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Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais

DigiTrad:
AROUND THE CORNER
BRANDY, LEAVE ME ALONE
JOHNNY WITH THE BANDY LEGS
SARIE MARAIS


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GUEST,Andrew 31 Mar 01 - 08:52 AM
Snuffy 31 Mar 01 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Allan S. 31 Mar 01 - 02:57 PM
Noreen 31 Mar 01 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 31 Mar 01 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,Laur 01 Apr 01 - 06:19 AM
cetmst 01 Apr 01 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Andrew 01 Apr 01 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,dick greenhaus 02 Apr 01 - 01:04 AM
GUEST,Rod Wild 24 Aug 16 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 24 Aug 16 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Brian Grayson 26 Aug 16 - 09:48 AM
BanjoRay 26 Aug 16 - 12:09 PM
maeve 26 Aug 16 - 01:29 PM
maeve 26 Aug 16 - 01:34 PM
leeneia 26 Aug 16 - 03:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 16 - 09:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 16 - 09:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 16 - 01:54 PM
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Subject: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 08:52 AM

Can anyone help me understand this lovely song? This song is on "Songs of the South African Veld," a 78 we had when I was a child. It was written and sung by Josef Marais. Perhaps Sarie is his mother? What's a "transfar"? I'm probably not be hearing the word right. What's the setting and history? What is the "green thorny tree"? What are "meelees"? The words in ()s are those I'm unsure of:

Sarie Marais

My Sarie Marais is so far from my heart,
And I'm longing to see her again,
She lived on a farm on the (Mooie) River's bank
Before I left on this campaign.

Refrain:
Oh, bring me back to the old (transfar),
That's where I long to be.
Way yonder 'mongst the (meelees) by that green thorny tree,
Sarie is waiting for me.I wonder if I'll ever see that green thorny tree,
There where she's waiting for me.

2. I feared that the soldiers would get hold of me,
They would send me away o're the sea
I fled over land to the Orange River sand;
In Uppington I would be free.

Refrain

3. At last there was peace and I started for home
To the (transfar) I've always adored.
My Sarie Marais will be waiting for me;
Her kiss will be my first reward.

Refrain

Thanks for any help,
Drew


Line breaks - <br> - added. --JoeClone


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: Snuffy
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 09:35 AM

The words you have posted seem to be a direct translation of the Afrikaaner words which are in the Digital Tradition database Sarie Marais.

Transvaal was one of the Boer Republics set up in the late 19th century to escape British rule.

The English language version I recall has a chorus with a line like "There's forty thousand springboks in the old Transvaal", so perhaps there are several versions.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,Allan S.
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 02:57 PM

There was a long thread about this under the following My Sari Marais It gives the entire history of the song. Tot Siens Allan


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: Noreen
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 07:52 PM

Here it is, thanks, Allan: Lyr Req: My Sari Marais


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 10:35 PM

I think it is about someone who deserts the army and if he gets to a certain place he will then be free from being being caught for desertion. mg


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,Laur
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 06:19 AM

Sarie Marais is to South Africans is what Waltzing Matilda is to Australians. The translation you have is a relatively accurate translation of the original song . It is about a Boer soldier on the run from the British and longing to get back to the Transvaal to see Sarie Marais who lives behind the Maize by the green thorn tree . The Boers were mainly country folk with a great love for their country . The British went to war against them to gain control over the rich gold fields in the Transvaal . They did not stand a chance but managed to hold out for 3 years even after their capital Pretoria and Johannesburg were captured . The British embarked on a scorched earth policy .as the Boer Commando's (They originated the word } lived off the land . Farms were burnt and thousnads of women and children were incarcerated in concerntration camps ( that was a British invention) where many died of disease and malnutrition.


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: cetmst
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 07:19 AM

In the 30's there was a radio program out of Pittsburgh called "Sundown On The Veldt" which we used to listen to during dinner, and featured mainly Josef Marais. I have several 78's and 10 inch vinyls of Marais alone and later with his wife Miranda. Does anyone know if these have been reissued on CD's ?


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 04:36 PM

Thanks much all. Once again I have underestimated the DT. Did not even search I'll have to admit. Hope someone has an answer about Josef Marais on CD. I find his choices of songs charming and his arrangements among the best in folk music.

Drew


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Apr 01 - 01:04 AM

Sadly, there are no CDs of Josef Marais. With or without Miranda. A pity--he/they were damn good.


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,Rod Wild
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 06:22 PM

Sorry I can`t be much help. Sarie Maris is one of the march pasts of the Royal Marines. After a long stretch with a rifle over the shoulder on parade [I was RN] it was a relief to march off with Hearts of Oak, followed by A life on the Ocean Wave and then off the parade ground came Sarie Maris when we sung the Forty thousand springboks bit. Trouble was that was the only words any one knew.


