Throwback Thursday: The meaning of the lyrics in My Land

(adapted from Time cultivates winners. Senwes - a century of agriculture by Elize van Eeden) 

A moment in history 

The evolution of language, in other words, personifies the intellectual and emotional growth of our people over the past 100 years.  Two of the early settler languages, French and Dutch, evolve into Afrikaans in the lyrics.  The song starts with Setswana (the predominant African language of the North West).

My Land is a pensive glance at the soul of the South African society the past hundred years.  The theme is universal, but addresses certain specific sociological issues of our complex agricultural industry.  An example is the often forgotten problem regarding language in earlier years from the various European languages (Dutch, German, French, English) to the indigenous variety: for so many decades, we simply have not understood one another.

Composition and melody: A cross-over between a Roger Waters feel (highly emotive) and pop-rock with a subliminal incorporation of the African presence in the harmonies.

Melody, music and vocalist: Helena Hettema and Thean Kotze’s rendition of the lyric is an absolute tour de force. The music is masterly composed and adapted by Johan Laas, one of South Africa’s most important musical voices.

Producer: Faction Media, Pretoria.

Date of production: February 2009