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Marais and Miranda Documentary

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


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Henrietta's Wedding (Marais & Miranda) (11)
Lyr/Tune Add: Zulu Warrior (Josef Marais) (79)
Help: Don't understand Sarie Marais (19)
Marais and Miranda - encore on WFDU (10)
Lyr Req: My Sari Marais? / Sarie Marais (31)
Lyr Req: Out in the wide world, Kitty? (26)
Lyr Req: Aunt Cathy/Tante Koba (Josef Marais) (15)
Seeking Josef Marais (17)
Lyr Req: Sarie Marais (11)
Lyr Req: Sugarbush (Josef Marais) (19)
Happy! - Nov 17 (Josef Marais) (1)
Lyr Req: Gold and Silver (by Marais and Miranda) (5) (closed)
Lyr Req: South African Folk Music (9)
Tune Req: Looking for a song by Jean Marais (6)
Lyr/Chords Req: Kitty (Joan Baez?????) (42)
Lyr Add: Oh Brandy Leave Me Alone (Josef Marais) (10)


Ron Olesko 20 Mar 02 - 10:51 AM
Don Firth 20 Mar 02 - 01:08 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Mar 02 - 03:39 PM
Don Firth 20 Mar 02 - 05:11 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Mar 02 - 06:50 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 20 Mar 02 - 10:37 PM
InOBU 21 Mar 02 - 04:56 AM
greg stephens 21 Mar 02 - 10:14 AM
Ron Olesko 21 Mar 02 - 10:42 AM
bflat 21 Mar 02 - 04:20 PM
Art Thieme 21 Mar 02 - 08:22 PM
Amos 21 Mar 02 - 08:41 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 21 Mar 02 - 08:53 PM
BH 21 Mar 02 - 11:55 PM
cetmst 22 Mar 02 - 07:08 AM
Don Firth 22 Mar 02 - 03:02 PM
Don Firth 22 Mar 02 - 03:05 PM
Ron Olesko 22 Mar 02 - 03:34 PM
BH 22 Mar 02 - 06:27 PM
Abby Sale 23 Mar 02 - 04:24 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Mar 02 - 02:33 AM
dick greenhaus 24 Mar 02 - 08:46 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Mar 02 - 09:45 AM
Charley Noble 24 Mar 02 - 10:03 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Mar 02 - 10:54 AM
Rick Fielding 24 Mar 02 - 01:20 PM
Little Hawk 24 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM
Charley Noble 24 Mar 02 - 07:40 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 24 Mar 02 - 07:45 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Mar 02 - 07:50 PM
Charley Noble 24 Mar 02 - 07:57 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Mar 02 - 08:24 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Mar 02 - 09:36 PM
Snuffy 25 Mar 02 - 08:26 AM
Abby Sale 25 Mar 02 - 10:01 AM
Abby Sale 25 Mar 02 - 10:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Mar 02 - 12:33 PM
Charley Noble 25 Mar 02 - 02:44 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 25 Mar 02 - 07:44 PM
BH 25 Mar 02 - 07:47 PM
Abby Sale 25 Mar 02 - 10:04 PM
Charley Noble 26 Mar 02 - 08:11 AM
Ron Olesko 27 Mar 02 - 09:49 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 27 Mar 02 - 11:40 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 28 Mar 02 - 09:47 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Mar 02 - 10:24 PM
Charley Noble 29 Mar 02 - 09:03 AM
Charley Noble 29 Mar 02 - 10:14 AM
Ron Olesko 29 Mar 02 - 11:54 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 29 Mar 02 - 12:33 PM
Charley Noble 29 Mar 02 - 01:35 PM
Abby Sale 29 Mar 02 - 03:15 PM
Charley Noble 29 Mar 02 - 03:59 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Mar 02 - 06:38 PM
Abby Sale 30 Mar 02 - 01:24 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 30 Mar 02 - 07:43 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 31 Mar 02 - 10:55 AM
Abby Sale 02 Apr 02 - 08:03 PM
Ron Olesko 03 Apr 02 - 10:34 AM
Joe Offer 25 Nov 04 - 01:56 AM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Nov 04 - 09:55 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 05 - 09:51 PM
GUEST,miked 01 Feb 05 - 11:32 AM
open mike 01 Feb 05 - 02:47 PM
Cool Beans 01 Feb 05 - 04:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Feb 05 - 06:08 PM
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keberoxu 01 Oct 18 - 01:11 PM
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Subject: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 10:51 AM

On Sunday March 31 at 5pm Eastern Time, WFDU-FM will be broadcasting a one hour documentary on the musical duo Marais and Miranda as part of the Traditions series.

