The Ballad Of Nelson Mandela

Here’s the ballad I wrote one year ago about Nelson Mandela, shortly after his passing. I was delighted when Claudio Benito was willing to join me to make a version of this song by combining his Flamenco skills and my folk style into a brand new piece of music. I’m really happy with the result, recorded at Brady van der Ruit’s Studio and mastered by Derek Treacy from Wicklow, Ireland, who I met later in real life at Glendalough.

The excitement grew even more when we made our first video together this summer. Steven Kramer did a great job on that, as you can see below.


They captured David Motsamayi*
For speaking out right from his heart
They locked him away on Robben Island
Skin colors strictly apart
“Vir gebruik deur blankes”
That sign forced you to arm
Strong belief at Liliesleaf Farm

In sixty-three they got you
And eighteen other brave men
They tried to break your spirits
But it already spread cross the land
“Vir gebruik deur blankes”
No message caused you more harm
Strong belief at Liliesleaf Farm

The world in those days was divided
A cold war between red, white and blue
Red yelled “Free Mandela”
But white and blue didn’t trust you
“Vir gebruik deur blankes”
No politics, but a racist alarm
Strong belief at Liliesleaf Farm

Your wise words and those of Steve Biko
Who was killed by the Walmer Police**
Changed the world from the hearts of the people
But still it took thirteen more years***
“Vir gebruik deur blankes”
No more would this do you harm
Strong belief at Liliesleaf Farm

Hate can be learned by the people
But love is our nature inside
To educate love to our children
Is our major parental plight
He who conquers fear
Is the brave man who rings the alarm
Old belief from Liliesleaf Farm

* Nelson Mandela assumed this name when he hid at Liliesleaf Farm
** on 12 September 1977
*** before Nelson Mandela was released on 11 February 1990


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