Soweto Blues (Miriam Makeba)

Soweto Blues (Miriam Makeba)

This song talks about the terrible event of 16th June 1976 in South Africa.

Soweto is the short form of South Western Townships. When the Apartheid government ordered schools to stop teaching native African languages, the students in Soweto started a protest. As a result, the police shot and arrested many of them.

Soweto Blues Lyrics

The children got a letter from the master
It said:
no more Xhosa, Sotho, no more Zulu
Refusing to comply they sent an answer
That's when the policemen came to the rescue

Children were flying bullets dying
The mothers screaming and crying
The fathers were working in the cities

The evening news brought out all the publicity:

Just a little atrocity, deep in the city
Soweto blues

Benikuphi ma madoda (where were the men)
abantwana beshaywa (when the children were throwing stones)
ngezimbokodo Mabedubula abantwana (when the children were being shot)
Benikhupi na (where were you?)

There was a full moon on the golden city
Looking at the door was the man without pity
Accusing everyone of conspiracy

Tightening the curfew charging people with walking
Yes, the border is where he was awaiting
Waiting for the children, frightened and running
A handful got away but all the others
Hurried their chain without any publicity

Soweto blues - abu yethu a mama
Soweto blues - they are killing all the children
Soweto blues - without any publicity
Soweto blues - they are finishing the nation
Soweto blues - while calling it black on black
Soweto blues - but everybody knows they are behind it

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Dec 09, 2009
Soweto Blues
by: African Music Safari

By the way, this song was written by Hugh Masekela, Miriam's 2nd husband.

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