Hosted by Bill Hahn, this radio documentary will feature commentary from folksingers Pete Seeger & Sam Hinton, legendary radio producer/writer Norman Corwin, former musical partner & protege Carol Merrill, producer Steven Miller, and their children - Yvonne and Marcel.

Marais and Miranda are probably best remembered for their South African folksongs. They helped popularize the song Marching to Pretoria and performed a number of songs based on South African folklore written by Josef Marais. Their concerts from the 1940's through the 1970's presented folk music in a classical stage setting.

Their music still remains popular to a loyal group of fans, and we hope this documentary will introduce them to a new generation. The story of how they got together and developed their style is also captivating - leaving their homelands to avoid Nazi persecution and to develop their art. Here in the U.S. they taught folk music and performance at the Idyllwild School Of Music And The Arts", (Isomata) as a summer camp for young people.

I hope you will join us for this fascinating look at a duo whose story is an interesting footnote to the canon of folk music.

WFDU can be heard on the internet at www.wfdu.fm or in the NYC area at 89.1FM

Ron Olesko Producer/Host WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 01:08 PM

Thanks for the heads-up on this, Ron. Like Richard Dyer-Bennet, Marais and Miranda might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I enjoy them. I had the privilege of meeting them and having a long chat with them at one of the Berkeley Folk Festivals in the early Sixties. They were a thoroughly charming couple. I'll be listening on March 31st.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 03:39 PM

My Ballantine paperback Marais & Miranda Folk Song Jamboree, 1960, has been something of a puzzle to me, since I picked it up at a "garage sale" a couple of years ago.

Apparently, according to the book notes, I missed out on hearing them when they were active.

The book indicates that the 52 tunes were "arranged for guitar accompaniment" by Josef Marais, with chord charts in an appendix. The implication is that Marais used the fingerings shown, although I can't vouch for that.

Not being a guitarist, it is only my guess that "he used a h... of a lot of barre chords" if the fingerings shown are to be believed.

Discography lists 7 Decca albums and one "Columbia Masterworks."

John


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 05:11 PM

Lots of information about Marais and Miranda here. Click on "Biography" at the top for even more.

I think they delved pretty deeply into the folklore of many countries, but they were definitely concert performers rather than "folkies." A lot folk music enthusiasts nowadays may find them a bit "tepid" for their taste. Nevertheless, at a time when the only folk singers the general public knew anything about were Burl Ives and Susan Reed (in the Forties, before the Weavers' first songs hit radios and jukeboxes), Marais and Miranda were also fairly well-known.

John, classic guitarists don't like barre chords any better than anybody else, but if that's the only way to play the notes they want to play, they bite the bullet and do them. Whereas Richard Dyer-Bennet occasionally played a classic solo or two in concert (I saw him do a very nice job on Fernando Sor's Etude in Bm—lots of barre chords), he never recorded any. Josef Marais used a classic guitar, and although I don't recall him ever playing any classic guitar solos either in concert or on records, he did use classic guitar technique in his accompaniments, and he seemed like a pretty competent guitarist. He once collaborated with a fellow named Adrian Van de Horst to write a basic manual for beginning classic guitarists. I've still got it around somewhere.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 06:50 PM

OH MAN, do I LOVE this place! Thanks Don for the link. I knew a bit about their music....but after all these years (as Paul Harvey might say) I now know THE REST OF THE STORY!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 10:37 PM

Back in the 50s there were still a lot of British and Canadians who could sing "Marching to Pretoria." There were a number of parodies, such as "Swimming to Victoria." I guess that Marais and Miranda did introduce that song to the States. I still have one of their old lps.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 04:56 AM

Boy that takes me back... my brother and I siting in the back seat of a huge burgandy DeSoto in the 50's singing along with the radio... can't remember the last time I thought of Marching to Pertoria! Thanks for the memory Ron! ... Larry


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 10:14 AM

Thanks for all the info.I've had their book on my shelves for years, and never ever knew a thing about them.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 10:42 AM

Greg,

That was one of the reasons we chose to do this biography - their story isn't widely known.

