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Seeking Josef Marais

31 Mar 00 - 12:27 PM (#204598)
Subject: Seeking Josef Marais
From: GUEST,Andrew

I recently heard Songs of the South African Veld again (last time was 40 years ago). I am overwhelmed by the warmth and charm of the songs, and his musical arrangements are (in my opinion) fabulous. Anyone know where I can learn more, get more songs of Josef and Miranda, find music, lyrics, etc? Are there CDs? Is there a dedicated website? Are there offspring of his in music?

31 Mar 00 - 02:29 PM (#204664)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: GUEST,Allan S.

I have 2 of their LP records. However the music is anglised versons of true Africaner songs. They were a night club act for a popular audience. You would probably need to find a tape of Afrikans songs. However they are sung in afrikaans which is a mixture of Plat German, Flemish, English with some native language thrown in. I have a book of (Suid Afrika se eie Liedjies)South Africa'S own Songs. THat will give you an idea of the language. Some of the songs included are Sarie Marais, O Brandewyn Latt My Staan O Brandy let me Stand/ Brandy leave me alone. Die Stellenbosch se boys, Ou Tante Koba Jan Pierewiet. Maris and Miranda did these songs. THe book was put out out by THE MUSIC PUBLISHING CO OF AFRICA gallo center 130 Kerk Street Johannseburg RSA

There are many cassettes out of modern S.A. singers but don't forget their music has changed since the 1900's just as ours has. Marais songs would be equal to our folk songs of the Western expansion and the pop songs of the gay 90's for a night club setting some of their modern singers are Worsie Visser, Les Frnken, Laurika Rauch, Sias Reinecke, Randall and Koba. Cassette GrootstsTreffers Vanaf 1980-1990 / Greatest Hits of 1980-1990 the usual themes of Love /parting etc. All would be what we call middle of the road music Good luck

01 Apr 00 - 09:32 AM (#205047)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: GUEST,Andrew

Thanks, Allen We had two Songs of the South African Veld records when I was a kid. He sang verses in English as well as in Africans. Wonderful witty charming songs. I'm doing this mostly to refresh. Hoping more folks know of Josef Marais.

01 Apr 00 - 10:29 AM (#205067)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Rick Fielding

Two years ago I met a young (18) traveller, while bumming at my local music store. (Encore Music in Toronto) Complete with gigantic back pack and hungry look he was getting his crack at seeing the world before heading back to South Africa and doing whatever sons of Afrikaan plantation owners do these days.

I invited him home for lunch (and to do a set up on the used banjo he'd just bought) and that became the start of an interesting six month relationship. I was quite surprised at how difficult Julian's Afrikaan's accent was to penetrate, and how (passionately) separate he considered himself from "Brit" South Africans. He espoused a kind of racism that we rarely encounter around here, often referring to black people as if they were dangerous children. Quite a bit of culture shock I have to tell you. He told us of his experiences of learning to use assault rifles by the age of 5, as all white South Africans "had to be armed for protection". I suspect his parents and family, if not actually members, would probably have been supporters of Eugene Terreblanche and his "neo Nazi" organization.

It struck me how different his vision of the world was from mine, when I was doing my "youth hostelling". 'Course, my family never had indentured (and angry) workers doing all the work on the "spread". Nelson Mandela's release and the subsequent changes must have scared the shit out of all the rural white farmers.

As much as I thought that Heather and I could be a good influence on the kid, there was no way I was going to take him to a song circle or folk club with the way he viewed folks of colour (or gays, or liberals, and probably Jews). I found myself starting to distance myself from him and figuring that 18 years of conditioning was not going to be influenced by a few weeks of "equality thinking".

Before we lost touch I gave him a record of Josef Marais singing "Songs from the Veldt", and he took to it immediately, wanting to learn all the songs on it. The last few times we had together were fun and totally concerned with politics involved.

