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Archive for the ‘Musiek en liedere’ Category

Cape Malay singers

Alabama ship

image: Wikipedia

There are two different versions of the origin of this song – apparently. See the second version near the bottom of this entry.

This song – ‘Daar kom die Alibama’ (There comes the Alibama) about the ship, the Alabama, is a South African folk song. It’s sung by young and old, any colour or culture in South Africa and we all love and enjoy singing this song. This is part of the history of this ship and on Wikipedia, you can see how they refer to this song as a very popular song in our culture. In the first video, Cape Malay singers perform the song beautifully and if you’re a lover of school choirs, like me, then you will surely enjoy the other videos too. There’s a huge variety on youtube about this song. Even if you don’t understand the language, you can still hum with the melody. 

Version 1

CSS Alabama was a screw sloop-of-war built in 1862 for the Confederate States Navy at Birkenhead on the River Mersey opposite Liverpool, England by John Laird Sons and Company.Alabama served as a successful commerce raider, attacking Union merchant and naval ships over the course of her two-year career, during which she never docked at a Southern port. She was sunk in June 1864 by USS Kearsarge at the Battle of Cherbourg outside the port of Cherbourg, France.

Alabama was built in secrecy in 1862 by British shipbuilders John Laird Sons and Company, in north west England at their shipyards at Birkenhead, Wirral, opposite Liverpool

Under Captain Semmes, Alabama spent her first two months in the Eastern Atlantic, ranging southwest of the Azores and then redoubling east, capturing and burning northern merchant ships. After a difficult Atlantic crossing, she then continued her path of destruction and devastation in the greater New England region. She then sailed south, arriving in the West Indies where she raised more havoc before finally cruising west into the Gulf of Mexico. There, in January 1863, Alabama had her first military engagement. She came upon and quickly sank the Union side-wheeler USS Hatteras just off the Texas coast, near Galveston, capturing that warship’s crew. She then continued further south, eventually crossing the Equator, where she took the most prizes of her raiding career while cruising off the coast of Brazil. After a second, easterly Atlantic crossing, Alabama sailed down the southwestern African coast where she continued her war against northern commerce.

After stopping in Saldanha Bay on 29 July 1863 in order to verify that no enemy ships were in Table Bay, she finally made a much-needed refitting and reprovisioning visit to Cape Town, South Africa. Alabama is the subject of an Afrikaans folk song, “Daar kom die Alibama” still popular in South Africa today. She then sailed for the East Indies, where she spent six months destroying seven more ships before finally redoubling the Cape of Good Hope en route to France. Union warships hunted frequently for the elusive and by now famous Confederate raider, but the few times Alabama was spotted, she quickly outwitted her pursuers and vanished over the horizon.

All together, she burned 65 Union vessels of various types, most of them merchant ships. During all of Alabama’s raiding ventures, captured ships’ crews and passengers were never harmed, only detained until they could be placed aboard a neutral ship or placed ashore in a friendly or neutral port.

Primary School Choir

Senior School Choir

Follow this link on Wikipedia to read more about this ship.

ENGLISH

There comes the Alabama,
The Alabama comes over the sea,
There comes the Alabama,
The Alabama comes over the sea.

Girl, girl, the reed bed is made,
The reed bed is made,
The reed bed is made
For me to sleep on.
Girl, girl, the reed bed is made,
The reed bed is made,
The reed bed is made

Oh, Alabama come over the
Oh, Alabama, the Alabama,
Oh Alabama come over the sea

AFRIKAANS

Daar kom die Alibama,
Die Alibama kom oor die see
Daar kom die Alibama,
Die Alibama kom oor die see.

Nooi Nooi die rietkooi nooi,
Die rietkooi is gemaak
Die rietkooi is vir my gemaak,
Om daar op te slaap
Nooi Nooi die rietkooi nooi,
Die rietkooi is gemaak
Die rietkooi is vir my gemaak,
Om dar op te slaap

O Alibama, die Alibama,
O Alibama kom oor die see
A Alibama, die Alibama,
O Alibama kom oor die see.

Version 2 – see a comment left on the following link.

Click HERE to read this version.

This ship is not the Alabama that is being referred to in the song. This actual Alabama was a small cutter that was used in the early days of Dutch occupation to sail up to Robben Island, and later, Langebaan lagoon, to provide seal meat and penguin eggs for the garrison who were often at deep risk of food insecurity due to the lack of goodwill from the Khoi, who were reluctant to trade their cattle.

Later, this yacht would travel up as far as the Berg River, and cross the bar into the river itself, to collect a sought – after soft reed which was used on the night of a Cape Malay bride’s wedding, as the filling for her bridal bed which had been decorated with an especially elaborate covering for the occasion. Hence the verse, ‘nooi, nooi, die rietkooi nooi’ ..

Roggebaai was the harbour which lay at the foot of Adderley Street? Table Bay, and the Cape Malay fisherman would obviously be the ones to sight ‘Die Alabama’ on it’s arrival.

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