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 07:32 PM

Well, fifteen years after Dick Greenhaus's post,
I scare up exactly one compact disc of Marais & Miranda, at Amazon dot com:

title: Returning Home with Marais & Miranda
label: Metaphorce
label number: CD 1001

Sixteen songs are listed, its in a jewel-case, with a really old black-and-white photo.


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: GUEST,Brian Grayson
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 09:48 AM

In the 1980 film 'Breaker Morant',the song is sung in Afrikaans by Norm Currer.


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: BanjoRay
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 12:09 PM

My dad went to South Africa during the war for RAF training as aircrew. He used to hum a bit of Sari Marais and sing "I don't give a tikki for the old Transvaal". I wonder what tikki (or ticky?) was.

Ray


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: maeve
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 01:29 PM

"The only all-Marais & Miranda CD ever produced was "RETURNING HOME WITH MARAIS AND MIRANDA," which was pressed in a small edition in 2001 and sold on this website for 4 years. It is now sold out, and as of this time, there are no plans to reissue it. However, we keep getting requests for it. To remedy this situation, Josef and Miranda's family have graciously agreed to make the recordings from Returning Home available here as MP3s for download."
http://www.maraisandmiranda.com/

About Marais and Miranda, found at above link:
    "Josef Marais and Miranda were balladeers. Both immigrants to the U.S., they met during WW2 while working at the Office of War Information. They pooled their musical talents, fell in love, and built a strong and dedicated marital and musical partnership. They first presented their artistry to the rather specialized audiences who attended New York folk music clubs such as the Village Vanguard. However, their popularity quickly grew, not just in the U.S. but worldwide, and resulted in a loyal following that has persisted from 1945 to the present.

    Their repertoire encompassed an eclectic selection of folk ballads, art songs, indigenous music, and original compositions, sung in both the original language and the English adaptations of Josef's arrangements. Whether they performed a song that was original or traditional, their presentation was utterly unique and their style completely their own. Their voices blended masterfully with Josef's guitar and baroque viols, while Miranda often provided rhythmic accompaniment on indigenous instruments. Together, they unerringly conveyed their joy in music and their zest for living.

    Josef and Miranda performed for their enthusiastic fans in typically sold out halls, large and small, all over the world, as well as on the numerous recordings listed on this site. Their broad appeal drew high accolades from a variety of fans. Press releases and reviews supporting them can be found here."

Discography for Marais & Miranda: Discography- LPs, 45s, 78s, EP, CD


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: maeve
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 01:34 PM

I do see there was another CD: From the same site linked in my previous post:
"MORE MARAIS & MIRANDA ON CD!!
DORIS DAY: LOVE TO BE WITH YOU
Zone Records has released the first volume of the Doris Day radio show from the early 1950's. Vol 1 - a 2-disc set - includes two appearances by Marais and Miranda singing a total of three songs and doing some of the usual radio chit-chat.

The set is beautifully produced, and sound quality is fine. Josef & Miranda do a gorgeous rendition of "Old Johnny Goggabbie," maybe the best rendition they recorded. Perhaps most unusual, Josef & Miranda sing with Doris on "Around The Corner" and they are joined by Doris and Gordon MacRae on a performance that evolves into a wild quartet version of "Ma Says, Pa Says," which was then a big hit and was being covered by a variety of singers.

The CD can be ordered from Zone Records in the UK."

No time now to seek further.


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: leeneia
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 03:49 PM

Back to understanding the song.

On YouTube there are several versions, one in Afrikaans, with pictures and lyrics. Josef Marais is well represented.

The river is the Mooi, and mealies (or mielies) is maize.

"Mealie-meal is a relatively coarse flour (much coarser than cornflour or cornstarch) made from maize which is known as mielies[1] or mealies in southern Africa, from the Portuguese milho. The Portuguese had originally brought corn from the Americas to Africa." - Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 09:14 AM

A "tickey" was the old South African threepenny bit.


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 09:21 AM

Here's a bit from Wikipedia about the origins of this, in a song by an American, Septimus Winner' called Ellie Rhee, or Carry me back to Tennessee, taken to South Africa by gold miners.

Sweet Ellie Rhee, so dear to me
Is lost forever more
Our home was down in Tennessee
Before this cruel war [6]
Then carry me back to Tennessee
Back where I long to be
Amid the fields of yellow corn
To my darling Ellie Rhee


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Subject: RE: Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 01:54 PM

Incidentally, there is a batch of Joseph Marais songs on youtube, including this one.


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