” and “a young man nearly beaten” hint at the troubled townships of the apartheid era. But what set this apart from other songs of this ilk was the message of hope in the song. “There are better days before us and a burning bridge behind us”, points to the transition that finally came almost 14 years after the song was topping our charts and made it an almost perfect anthem for the fall of apartheid. Watch the video for the cover version by Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Timothy Moloi mentioned below and you’ll see what I mean.

Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 3 (1994) GSP, CDREDD 610

Video:
Joy:


Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Timothy Moloi:


Umoja:

Lyrics:
Come with me down paradise road
This way please, I’ll carry your load
This you won’t believe.
Come with me to paradise skies
Look outside and open your eyes
This you must believe.

There are better days before us
And a burning bridge behind, fire smokin’ the sky is blazing,
There’s a woman waiting weeping
And a young man nearly beaten all for love.
Paradise was almost closin’ down.

Come with me to paradise days
It’ll change your life, it’ll sure change your ways
This you won’t believe.
Take my hand down paradise lane
Away from heart ache with out any pain
I know ’cause I have been.

There are better days before us
And a burning bridge behind, fire smokin’, the sky is blazing,
There’s a woman waiting weeping
And a young man nearly beaten all for love.
Paradise was almost closin’ down.

There are better days before us
And a burning bridge behind, fire smokin’, the sky is blazing,
There’s a woman waiting weeping
And a young man nearly beaten all for love

You must believe – you must believe this
You must believe – you must believe this
You must believe – you must believe this…
There are better days…

(Written by Patric van Blerk & Fransua Roos)

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3 thoughts on “Paradise Road – Joy

  1. Deborah-Eve on said:

    As always. . .your posts completely make my day!

  2. Shaheed Arendse on said:

    this song just came to mind and i decided to search and got “lucky” took me back to my school days, one day i sang this song while the teacher was out of the classroom the rest of my classmates joined in, picturing those smiling happy faces now ‘PRICELESS!!!!!, thanks it made my evening now

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