1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Piet Botha”

‘n Suitcase Vol Winter – Piet Botha

‘n Suitcase Vol Winter – Piet Botha (A Cold Case)

Piet Botha - 'n Suitcase Vol Winter

Piet Botha – ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter

One wonders if the person Piet Botha is singing of in ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter was told to Vat Jou Goed en trek Ferreira. The drifter is on a train to nowhere, on the run from a woman who wants to shoot him, and all he carries with him is a suitcase full of winter. There is a stoicism about the man in question. He is on the run to nowhere, but this suits him (dit pas my goed). It is a rather bleak image, but there is also a gritty realism about it.

Piet’s growling voice manages to capture all these feelings. He sounds almost as if he doesn’t care, yet at the same time there is a desperate edge to the vocals. This is all laid on top of some blistering blues. From the first thudding beats of the guitar and building, with the aid of harmonica and piano, into a desperate, desolate soundscape that seems to compliment the emotional and physical landscapes one can imagine this man on the run is travelling through.

Except for the fact that the lyrics are in Afrikaans and there is a full band sound, ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter sounds as if it could easily have slid out of one of the great Delta blues singer’s guitars. The subject matter and the rhythm fit perfectly. This is, without a doubt, one of the great Afrikaans blues tracks.

Where to find it:
‘n Suitcase Vol WinterPiet Botha (1997), Wildebeest Records, WILD 005

(Remastered by Lanie van der Walt at Wolmer Studios in April 2009 and re-issued with catalogue number JHCD002.)

Video:

Lyrics:

Hierdie trein loop na nerens
Maar dit pas my baie goed,
hoe verder hoe beter
Dit is my wens

Klein bietjie liefde
Klein bietjie geluk
Heelwat van dit en dat, maar meestal
‘n Suitcase vol winter

Ek loop iewers deur die storm
En deur die bliksem weer
Want ‘n vrou sal jou doodmaak
As sy kwaad is, in ‘n donker kamer
Met ‘n haelgeweer

Ja die trein loop na nerens
Maar dit pas my goed
hoe verder hoe beter

Klein bietjie liefde
Klein bietjie geluk
Heelwat van dit en dat, maar meestal
‘n Suitcase vol winter

(Written by Piet Botha)

Goeienag Generaal – Piet Botha

Goeienag Generaal – Piet Botha / Jack Hammer (A Farewell to Army mates)

Piet Botha - 'n Suitcase Vol Winter

Piet Botha – ‘n Suitcase Vol Winter

The border war in South West (as it was then) and Angola had a significant psychological effect of a lot of young white South Africans conscripted to go and fight there. These effects are still felt by many today and, until recently, was hardly ever spoken of.

In 1997, Piet Botha spoke of it and did so in powerful words against an angry guitar backdrop. The track appeared on his critically acclaimed album ‘‘n Suitcase Vol Winter‘ and talks of the war being fought for all the trappings of capitalism. It was fought for ‘Vir Harry Oppenheimer en al sy maats, Vir Rembrandt van Rijn en Alfred Dunhill, En die OK Bazaars, En die hele bloody spul by die SAUK, Julle was die oorlog vir die CIA.’ And while the war was being fought for these people, Whitey, was being shot by an AK47.

Whether you agree with Piet’s view of the reasons for the war or not, this is one of the great anti-war songs that thunders along with venom, anger and a pounding rhythm. It sounds just as good on the live versions that are available as the studio ones do.

Where to find it:

‘n Suitcase Vol Winter – Piet Botha (1997) Wildebeest Records, WILD005
Bootleg – Piet Botha and Jack Hammer (February 2001) Pofadder Records / Intervention Arts, INT 011/ POF 001 (Live version)
Live At The Nile – Piet Botha & Jack Hammer (July 2004), Wolmer Records, F1000292 (Live version)

Lyrics:

Ja, dit was die oorlog vir die nuwe dag
Vir die kerkraad, swanger meisie wat wag
In die reën, al die kinders wat die dominee seën,
Al die jong laaities nou net uit die skool,
Welkom, welkom
Dit was vir die ryk man op Waterkloofstraat
Blink gebou, almal werk, maar niemand mag praat
Was vir die weduwees en die armes van gees
En almal in uniform, en die kapelaan lees

Maar Whitey, jou oë op daar dag
Was blou net soos die lug
Toe ons weer so kyk
Het ‘n AK jou fucked-up geskiet
Goeienag Generaal

Hulle was die oorlog vir die nuwe dag
Vir Harry Oppenheimer en al sy maats
Vir Rembrandt van Rijn en Alfred Dunhill
En die OK Bazaars
En die hele bloody spul by die SAUK
Julle was die oorlog vir die CIA
Generaal ry rond in sy blink swart kar
Speel skaak met die kinders van ons land
En agter hom is die wêreld nou erg aan die brand

Maar Whitey, jou oë op daar dag
Was blou net soos die lug
Toe ons weer so kyk
Het ‘n AK jou fucked-up geskiet
Goeienag Generaal

Guitar solo

Maar Whitey, jou oë op daar dag
Was blou net soos die lug
Toe ons weer so kyk
Het ‘n AK jou fucked-up geskiet
Goeienag Generaal, slaap lekker

(Written by Piet Botha)

Website:

PietBotha.com

Cover Version by Skuim:

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