Got a call from him about a year ago from Argentina, and one from Birmingham England. Could have been my imagination, but I sensed a bit more "live and let live" attitude in his voice. I guess travel and folk music can do that to you.


02 Apr 00 - 12:14 AM (#205485)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Rick Fielding

Any other thoughts on Mr. M.?


02 Apr 00 - 01:25 AM (#205510)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: The Beanster


Found a few things for you. The only lyrics I found were of a song called "Sugar Bush." Lyrics are Here

And there's a place called Worldwide Wax where you can get a three different records which are priced at $8, $15 and $30. Keep in mind when you go to this place, you'll see the main box right away with one of his titles, but scroll down a little and on top of the "CD Now" box, there's a link that says "Josef Marais & Miranda Records." That's where the other vinyl stuff is and there are track listings for each record. Click here

I also noticed that e-Bay has stuff up for auction but I didn't go there...

02 Apr 00 - 01:39 AM (#205516)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: The Beanster

Ooops. I'm sorry that first link is a dud. I printed out the lyrics myself and here they are:


Sugarbush come dance with me
Let the other fellows be
Dance the Polka merrily
Sugarbush come dance with me
Oh, we never not gonna go home!
We won't go, we won't go!
Oh, we never not gonna go phone
'Cause mother isn't home!
Oh, Sugarbush, I love you so,
I will never let you go
Don't let your mother know
Sugarbush, I love you so
Chocolate, you are so sweet
You, yes you, I'd like to eat
If I do, oh, what a treat!
Chocolate, you are so sweet
Oh, we never not gonna go home!
We won't go, we won't go!
Oh, we never not gonna no phone
'Cause mother isn't home!
Oh, Sugarbush, what shall I do?
Mother's not so pleased with you
Promise me you will be true
And I'll come along with you

Words and music: Josef Marais

06 Apr 00 - 03:28 PM (#207835)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: GUEST,Tiger

I have a few of these at home on old EP's. I'll check into it when I get back from vacation.

06 Apr 00 - 08:56 PM (#208017)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Amos

I loved their LPs when I was growing up, and of course never realized the original Afrikaans songs were highly diluted for the English audience. The numbers I recall were (spelling not assured):

Tantie Mimma
Oh, Brandy Let Me Alone
I'll See My LIttle Darlin' (When the Sun Goes Down
The Zulu Warrior
Around the Corner, Behind the Bush
Ma Says, Pa Says
Jan Yittiavit (?)

Perhaps other will surface later. It was a wonderful doorway for me when young onto a different world.


06 Apr 00 - 11:09 PM (#208100)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: mariachera

In the early 50's I attended a music camp at ISOMATA in the So. Ca. mountains, a camp sponsored by USC. We presented a musical or folk opera written by Josef Marais entitled "African Heartbeat." He was in residence at the camp and was an avid amateur violinist. On several occasions I was invited with a viola player and a cellist to play string quartets with him. He was a kind man and a fine musician. Miranda, his wife, I recall as a lovely lady. They entertained us many an evening with their songs. I had forgotten all this. Thanks for letting me recall.

06 Apr 00 - 11:11 PM (#208101)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Mbo

Brandy, Leave Me Alone was one of the first things I learned to play on guitar...what a cool song..


20 Dec 11 - 12:21 AM (#3276958)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: GUEST,Tosh

My real name is Marcel and Josef married my mother, Miranda.

Josef was a great "dad" and provided me and my sister with sound values and respect for all peoples, irrespective of race, color, creed, etc. He taught me violin though I later switched to french horn. In his later years he and I played together in a community orchestra.

I've set up a site in their honor and if you want to check it out, go to (no longer works, but can be found at

I wish I had time to comment on so many anecdotes, above but I'll try to gradually work into them. I just joined the site tonight and see that many of the lyrics attributed to Josef are not always 100% correct, but you all have the essential spirit of their work, and that's what counts.

