1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Anton Goosen”

Jantjie – Sonja Herholdt

Sonja

Sonja

‘Jantjie’ is one of Sonja’s well-known hits and Sonja herself is one of Afrikaan’s music’s well-known personalities. With her super-innocent image and voice, she takes this Anton Goosen penned tune and makes it a heartbreaking song of a woman missing her man. Quite where Jantjie has disappeared off to is not clear in the lyrics. It could be that he’s a restless spirit and is off who knows where again. It could be he’s a child who has run away from home and the Katryntjie waiting for him is a small sister. Perhaps (given the time when the song was released) it is a youngster who has been called up and Katryntjie is a girlfriend.

Somehow Sonja manages not to give anything away as she sings and this leaves the listener to make up their own minds about the back story of Jantjie and Katryntjie. She could be singing as a little girl missing her brother, or a girlfriend missing a boyfriend who is doing his army stint, or a woman deserted by her husband. She is all these in one.

Often the subject of jokes and a symbol of all that was perceived to be wrong with Afrikaans music pre-Voelvry, one has to take ones hat off though to Sonja for her perseverance and longevity. (There is an interesting connection between Jantjie and the Voelvry movement as the b-side of Sonja Herholdt’s single was ‘Al Le Die Berge Nog So Blou’ which Johannes Kerkorrel recorded for his ‘Ge-Trans-For-Meer’ album). Love her or hate her, she is an icon of South African music and ‘Jantjie’ is one of those songs that made her the Queen of Afrikaans music.

Where to find it:
Sonja Herholdt – Gunsteling treffers (1992), CDOA115

Video:

Toe Vind Ek Jou – Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

This is what it has all been about. Anton Goosen’s ‘Bloemetjie Gedenk Aan Jou’, Bernoldus Niemand, Koos Kombuis, Johannes Kerkorrel and the whole Voelvry movement, the blues guys like Valiant Swart, Piet Botha and Die Blues Broers, Arno Carstens and the Springbok Nude Girls, Afrikaans punk from Fokofpolsiekar. All of these guys were building up to this one perfect Afrikaans song.

‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ is undoubtedly the best Afrikaans song I have heard. It has everything, atmosphere, emotion, a great tune, brilliant vocals and harmonising. It is no wonder that at the time of writing this, the Youtube video had already had over 4.6 million views and spawned numerous cover versions (the Varsity Sing version is one of the better ones). In comparison Bok van Blerk’s ‘De La Rey’ which was also hugely popular and which has been around a lot longer only has 1.6 million views. I had sort of got to thinking that there were no surprises left in the Afrikaans music world but ‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ proved me wrong I’m pleased to say.

This song with its almost understated soft drumming highlights the talents of 2 leading lights of South African music. Francois van Coke found his way to this song via the noise of Fokofpolisiekar and the heavy rock of van Coke Kartel while Karen Zoid has been ploughing her own furrow as our foremost ‘rock chick’ for a good while now. And while ‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ is essentially a ballad, there is a feeling of a tension underlying the vocals and the lyrics hint that this relationship was not always a bed of roses. The first line ‘Ek lê my wapens neer’ (‘I lay down my arms’) introduces the surrender of the couple to their love which has survived a stormy relationship and as they have matured the anger of youth has dwindled and they are left clinging to each other. Possibly the best moment in the song is when Francois and Karen sing the lines ‘Ek het genoeg gegee, Ek het genoeg geskree, Ek het lankal terug geleer’ the second time around when Karen’s higher pitched voice goes head to head with Francois’ gravelly one and the result is something quite beautiful.

There are no pretensions in this song but plenty of control. Zoid and van Coke could have been tempted to make this just another Afrikaans rock song, but somehow they turned it into something special.

I have gone back to wondering if there will now be no further surprises coming from the Afrikaans music scene in South Africa, but I’m a little less certain of myself this time round.

Where to find it:
Francois van Coke – Francis van Coke (2015)

Video:

Varsity sing version:

Josie Josie – Anton Goosen

Riviersonderend - Anton Goosen

Riviersonderend – Anton Goosen

‘Josie Josie’ finds Anton Goosen in a more sombre mood. The song starts out with a slightly menacingly strum guitar, but the sting of this is quickly flattened by a melancholy flute playing over the top of it, and then Anton’s vocals come in.