As Don pointed out, they would not be considered "folkies" in the way we look at folk performers today. In their time, the 1940's, folk music was mainly sung in homes, picket lines, and rural and ethnic gatherings. Marais and Miranda were part of cadre of performers that took the music into nighclubs and concert halls. Richard Dyer Bennet, John Jacob Niles, Josh White Jr., and even Lead Belly created a style of performing that attempted to reach a popular audience that wasn't looking for "authentic" settings.

Marais and Miranda were classically trained artists and used that setting to present their "folk" songs. I think our documentary will illustrate a style that is no longer in vogue, but still a style that I think audiences will find interesting to sample. An analogy would be vaudeville comics - the style has been replaced by standup comics and other styles of comedy, but the genre played an important link in history. I feel the same with the artists mentioned above.

I've been working with Bill for the past year and I find the Marais and Miranda story quite fascinating and a wonderful reminder of our roots.

I hope many of you will be able to tune in!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: bflat
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 04:20 PM

Ron, maybe you can archive this one at Mudcat. It is being broadcast on a holiday for Christians which could cut into those who would listen. I for one, will tune into the show.

Ellen


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 08:22 PM

Marais and Miranda used to do a concert at the Fullerton Hall in the Art Institute of Chicago just about every year for quite a long time in the '50s. Their fans were extremely loyal nice people.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 08:41 PM

Oir family was full of their music, among others. My sibs and I could do Tanty Mima's Syrup, O Brandy Leave me Alone, The Zulu Warrior, I'll See My Little Darlin' When the Sun Goes Down, and Around the Corner, Behind the Bush, Beneath the Berry Tree, like nobody's business from memory. Loved listening to them -- they were so full of musical grace.

A


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 08:53 PM

We would love to archive it hear at Mudcat. I've been trying to reach Max to no avail. Are you out there Max?

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: BH
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 11:55 PM

A little personal history here. My introduction to "folk music" was through the recordings of Marais & Miranda given to me by a beloved aunt who had very eclectic tastes. That was in the '50s.

The program that Ron and I have put together is, I feel, one that will, as Ron said---and I concur, hopefully introduce them to a whole new generation of people. In addition it will serve to show the many different facets of "folk" music---the formal to the informal. The stories to the protests. Their presentations, you will see, are quite different than what we see today.

I also want to compliment Ron here. He has done a wonderful job in putting all this material together and making a wonderfully comprehensive program from all the great material we have---from Marais and Mirand and a host of stellar names that were their friends.

Bill Hahn Co Producer/Host TRADITIONS

PS don't forget what Ron said at the beginning--

3-6 PM EST or on the web at that time www.wfdu.fm


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: cetmst
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 07:08 AM

One of our family rituals was listening to a radio program called "Sundown on the Veldt" with Josef Marais during dinner. It was before I left home for college and service and must have been a Pittsburgh PA station since that was about all we could get in rural western PA before WWII. Any recordings survive ? I have two copies of their second book "World Folk Songs", 1964 and would part with one to anyone interested.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 03:02 PM

Rats!! I just realized that the program comes on Easter Sunday. We're having guests then. I sure hope there is a way of archiving this, not just for the benefit of people like me who may not be able to listen at the appointed hour, but because it's an important documentary! I'd hate to think of it just vanishing into the ether.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 03:05 PM

If all else fails, how about making a cassette or CD available?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 03:34 PM

Believe me, after working for nearly a year on this we won't let it disappear!

We cannot make CD's or cassettes because it contains copyrighted material.

If we cannot archive we will look at doing rebroadcasts if there is enough interest.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: BH
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 06:27 PM

I would offer the suggestion that if you are not able to listen either on air or internet why not set up a tape machine and tape the program----we plan to air the documentary at 5 PM Eastern Time --right after our Easter commemoration and, hopefully, a few surprises as always.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Abby Sale
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 04:24 PM

Ron & Bill: Me too, thanks for the heads-up. I'll be listening.

