Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

“Daar Kom die Alibama”

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on January 1, 2016

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There’s always something new out there you didn’t know, isn’t there?

Recently, thanks to user SquirrelHudson at Civil War Talk, I discovered the traditional South African folk song, “Die Kom die Alibama,” which is generally credited to have been inspired by the visit of the Confederate raider Alabama to Cape Town in late 1863. While that origin is disputed by some, it’s nevertheless a song that catches the ear, which undoubtedly attests to its popularity after all these generations.

So here we have a song ostensibly inspired by a Confederate ship, built in the United Kingdom, with Afrikaans lyrics, sung by South Africans of Malay descent, played on traditional African instruments. What a crazy world this is, and how better we all are for it.

I’ve already had seconds on the black-eyed peas; 2016 is gonna be a good year. Y’all have a Happy New Year, too.

__________

GeneralStarsGray

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8 Responses

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  1. OhioGuy said, on January 1, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Neat! Thanks for sharing. Wish I could understand more of the lyrics.

    • Andy Hall said, on January 1, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      The lyrics I found online don’t have any clear relation to the Confederate ship, which makes me a little skeptical of that as the origin. Oh well.

      ______

      Lyrics in Afrikaans and English:

      Daar kom die Alibama,
      Die Alibama die kom oor die see
      Daar kom die Alibama,
      Die Alibama die kom oor die see.

      Nooi, nooi, die rietkooi, nooi,
      Die rietkooi is gemaak,
      Die rietkooi is vir my gemaak
      Om daarop te slaap.
      Nooi, nooi, die rietkooi, nooi,
      Die rietkooi is gemaak,
      Die rietkooi is vir my gemaak
      Om daarop te slaap.

      Die Alibama, die Alibama,
      Die Alibama kom oor die see.
      Die Alibama, die Alibama,
      Die Alibama kom oor die see.

      _______

      There comes the Alabama,
      The Alabama come over the sea
      There comes the Alabama,
      The Alabama come over the sea.

      Invite, invite, the reed bed, invite,
      The reed bed is made,
      The reed bed is made for me
      To sleep on it.
      Invite, invite, the reed bed, invite,
      The reed bed is made,
      The reed bed is made for me
      To sleep on it.

      The Alabama, the Alabama,
      The Alabama comes over the sea.
      The Alabama, the Alabama,
      The Alabama comes over the sea.

      • OhioGuy said, on January 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm

        Thanks for the lyrics. They do seem to refer to a ship. Given the general timeframe, the CSS Alabama seems believable.

  2. David T. Dixon said, on January 1, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Great post, Andy. By the way, I was born in Houston and miss my black eyed peas. Sho nuf.

  3. Stephanie A. Hilliard said, on January 1, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    It is easy to forget that the impact of these events were not limited to the United States and immediate neighbors. This was a good reminder!

  4. Msb said, on January 3, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Happy new year, Andy, and keep up the good work.

    I, too, had my black-eyed peas. My grandmother would have been so pleased: she chased me through the house with a spoonful one New Year’s Day when I was in my teens, crying, “Just one! Eat just one!”


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