1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Almal Moet Gerook Raak – Johannes Kerkorrel

Almal Moet Gerook Raak – Johannes Kerkorrel

Voelvry - Die Toer

Voelvry – Die Toer

As every good tweetaalige South African knows, ‘Almal Moet Gerook Raak’ translates as ‘Everybody Must Get Stoned’. And as every good Dylan fan knows the song containing that lyric is actually called ‘Rainy Day Women #12 & 35’. (The lyric is not the title of the song!).

Kerkorrel’s song is not an Afrikaans cover of the Dylan classic. It is his own compositon which implores everyone to get high and clean up the mess (“Die germors hier skoon maak”). The song was recorded live and features on the Voelvry- Die Toer album. Given the political leaning of Kerkorrel during the Voelvry period, one can safely assume that ‘die gemors’ he refers to was Apartheid. However, I am not sure how getting stoned would help as stoned people seem to sit around in a bit of a haze doing bogger all. I guess he was imploring to the hippy sense of the 60’s where everything was peace, love and smoking boom.

That said, the song itself is not particularly laid back or stoned. It’s a lively piece of honky-tonky-rocky-rolly-bounce-a-roundy-howling-guitary-get-up-and-dancey music that is at the opposite end of the serious scale to its underlying subject matter.

Sadly, as we know, Kerkorrel took his life in 2002 which lent an irony to the line in Dylan’s song just before ‘Everybody must get stoned’ which goes ‘But I would not feel so all alone’. However, let’s not dwell on the sadness. Put on ‘Almal Moet Gerook Raak’ and let’s rock this joint.

Where to find it:
Tien Jaar Later – Johannes Kerkorrel (1998), Gallo, GWVCD 4
Voelvry – Die Toer – Various Artist (2002), Sheer, SHIF002 (Live version)

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