Amos: :-) I sing "Around the Corner" but I don't think of it much as a "family" song. On the other hand, I often used their "Siembamba" (in the database) as a lullaby. My, now, 30-year-old daughter still sings it.

John: I have 10 Decca & 4 other records. (Some LPs but most are nicely filtered & transferred mp3s kindly posted to rec.music.50s by David Thuleen) If you're desperate for a track, let me know. (I have a modem so it takes me a while to send/receive a mp3.)

I keep a brief bio on them for the "Happy!" file. It took me 5 years to find their dates of birth and I'm very pleased to see this renewed interest in them. I caught their brief gig in the movie "Rope of Sand" on very-late night a while back & just loved it. It's just another corney "Casablanca" rip-off but their appearance made the whole thing worth while. You can probably get it at Blockbusters.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 02:33 AM

Wow...I remember a Weavers' song called "Around the Corner..." seemed very 'un-weaver-like'. Fascinating to finally know where it came from.

I'm curious about their (Marais') politics. Was there anything in their music (or the songs he wrote) about apartheid (or it's predecessors)? I have an old songbook with a number of his compositions, but they're all very agrarian in nature. I gather he knew Pete S pretty well, but what about woody or Lomax etc.

Cheers and thanks

Rick


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 08:46 AM

Well, as I recall, threr was little or no political content in M&M's material. There certainly was in their lives: he was a person of color and she was white, effectively exiling them from South Africa.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 09:45 AM

That isn't correct. Josef was an Afrikaaner but he did not support the racist politics often associated with Afrikanners. He left South Africa to pursue a musical career. Miranda was from Holland and left to avoid the Nazi's.

We do discuss their politics during the show. I don't want to give away the whole story here (that is why we did the radio documentary!!!) but there music really wasn't policitcal.

Josef left South Africa in the early 1930's. He did not support the racist politics that were building in the country, and his music did try to balance the folk traditions of the Afrikaaners and the indigenous people of South Africa. Josef was pained by aparteid.

In later years Marais and Miranda performed for anti-war and environmental causes. Their music was not meant to be political but I guess all music is in a way.

They knew Woody, but their music was presented in a totally different presentation.

Ron


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Subject: ADD: There Come Alibama (Marais and Miranda)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 10:03 AM

Here's one of their intriguing songs, as folk-processed from the original dock workers song relating to the Confederate raider Alabama in the 1860's.

THERE COME ALIBAMA

(As sung by Joseph & Mirandra Marais Souvenir Album, © 1979 Legend Records Glendale Records, P.O.Box 1941 Glendale, CA 91209 Produced by John Kniest Traditional South African Folksong)

There come Alibama,
Alibama over the sea,
There come Alibama,
Alibama over the sea;

You'll bring me spice, sugar and rice,
You'll bring me spice, sugar and rice,
You'll bring me malt, pepper and salt,
You'll bring me malt, pepper and salt;

There come Alibama,
Alibama over the sea,
There come Alibama,
Alibama over the sea;

You'll bring me thyme, ginger and lime,
You'll bring me thyme, ginger and lime;
You'll bring me curry, coffee and tea,
You'll bring me curry, coffee and tea;

There come Alibama,
Alibama over the sea,
There come Alibama,
Alibama over the sea;

There come Alibama,
Alibama over the sea,
There come Alibama,
Alibama over the sea.

The song never made much historical sense to me but was lovely to sing. As a child I was also fond of "Out in the Wide World Kitty" which I assumed was about some feline.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 10:54 AM

The information I have on "There Comes Alibama" is that the song is based on a folktune sung by the native people from the Malay Peninsula who were brought to South Africa in the 17th century to work as slaves. Josef based his song on a tune that they would sing. I don't believe it has anything to do with the the Confederate boat. I am basing this on information from liner notes to one of Josef's early albums - pre-Miranda.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 01:20 PM

Thanks.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM

Man, it's been a long time since I heard Marais and Miranda sing! We had a couple of their records when I was ten or 12 years old, and I liked them a lot. Thanks for the info!

