1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Onder In My Whiskeyglas – Koos Kombuis

Niemandsland - Koos Kombuis

Niemandsland – Koos Kombuis

Is it just me, or is it rather strange that a song called ‘Onder In My Whiskeyglas’ (At the bottom of my whiskey glass) appears on an album called ‘Die Mooiste Love Songs’ (the most beautiful love songs)? The question one has to ask is whether it is a the love affair with the whiskey, or is it with the person the singer is seemingly trying to forget by drinking?

The answer seems to be a bit of both. Undoubtedly, the lyrics tell of a lost love and how the image of the lost love cannot be shaken. Her face appears in his whiskey as he drinks. Yet the sadness and hint of slurring in Koos’ voice point towards a soul turing to the amber liquid for comfort and love. This tale is told to the backdrop of a sombrely pucked guitar, adding to the despair the singer feels. There is a bittersweet image in the line ‘Drie skepe moes my wegvoer/ Na lande vêr van hier’ (Three ships had to take me away/to lands far from here) with the ‘Drie Skepe’ being a reference to Three Ships whiskey.

Koos Kombuis is a master at painting a picture in his songs. One can just picture the scene in songs like ‘Lisa Se Klavier’ where Koos sings about the boemelaars standing outside the window listening to Lisa play piano. Similarly, ‘Onder In My Whiskeyglas’ counjures up an image of a dishevelled and broken man sitting on a barstool in a dingy pub staring into an empty whiskeyglas, perhaps a tear running down a cheek. This is aural painting at its best.

Where to find it:
Die Mooiste Love Songs (1999) Wildebeest Records, WILD014

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