1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Waterblommetjies – Sonja Herholdt

Waterblommetjies – Sonja Herholdt

Waterblommetjies – Sonja Herholdt

‘Waterblommetjies’ was written by Anton Goosen and he recorded his own version of it (see his album ‘Boy Van Die Suburbs’), but it is Sonja’s song. The proper name for waterbloometjies is Aponogeton Distachyos, but that would not scan well in a song. The difference in the common name and scientific name is about the same as the difference between Sonja and Anton’s versions as Anton’s gruff voice seems to be at odds with the soft swaying of the music where Sonja’s engel-voice seems to float on water the way the flower in the song title does.

The song is particularly South African, and more specifically Western Cape. Not because the lyrics are in Afrikaans, but because they are a love song to the ‘mooiste kaap’, name checking major attractions in the area like Table Mountain, ‘die wynland’ and Houtbaai to name a few. It also talks of typically traditional things in the Cape, like waterblommetjie bredie and snoek. Despite this obsession with the Cape, the song would resonate throughout the country and that is mainly down to Sonja’s popularity. She could sing the telephone directory and make it sound like the most beautiful place on earth.

Yes, like the bredie, it may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it is difficult to deny that this song has grown into the psyche of the country and has been covered by various artist including Lauka Rauch and even Frenchman, Richard Clayderman was moved enough by the track to tinkle out the tune on the piano.

Where to find it:
Waterblommetjies – Sonja Herholdt (2000), EMI, CDBRS (WSB) 430

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