- LH


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 07:40 PM

Ron, you may be correct about the Alabama, although she was lurking off the coast of South Africa during part of her cruise and I do remember an extended discussion of how ironic it was that the non-white stevadores were singing about her. Marais did change some of the original words which I believe had more to do with the Alabama coming in to liberate the oppressed. You may spur me on to dig up my old record.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 07:45 PM

We shared the stages at one of the old Berkeley Festivals. Marais and Miranda were charming people. I thought they were,onstage, a bit formal and showmanlike- but I credited that to their being from an (almost)earlier generation, when most performers presented folk music formally (Richard Dyer-Bennett, JJ Niles and others used to wear tuxedos, always had printed programs, etc. If they didn't, they wouldn't be invited onto those stages in that time period). I remember that in my younger days as a traditional singer, I usually got asked to do programs at colleges by the Sociology Department- NEVER by the Music Department!


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 07:50 PM

Charley,

You could be right. The liner notes from this recording (I believe from 1941) says "The favorite song of these Malays is There Comes Alibama and it is an unforgettable esperience to hear them sing this on a bright moonlight night along one of the Cape beaches, as they mend their nets. The Sing Ali-Ba-Ma, stressing the Ba with great emotion, but none of them can tell you who Alibama is." It is very possible that Josef did not know of the Alabama when this recording was made and attributed it to a native folktune. The version I have only has the chorus repeated over and over by the Bushveld Band.

The folk process strikes again!!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 07:57 PM

Ron - my source with regard to a connection to Marais's song and the Confederate raider Alabama is from GRAY RAIDERS OF THE SEA by Chester Hearn who states on pp.205 that when the Alabama arrived at Cape Town on August 6, 1863, that some of the Malay stevadores got so excited they composed a rollicking new song "Daar Kom Die Alabama." Unfortunately, I do not have the original words to compare with those of Marais.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 08:24 PM

Sounds like it is the same Charley. As I said above, Josef probably did not have that information when he wrote the liner notes, or left out the details. Good detective work!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 09:36 PM

Thanks Jean. Did you ever discuss dulcimers with Mr. Niles? I understand he built his own. Would he have been known in your part of the country during the twenties? In spoken introductions he often mentions "... that was after the war..." so I'm assuming he did quite a bit of tramping around in the early days.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: ADD: Dar Kom Die Alabama
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 08:26 AM

Daar Kom Die Alabama is performed by Andy Hindley of the Shellback Chorus, who will be at Lancaster Maritime Festival over Easter weekend.

I've never seen the words, but here's what it sounds like:

DAR KOM DIE ALABAMA

Daar Kom Die Alabama
Die Alabama die kom or die See
Daar Kom Die Alabama
Die Alabama die kom or die See

Noy, noy, die Rikoy noy
Die Rikoy iss fair mak
Die Rikoy iss fair mairger mak
Sie kom daar op de slak

Die Alabama, die Alabama
Die Alabama die kom or die See
Die Alabama, die Alabama
Die Alabama die kom or die See

Does this make sense to any Dutch/Afrikaans speakers? If Andy's with the Shellbacks at Lancaster, I'll see if I can get the real words, and find out where he got the song from.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 10:01 AM

Charley Noble & Ron: There Comes Alibama is re the CSS Alabama according to the notes on "Souvenir Album" (Glendale Records) and also in their songbook. Pretty much as you both quoted above. It's actually both shown as "Cape Malay fishermen" and as "Malay fishermen at the Cape of Good Hope." Then, It is a reference to the Alibama's stop at Table Bay under Captain Semmes in 1863.

Keep in mind that the great bulk of their songs are "improved" by Marais. Often he would take a single verse or just a tune and build a whole song around it. It's impossible to distinguish which are which. Certainly the tune and format & most of the words of this song come straight from his very popular "There Comes Oompy Kahly." I'm content to believe that the fishermen just lightly adapted the well-known "Oompy Kahly" when they sighted the Alibama.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 10:28 AM

Hmmm. I have another note that "Alibama" comes from a textless tune, "Daar Kom Die Alibama" re sighting CS Alabama by Malay fishermen off Cape of Good Hope. Marais added the "corect" words. (The ship was "Alabama." The song was "Alibama."

