HIVE OPEN MIC Week 125 (Theme: Nothing is Impossible): Cover Song "Impi" (Johnny Clegg/Juluka)

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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!

IMPI Lyrics

Chorus

(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?

Verses

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

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Johnny Clegg


▶️ 3Speak



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25 comments
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Wonderful , you sound great. That guitar of yours is beautiful , its a Taylor right? I would love one of those ,I should probably start saving. Another great history and cultural lesson to begin the video then a powerful song sung in 2 languages , very impressive sir! :)

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Yes, a beautiful Taylor that was my 21st birthday present (quite a while ago now!), and also recently restrung with its action adjusted to make it easier to play... So if I sound bad now, I have NO excuse! Thank you for the compliments!

Next week's topic is going to take some thinking! I'm away for work without a guitar all week as well!

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Brilliant rendition of an amazing song.
Really incredible what it does to one as a South African when hearing Juluka.

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Unfortunately, besides the really famous ones like this, I need to work out the music myself and get friends to help me with the isiZulu parts!

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Such an emotional song. Brilliant job. Jonny Clegg would be lekker proud of you. Fabulous 🤗❤️💕❤️❤️🤗❤️💕💕❤️🤗

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Thank you so much! Long time no chat! How's the house by the coast going?

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It’s not! Haha, still stuck in smoggy Joburg. We’ve had an, unfortunate, death in the family recently, so everything is on hold for now.
I really loved your song, you’ve got tons of talent, fame is calling you, loudly!
🤗❤️💕❤️❤️❤️🤗

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Thank you so much for the compliments! @clairemobey and I also do original songs. I don't know about fame, but the comments on HIVE have been very nice.

I'm so sorry to hear your horrible news, and wish you a lot of strength and support.

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❤️ I used to be heavily involved in the local music scene. It’s very hard to “make it” in SA. You’ve only got to look at Arno Carstens, Anna(Wolf Girl), Karen Zoid, and many others to know that.

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Ah did you play music yourself? I know the Springbok Nude Girls (Arno Carstens) will be playing as a band again soon? Karen Zoid is a legend. I actually remember Anna Wolf when she used to call herself Taylor I think.

I actually have a background in Engineering and work in renewable energy development... and mainly do music for fun, but starting to get a few gigs together, even a couple of paying ones!

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you are again singing such an amazing song my friend and it's amazing.😍

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Thank you so much! Next week's theme is going to take some thinking!

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Wao broo! Que canción tan emotiva, es una historia contada acerca de guerra, increíble. Me encantó.
Felicitaciones, buena melodía para arrancar la semana...

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What an interesting story, thank you for sharing it, it's important to know and understand the history of peoples.
Your guitar playing is awesome, its sound is beautiful, your voice is also great. The Zulu language sounds very nice to me.
Standing ovations for this great and enriching presentation.

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Es una historia muy interesante, me gustó su participación, ah y que bonito toca y canta muchas felicitaciones por su exelente participación amigo.🤗🤩

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a very extraordinary appearance And also you show a very interesting thing to listen to On this occasion Thank you friends

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Espectacular, muchas felicidades buen trabajo aplausoooos 😍🤩😃💗

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Seu som é muito bom meu amigo, parabéns! 💚

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Fantastic Jasper! Holy guacamole! What a super rendition of this stunningly magical song!

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