The song then builds with a chorus joining Anton on the vocals and the flute weaves itself around this chant like sound. There is a stuttering, stumbling feel to the song, like it is lurching forward into uncertain territory, trying to be brave by stomping along, yet one can sense the lack of confidence in it. So one turns to the lyrics for clues to what is going on. ‘Josie Joise don’t let it rain on your dream tonight/Josie Josie we’ve seen it through now our days are bright’ is the repeated refrain that Goosen and the chorus sing and then you realise, Josie is perhaps not a woman, but could be Johannesburg (‘Jozi’). The song then makes sense in that it is almost a prayer for the new South Africa as it stumbles from Apartheid into democracy.

There has been lot sung about the country and in particular its transformation from the bad old days, but few have done this with such beauty. It’s not a ‘New York New York’ for Johannesburg, it is a heartfelt request.

Where to find it:
Riviersonderend – 21 Greatest Hits – Anton Goosen (1994), Gallo Records (CDGMP 40402)

Video:

 

Danser – Anton Goosen

Danser - Anton Goosen

Danser – Anton Goosen

You could be forgiven for thinking you had accidently put on a Bob Marley CD when you hear the start of Anton Goosen’s ‘Danser’ as it is pure reggae with those short sharp organ bursts peppering a skip-jump bass and that chaka-chaka sound that the reggae bands love. But then he throws in some sax and pennywhistle and of course his growly laid back vocals and this, along with the fact that he is singing in Afrikaans, tells you it’s not Bob, but Anton.

He also then throws a spanner in the works by having a little interlude that sounds almost like sakkie-sakkie just to mix things up. But at no time during the just under 3 minutes of this song can you stop dancing. And that is how it should be. A song entitled ‘Danser’ should not be a drige or some strange experimental jazz, that would be false advertising.

To top it all and be a bit contrary (it wouldn’t be Anton if he wasn’t) he goes and records the song again with English lyrics. This time round it sounds as if he was doing a vocal stint for Mango Groove as the song sounds a little like their ‘Love Is The Hardest Part’. He does, however, steer clear of any trouble with the Advertising Standards people as if you see the song spelt ‘Dancer’ it’s in English and ‘Danser’ is in Afrikaans. The English version can be found on the album entitled ‘Danzer’ (yet another spelling just to ensure we remain confused – go Anton) or the ‘Grootste Treffers’ album, while the Afrikaans version can be found on ‘33 Sea-Sides (Om Te Rock ‘n’ Roll)’.

Where to find it:
Grootste Treffers Van Die Liedjieboer – Anton Goosen (2010), Select Musiek,SELBCD 887
Danzer – Anton Goosen (2007)
33 Sea-Sides (Om Te Rock ‘n’ Roll) – Anton Goosen (2008), Rhythm Records, RR090

Hear here:
https://myspace.com/antongoosen/music/song/danser-51126219

Video:

 

Pampoene Oppie Dak – Anton Goosen

Pampoene Oppie Dak – Anton Goosen

Anton Goosen - 'n Vis Innie Bos

Anton Goosen – ‘n Vis Innie Bos

‘Pampoene!’ Lise Swart yells at the start of the song, just to make sure you know what it’s about and to grab your attention. For those of you who don’t know, ‘pampoene’ are pumpkins and the tradition in rural South Africa is to put pumpkins on the roof to ripen in the sun. Anton Goosen uses this image to create a classic song.

However, there is a huge tongue in Goosen’s cheek (how often isn’t there one?). He is having a go at the ‘poppies’, those fashion conscious girls who walk around in Gucci and Calvin Klein, pretending to be smart city slickers, but back home, they are just farm girls who live in houses with pampoene oppie dak.

The song is done in a hoe-down style and is jam packed with feel good faction. From the bouncy, toe-tapping fiddle to the hilarious lyrics, this song was bound to go down in Afrikaans music folklore. It has been covered by Jakkie Louw and features in a number of medleys (Theuns Jordaan, Beeskraal) and will probably crop up many more times in the future.

Where to find it:
‘n Vis In Die Bos (2001)  Gallo Records (GWVCD XX33)
Grootste Treffers Van Die Liedjieboer (2010) Select Musiek

Website:
AntonGoosen.co.za

Lyrics:

Pampoene!….