As to their background, I'd always assumed Miranda was a Jewish Holocaust refugee (from her name and the several bios that she fled the Nazis) and that Marais was also Jewish - from his and his father's names. I don't recall anything about his mother, though. I suppose he could have been mixed heritage.

He was Josef Pessach and she Rosa Lilly Odette Baruch de La Pardo de Miranda. (The Netherlands was the great refuge for Inquisition-expelled Spanish Jews.) I don't think he would have been permitted into the Cape Town music academy or to join Symphony Orchestra if he'd had any "colored blood" at all.

As to his politics, I agree that compared the New York activists he was pretty mild. On the other hand, he was raised in the bush & heavily influenced by (and apparerntly spoke) native (Hotentot & Zulu, anyway) customs and world-view. Miranda was a refugee, of course. I think the message of their music was loud and clear - Universalist, egalitarian, one-world. He was among the first to bring S.African tempos & ethos to America and the great bulk of their songs were "World" songs. Never exploited, always explained so the audience would understand the setting and customs of the people that originated the song.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 12:33 PM

My father may have heard Marais and Miranda in person, and I know they were an early influence on the direction he went with folk music. I remember asking him many years ago about their politics. It seems to me that his answer was to point out that the music they were singing was as much from the Afrikaaner tradition as from the Native traditions.

I think (pardon the spelling) there was an "Old Tante Kuba" song of theirs that he sang to us at bedtime. One of those "shut up and go to sleep or terrible things will happen if this lady babysits" kind of songs. ;-D

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 02:44 PM

Abby - I just dug up my "Souvenir Album" of Marais and Miranda as well. I'm not surprised or particularly alarmed at their folk-processing. Miranda's notes say that the Malay fisherman at the Cape of Good Hope thought the appearance of the Alabama to be "... a mysterious apparition which might bring them rare delicacies...we incorporated that idea into the verse (which was non-existent in the folk-tune 'Dar Kom Die Alibama') and arranged it to reflect a sense of expectation - with an upbeat character."

I am confused by your statement:

Certainly the tune and format & most of the words of this song come straight from HIS very popular "There Comes Oompy Kahly." I'm content to believe that the fishermen just lightly adapted the well-known "Oompy Kahly" when they sighted the Alibama.

Who is "HIS"? Josef Marais was certainly not around in the 1860's to write this tune. I certainly agree that someone composed "Oomphy Kahly" but I don't have a clue who it was.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 07:44 PM

Rick, probably you should begin another thread if you want to discuss JJ Niles! I'll be glad to rattle on...


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: BH
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 07:47 PM

In regard to Abby's note. You are quite correct about Miranda and her refugee status. As to your thoughts on Josef, that is open for speculation I would suppose.

I think when you hear the documentary many things will be explained by the participants. It is true, however, that they were not of the political activism on stage that some others, say Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs (later) were.

Tune in and, hopefully, some of the questions will be answered. Also you will get to know them on a more personal basis.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 10:04 PM

Charlie: That's all right...I'm often confused by my comments, myself. I meant that the song we have is the one presented by Marais. Apparently from a text-less tune with a name including "Alibama." We only have his word for it that it was originally the same tune as "Oompy Kahly." It is Marais, not the fishermen, who fitted these English words to a Malay/Zulu(?) song. Most of the words are identical to "Oompy Kahly." Most of M&M's non-English songs are heavily adapted with new English words by him.

I confounded this by allowing that, notwithstanding all that, I just as happy to believe it was the fishermen, after all that made the adaptation back in 1860.

Aw, Bill...I was hoping to get out of listening. Oh, well.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 08:11 AM

Thanks, Abby. That sorts out some confusion and we can go back to enjoying the new information that folks are turning up.

My brother and I grew up hearing at least three of Josep and Marais' old 78 albums. They were exotic songs to us, with all sorts of strange words and stories. And like many songs that one listened to at an early age, they still surface from time to time when one's doing dishes or driving along the expressway. Guess I'll also have to try to listen to this WFDU documentary on the internet at www.wfdu.fm.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 09:49 AM

I think Abby's comments on Marais and Miranda's "politics" hit the nail on the head. Their music may not have been of the protest variety, but their music attempted to educate their audience to different cultures and traditions. They also recorded several albums of environmental music, 10 years before environmental activism came to public conscious. Their message was to educate and create awareness but not to preach.

