Virginia Lee was the darling of South African music in the late 50’s and the early 60’s. She would have a few Springbok top 20 hits, including ‘Tennessee Yodel Polka’, a duet with the America singer Slim Whitman. On this version of the Afrikaans standard, she teams up with Nick Taylor.
The song was arranged by Dirkie de Villiers who was the son of the composer of the music (not the words) to Die Stem, M.L. de Villiers. One source says that it was subsequently found that the melody for ‘Die Ou Kraal Liedjie’ was actually lifted from a song called ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do’, but listening to the various versions of the latter on Youtube, I can’t see the similarity.
That said, Virginia’s version of this classic, is a delightful one with her lovely voice adding the sunshine to the green fields banjo plucking and the gentle breeze guitar. Virginia’s vocals are at the forefront of the song and give this version its personality while Nick Taylor’s backing vocals support the star of the show, complimenting it, but never stealing its limelight.
So dust off your bandolintjie (if you have managed to work out what it is), sit out on the porch to watch the sunny summer’s day go by and sign along to ‘Die Ou Kraal Liedjie’.
Where to find it:
Afrikaanse Goue Jare Vol 2 – Various Artists (1996)