Bekkie, bokkie, baby.
Is jy ook so lief vir my?
Daar’s ‘n deel van jou wat vry wil bly.
Ma’ die anner deel van jou wil net die heeltyd vry.
Waar kry jy jou luck vandaan?
Always oopoog op die stoep gestaan.
Bekkie, bokkie, baby.
Dis ‘n skande dat niks ooit, ook verander nie.

Pampoene op die dak.
Pampoene op die dak.
Calvin Klein en Gucchi op die gatsak.
Maar … Pampoene op die dak.

Bekkie, bokkie, baby.
As jou geblomde rokkie wip.
Kan jy my hart ma’  op jou hande dra.
Al gooi jou pa met klip.
Al sou jou antie met ‘n kierie slaan.
Al skree jou oompie op jou ma.
Bekkie, bokkie, baby en ek.
Ry ‘n wonderlike wolwielwa.

Pampoene op die dak.
Pampoene op die dak.
Calvin Klein en Gucchi op die gatsak.
Maar … Pampoene op die dak.

Daar’s paddas in die dam.
Kriekies in die vlei.
Doring in die hart moet mens uitgetrek kry –  en dan … net tjoepstil bly.
Blou water lê agter my.
Die blou berge lê voorkant my.
Ek wonder of jy weet hoe vreet die liefde binne my?
Hoe kan ek, as my hart so skree net tjoepstil bly?

Pampoene op die dak.
Pampoene op die dak.
Calvin Klein en Gucchi op die gatsak.
Maar … Pampoene op die dak.

(Written by Anton Goosen)

Video:

Blommetjie Gedenk Aan My – Anton Goosen

Blommetjie Gedenk Aan My – Anton Goosen (Say it with flowers)

Boy Van Die Suburbs by Anton Goosen

Anton Goosen

Anton Goosen is another of those anomalies on South African music, especially amongst the Afrikaans singers. In a similar vein to David Kramer, he could write those almost trite songs that have us overdosing on saccharine. And then he could also pen some fiercely political songs that it’s surprising he wasn’t locked up.

‘Blommetjie’ doesn’t fall into either category, it’s neither trite nor political. What is important about it is that it is widely regarded as the first Afrikaans rock song and from the first guitar chords you know that it certainly a rock song that you’re listening to.

The song is about a hitch hiking ghost, haunting the roads of the Klein Karoo around Uniondale and is based on a true story of a woman killed in a car accident in 1968. There have been numerous claims of having seen the ghost of this woman hitchhiking along the road outside Uniondale. However, Anton’s song rocks too much to be spooky.

Where to find it:

Boy Van Die Suburbs – Anton Goosen (1979) AGM Musik, WILD010

Tussen Twee Rooi Mure – Anton Goosen (1983) part of Die Rock Medley

Cover version:

Tla! by Stean Ennie Crank-shafts

Lyrics:

‘n Skraal wind waai oor nghoenie bosse op die pad buite uniondale
Elke paasnaweek staan die spookmeisie daar as die herfswind hoeka al huil
Met haar lang swart hare onder sekelmaan tuur sy oor die vlaktes haai
En haar klere blink spookagtig saam en haar duim vra om haar op te laai

En die kammanassie bergspook geil as hy klippe berg-af rol
En die spookmeisie van Uniondale wat duimry en droewig sing
Blommetjie gedenk aan my en sy lig haar duim na bo
Blommetjie gedenk aan my sing die spook van die klein karoo
Blommetjie gedenk aan my en sy lig haar duim na bo
Blommetjie gedenk aan my sing die spook van die klein karoo

Die reisigers verby uniondale het haar dikwels opgelaai
En verder aan so uit die niet verdwyn die wind wat waai
So as jy saans in die langpad dwaal oor die paas se middernag
Pasop vir die spook van die klein karoo, tensy jy gaan spoke jag

En die kammanassie bergspook geil as hy klippe berg-af rol
En die spookmeisie van uniondale wat duimry en droewig sing
Blommetjie gedenk aan my en sy lig haar duim na bo
Blommetjie gedenk aan my sing die spook van die klein karoo
Blommetjie gedenk aan my en sy lig haar duim na bo
Blommetjie gedenk aan my sing die spook van die klein karoo
(Written by Anton Goosen)

Video:

Website:

http://antongoosen.co.za

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