One of the aspects of their career that comes out in this documentary is the various avenues they explored. Not content to be catagorized as cabaret performers, they moved to concert stages and eventually film and TV. Josef also wrote music for television documentaries, plays, and a folk opera. By expanding their "stage", they subtly introduced folk music to new audiences.

Don't forget - the WFDU docuementary on Marais and Miranda will air this Sunday, March 31, at 5pm Eastern Time over WFDU-FM. In the NYC area you can listen to 89.1 or you can join in the broadcast on the internet at www.wfdu.fm .

I am sure you will find their story as intriguing as we did.

Ron Olesko


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 11:40 AM

I was brought up on their music. I still have the lp played weekends by my father. Pity the Poor Patat Lyrics arent in the DT yet...anyone have them? I must get to hear the piece.

A discography is here: Discography

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 09:47 PM

Okay, I just refreshing this thread out of shameless self promotion!!

Don't forget - the WFDU radio documentary on Marais and Miranda will air this Sunday, March 31, at 5pm Eastern Time over WFDU-FM. In the NYC area you can listen to 89.1 or you can join in the broadcast on the internet at www.wfdu.fm .

Thanks!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 10:24 PM

Not to worry Ron. I'LL do your shameless promotion for you next time if "Genitalia" threads knock it down a few notches.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 09:03 AM

Didn't they also do one of those now politically incorrect babysitter's ditties. I seem to remember a chorus that ran:

Simbaba, Mommy's baby,
Simbaba, Mommy's baby,
Knock him down, kick him in the head,
Hit him with a dishpan till he's dead!"

I think my brother got in trouble in school singing that one to his buddies; his teacher thought he was dangerously jealous of his more brilliant younger brother.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 10:14 AM

My back-up memory files have kicked in indicating that a more accurate rendering of the chorus would be:

Simbamba, Mama's baby,
Simbamba, Mama's baby,
Twist his neck,
Hit him in the head,
Throw him in the ditch until he's dead!


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 11:54 AM

They were responsible for that one too! I don't have the lyrics in front of me, but I remember listening to that one in horror!

It is amazing to look back at some of the nursery rhymes and stories we were told as children. Even Rock-a-bye Baby can be considered a great example of child neglect!! Don't even look at the original Brother's Grimm or other folktales!!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 12:33 PM

Some good ones there.....I am going down to dig out my old M and M lp.....

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 01:35 PM

I don't dare paste in my mother's version of "Hush Little Baby" but there's Jean Ritchie's well known "What'll We Do with the Baby-O?" with similar sentiment. Gallows humor is often a survival strategy for the frustrated, but my brother and I had no such excuse for enjoying such songs; we were simply perverse.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Abby Sale
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 03:15 PM

Charlie: Please see my reference to it above. I see it's not in the DB...I sent it up to Dick in Feb of '99.

º Siembamba º
º º
º Siembamba, mommy's baby, º
º Siembamba, mommy's baby, º
º Twist his neck and hit him on his head, º
º Throw him in the ditch and he'll be dead. º
º º
º Siembamba, mommy's baby, º
º Siembamba, mommy's baby, º
º Just for love she throws him in the ditch, º
º Mommy's sweet little, sweet little.......baby º
º º These sentiments must be universal - see (in the DB) Sorrels' 'Hostile baby-rocking song' at filename[ HOSBABY or even our usual "Lullaby" (when the bough breaks.)


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 03:59 PM

Abby - thanks for a better and more complete set of lyrics to "Siembamba;" "until he's dead" didn't make much sense to us but I now see how we could have easily misinterpreted the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 06:38 PM

In later years they recorded some marvelous children's albums. They were part of a series called Science Songs that were put together by the noted songwriters Zaret & Singer. They recorded two albums for the series that are really beautiful. I hope someday they will be re-issued. Tom Glazer also recorded some albums for the series.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Abby Sale
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 01:24 PM

I just realized - is this 5:00 pm special replacing the regular 3:00 "Traditions" show? (Or has that changed somehow?)

If youse guys are on the air with the morning show, the 3:00 and this special, too, won't that be much like having a regular job?

