Friday, February 18, 2011

After the Rinderpest

Whilst there is, of course, a death metal band called Rinderpest, with a song called Rinderpest, I couldn't make much headway with the 'lyrics'. Let me know if you have better luck.

More interestingly there is a South African musician who has a whole album about the Rinderpest epidemic that devastated Africa.

The Scene is the Cape Colony border, late 19th century, a terrible plague, the Rinderpest (rather like Foot & Mouth), has decimated the livestock and lives of the Boers, Brits and Amaxhosa alike. The infected animals have to be piled in pits and burned. The land is covered in smoke and weeping.

It's not easy to find but you can download an mp3 of the title song , After the Rinderpest, from the Last.FM website.
After the Rinderpest
There’s a wicked wind on the smoking ground
All out hopes and dreams, we had to burn them down.
And our poisoned wells took our first and best
Gave our childrens’ lives to the Rinderpest.
Sent our youths away to be militarized
And we couldn’t see into their empty eyes.
Would you have the strength, if they confessed
To what they saw, in the wilderness.
With a burying pit full of burning beasts
With the crimson coals of the heat beneath.
Holding out our hands to be cauterized
But the Rinderpest left us paralyzed.
And a tattooed child full of battle scars
With a heart of iron, hammered hard.
Do we act surprised, as though we never knew
What the sulphur air would have done to you.
There are bands of us that have survived
And all we have is how we live our lives.
As we struggle on, we must not forget,
Just what we learned, from the Rinderpest.

No comments: