Trein Na Matjiesfontein – Sonja Herholdt
No list of South African songs you have to hear would be complete if it didn’t include Sonja Herholdt’s ‘Trein Na Maatjiesfontein’. This was another of the Anton Goosen composed tracks that Sonja had a hit with (another one being ‘Waterblommetjies’) and you can hear Goosen itching to rock out a bit more as this features a fast beat, some guitars that are trying hard to be sugar sweet but are just wanting to let rip. And in fact, listening to the opening of this song, you hear shades of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ there. Now that’s a comparison one probably wouldn’t expect.
Once we get over the ‘Barracuda’ intro, we settle into the clickety-clack rhythm of a train on the tracks that underpins Sonja sweet vocals. Anyone who has every been to Maatjiesfontein would agree that it’s worth visiting this pristine little dorp in the middle of nowhere in the Karoo with its white gabled colonial hotel and old-fashioned petrol pumps, but Sonja’s not heading there for the scenery, ‘iemand wag al daar’ for her, apparently. However, when I visited there was practically no one about, and the town just needed a tumbleweed rolling past to be one of those deserted towns one sees in old Western movies. So I hope that Sonja wasn’t stood up as she sound very excited about the whole adventure on this train (that goes by the name of Milly).
This is an SA classic and is worth digging out and listening to again, even if just for the guitar intro.
Where to find it:
Pêrels – Sonja Herholdt (2010), Select Musiek