Be careful there.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 07:43 PM

The documentary is part of the Traditions 3pm to 6pm show. Traditions is doing fine and remains in that time slot, just as it has been for 30 years. You are right, it does seem that Bill and I have a full time gig at WFDU! In addition to Traditions I host the weekly Sunday Session every Sunday morning at 9am. Bill hosts a monthly talk program on Radio Omnibus at 8am. It keeps us off the streets!

Ron Olesko


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 10:55 AM

Sorry, one more reminder - the show is on this afternoon at 5pm!

Thanks!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 08:03 PM

Oi! After all this & the rushing home just in time & then finding the stream to crowded to get in without monster re-buffering then finding my computer's resources all used up in the process then taking a full half-hour to reboot & get back online, I just managed to catch the second half-hour which was very good, yes, but it was the bio part I was really interested in and that I missed out on but it's not that I'm whining here it's just that I'm still pissed off but I think you posted that the whole segment was to be archived with yer other shows here at Links | Radio but I see that it ain't quite yet but I assume it soone will be and all will be well?


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 10:34 AM

Abby,

I'm not sure if the program will be archived at Mudcat, but we will be re-broadcasting the show on WFDU in the future. We would like to thank you and everyone else who expressed interest in this program. I am so glad that it was well received by those who heard it!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 01:56 AM

The Marais and Miranda Website was mentioned above. I see that they now have a CD available. Apparently, the site is operated by Miranda's son.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 09:55 AM

I gather, just from the fact that nothing further was said about it, that the program was NOT archived at Mudcat. Right?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 09:51 PM

Refresh.

I'm moving around some books that belonged to my Dad (John Dwyer) and came across a copy of World Folk Songs. I see in this thread that at least one other Mudcatter has a copy. There's a nice little section on mountain dulcimers in it. It also has some nice wood cuts. Amazing little book.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: GUEST,miked
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 11:32 AM

Hey, I'll take one of those "World Folk Songs" copies.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: open mike
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 02:47 PM

neither of those copies is available, but if you look here
www.abebooks.com you will find several copies
MARAIS & MIRANDA, Illustrated by DIANE AND LEO DILLON
Ballantine 1964. softcover good pb words and music for guitar, 220 pages
from $2 to $8
if you search for World Folk Songs you will get over 90 matches..
some more copies of World Folk Songs were listed here..probalby
because the book dealer listed them not by author but by illustrator(s)
good luck


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Cool Beans
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 04:54 PM

A friend of mine just gave me, obtained from the Marais and Miranda web site, a reproduction (I assume it's a reproduction) of a full-page ad for the duo from the February, 1953, issue of "Musical America."
The ad reproduces a Feb. 2, 1953 New York Times review of Marais & Miranda's sold-out concert at Town Hall. It concludes thusly:
    "The size of the audience is perhaps worth special comment. At many a recital following conventional lines the house has been more than half empty. Yet in the last few weeks, Richard Dyer-Bennett, Andres Segovia and Marais and his wife have packed the hall. It is surely an indication of a strong interest on the part of listeners in guitar playing and in songs sung gently in the language the audience understands."
The review is signed only with the initials: R.P. Whoever he or she was, R.P. was onto something.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:08 PM

Thanks open mike--I was a little confused when I looked at the thread today. I didn't think I'd offered it anywhere! It's nice to see that the book is not only available but affordable.

The review you quote from that poster actually seems kind of off-kilter to me, kind of general ad copy stuff. I think Richard Dyer-Bennett, Andres Segovia and Marais and Miranda would pack houses wherever they went--and it involved a lot more than just "guitar playing." They were consumate performers. And I don't believe Andres Segovia sang anything, gently or otherwise.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: Cool Beans
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 08:20 PM

Actually, Segovia sang a helluva "Roll Me Over in the Clover." But that's better left for antoerh thread.


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: GUEST,Cathy Yarensky
Date: 01 Oct 18 - 02:05 AM

Is the M & M documentary available for listening?


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Subject: RE: Marais and Miranda Documentary
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Oct 18 - 01:11 PM

Dear Cathy / Guest,

You might look up the organizations behind that radio documentary.

For one, there was Ron Olesko's station,
Traditions with Ron Olesko.


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