HIVE OPEN MIC Week 125 (Theme: Nothing is Impossible): Cover Song "Impi" (Johnny Clegg/Juluka)
Hello everybody on Hive and especially the Hive Open Mic Community! My name is Jasper and I'm writing (and singing) to you from Cape Town South Africa!
This is Week 125 of the Hive Open Mic Challenge, and the theme for the week is "Nothing is Impossible"!
I thought that this would be a perfect theme to prove that I really do come from South Africa, and sing a song with an isiZulu chorus! (On that topic, I remember @anna-newkey wanted to be tagged for this post).
For "Nothing is Impossible" I've decided to choose a band that should have been impossible (but nothing is impossible). They wrote this song about an event that should have been impossible (but nothing is impossible).
The "impossible" band is Juluka. In the middle of Apartheid era South Africa, when racial segragation was forced, a white man named Johnny Clegg made friends with black Zulu people. He fell so in love with their styles of music that they formed a band together playing the perfect mixture of Zulu and Western styles. The band became much beloved in South Africa, and even a kind of symbol against Apartheid. Johnny Clegg became an honoury Zulu, and was given an honoury Zulu funeral when he passed away from Cancer a few years ago.
The impossible event that the song is about, is a battle that happened during the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879, where a regiment of Zulu Warriors armed with short spears and cattle-hide shields were able to defeat a British regiment armed with modern (for the time) Martini Henry rifles and even a few cannons.
The song Impi is a war song! Luckily we now only use the song to rile us up at rugby matches as an answer to New Zealand's haka or something like that!
Please be sure to check out the original version of "Impi" by Juluka, as well as several other beautiful songs by them, such as "Africa Sky Blue", "Scatterlings of Africa", "Deliwe", "Kwela Man" and "Thula 'mntanami"! This is the kind of music to make a South African emmigrant feel home-sick!
(isiZulu) Impi! wo 'nans' impi iyeza
Obani bengathinta amabhubesi?
(Rough English translation)
Warrior! Here the army is coming
Who can stand up to the lions?
All along the river Chelmsford's army lay asleep
Come to crush the Children of Mageba
Come to exact the Realm's price for peace
And in the morning as they saddled up to ride
Their eyes shone with the fire and the steel
The General told them of the task that lay ahead
To bring the People of the Sky to heel
Mud and sweat on polished leather
Warm rain seeping to the bone
They rode through the season's wet weather
Straining for a glimpse of the foe
Hopeless battalion destined to die
Broken by the Benders of Kings
Vainglorious General and Victorian pride
Would cost him and eight hundred men their lives
They came to the side of the mountain
Scouts rode out to spy the land
Even as the Realm's soldiers lay resting
Mageba's forces were at hand
And by the evening the vultures were wheeling
Above the ruins where the fallen lay
An ancient song as old as the ashes
Echoed as Mageba's warriors marched away
Songwriters: Johnny Clegg