"Support Live Music"

Local 47


20 Dec 11 - 12:34 AM (#3276962)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Stilly River Sage

I grew up listening to their records, and my father sang several of their songs. I didn't realize they had so many albums! Please take the time to come back and post comments, and please go ahead and join Mudcat!

Stilly River Sage

20 Dec 11 - 06:11 PM (#3277404)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: The Vulgar Boatman

Marcel, oddly enough one of the first collections of songs I ever bought was a paperback book of Marais and Miranda's music, back in the sixties. Even with apartheid still going strong then, I was never aware of anything more than the gentle fun of something like Ou Tante Koba, and Sugar Bush and Hey Round the Corner were quite major hits here in the fifties. Good to see them remembered.

20 Dec 11 - 08:01 PM (#3277466)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Arkie

Marcel, Glad you found Mudcat and posted here and that you have made the live connection with Marais and Miranda.

20 Dec 11 - 08:03 PM (#3277469)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Stilly River Sage

Don't you just love it when that happens? :-D


20 Dec 11 - 08:20 PM (#3277486)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman

Josef Marais' earliest presence on record was solo, before Miranda joined him and they made such a memorable duo. In the following two Decca LPs he laid the foundations for the translated Veld-song repertoire, made over for the concert stage, that was to anchor their eventual worldwide songbag.

Personally, I could listen to his version of the old trekker song "Sarie Marais" till the cows come home.



Songs of the South African Veld
Josef Marais and His Bushveld Band
Decca DLP 5014 (10"), no date, c. 1950

Stellenbosch Boys
Tante Koba (Aunty Koba)
Stay, Polly, Stay
Pack Your Things and Trek, Fereira
Oh, Brandy, Leave Me Alone
If Maria Married Me

Here Am I
Sarie Marais
Henrietta's Wedding
Ma Says Pa Says

Songs From the Veld: South African Folk Songs Volume 2
Josef Marais and His Bushveld Band
Decca DL 5083 (10"), no date, ~1951

Marching to Pretoria
My Heart Is So Sad
There's the Cape-Cart

"Air, Ai," the Pied Crow Cry
As the Sun Goes Down
Jan Pieriewiet
There Comes Alibama
Train to Kimberley

23 Aug 19 - 02:16 AM (#4005581)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: GUEST,Rebecca Cone (Becky Chidlaw) ISOMATA 1953, 5

So enjoyed Marais and Miranda when I was a student at Idylwild. It was a thrill to sing in the chorus of their new opera, "African Heartbeat" and to meet and sing with them. I had first heard them on record when I was a girls camp in the 40's. We knew every song on the record! Thanks for the opportunity to share.

23 Aug 19 - 04:48 AM (#4005594)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Sandra in Sydney

the link posted by Guest, Tosh in 2011 seems to have been hijacked by someone in Thailand! here it is in web archive

Josef Marais in Wikipedia

Thanks for the heads-up! That link has been removed and a note attached.

24 Aug 19 - 08:50 PM (#4005773)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Stevebury

I grew up listening to Marais and Miranda on my folks' Decca 78 rpm records. i still have the album notes from "Songs of the South African Veld' volume 1. Six 78 records meant twelve songs. The notes include the English version, the original Afrikaans, and often a literal English translation as well.
And no one has mentioned Marais and Miranda's paperback 'Folk Song Jamboree' published by Ballantine Books in 1960. It includes simple transcribed guitar accompaniments. The pages in my copy are acid-yellowed and many are unglued. But still legible!

24 Aug 19 - 09:30 PM (#4005778)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Thomas Stern

this website is still active - includes link to
biography, discography, archive


24 Aug 19 - 09:39 PM (#4005780)
Subject: RE: Seeking Josef Marais
From: Joe Offer

We have two Marais & Miranda songbooks indexed at Mudcat. I have both books, and I'm willing to post any of the songs on request.

The late John in Kansas posted the index to Folk Song Jamboree, published by Ballantine Books in 1960.

I posted the index to World Folk Songs, published by Ballantine in 1964.