1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Liberal Man – Jeremy Taylor

Liberal Man – Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor

Because of ‘Ag Pleez Deddy’ we sometimes forget that Jeremy Taylor was actually a pom. But, because of ‘Ag Pleez Deddy’, the people of South Africa have made him an honorary Saffa (the government back in the day had other ideas, but that’s another story). Occassionaly Jeremy’s songs were more British than South African and ‘Liberal Man’ is one of these. However, the sentiments are international.

The song is from the point of view of a ‘tolerant liberal’ who hates his neighbour with a passion. The neighbour is a “racist, a jingoist, a white man to the core”. Our liberal man, however let’s his emotions overflow occassionaly and shows his true colours, “I hate him/I loathe him/And I don’t know what to do/I bet he isn’t even English/He’s just another loody Jew”. Then we suddenly see him backpedalling, realising what he’s just said “oo-eer, not that I care” he adds quickly. One person commenting on the Youtube video mentioned below sums up the song nicely – ‘Nothing more intolerant than a Secular Liberal.’

Taylor was a master of satire and ‘Liberal Man’ shows how culturally aware he was, both in South Africa and in England. He is a very funny singer whose brilliance went well beyond ‘Ag Pleez Deddy’.

Where to find it:
The Very Best Of  – Jeremy Taylor (1996 & 2004), Prism Leisure Records

Here it here:



Transplant Calypso – Jeremy Taylor

Transplant Calypso – Jeremy Taylor

Transplant Calypso - Jeremy Taylor

The Best Of – Jeremy Taylor

Everybody in South Africa (and some from further afield) know Jeremy Taylor’s ‘Ag Pleez Deddy’, but it is only an older generation and ardent fans that know some of his other songs. One of his other funny songs is ‘Transplant Calypso’ which is dedicated to Dr Christiaan Barnard and “his particular brand of medical satire” as Jeremy says in the introduction to the live version of the song. It was written around the time that Dr Barnard was pioneering the art of the heart transplant where he “takes hearts out of people who are nearly dead/Puts them into other people who are also nearly dead/With the result that they both die”. Jeremy goes on to say that Barnard is “A man after my own heart”. All this by way of intro which he delivers with a stand up comics timing, before he launches into his song about a being made up of animal parts after seeing his doc and getting various tansplants. The punch line arrives when he moans to his doc that he doesn’t want anything from an animal. The doctor offers him another organ “I looked at this thing with dismay and suspicion/It was the brain of a politician” and he opts to go for the animal parts instead. Taylor wrote brilliant satirical songs and ‘Transplant Calypso’ was him at his biting best. Yes, medicine has moved on drastically since those transplant days and the subject matter is somewhat outdated, but it is still darn funny and all sung in Taylor’s wry smile voice. Look beyond the popcorn and bubblegum and you’ll see that when it came to hysterical South African satire Jeremy Taylor was the deddy.

Where to find it: Ag Pleez Deddy (1997) Gallo, CDRED608

Hear here:




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