|Words & Music - Jeremy Taylor
The night is dark and starry
The veld is alive with the sound
Of crickets sawing and whirring
And turning the world around;
But the ears of Lieutenant Oosthuizen
Are tuned for a different noise,
He's going to make an arrest tonight
Or he's not one of the boys.
The order from Port Elizabeth
Has come, and none too soon
To Lieutenant Alfred Oosthuizen
And Major Andries Kuhn.
They're to set up a decent road block
On the outskirts of Grahamstown
To catch a black man who's gone up a peg
And needs to be taken down.
"It's cold tonight," says Alfred
"Ja Nee," says Andries Kuhn;
"I'd rather be back at the station
I hope this kaffir comes soon."
"He'll come all right, don't you worry"
they've already seen him leave;
him and a Mister Jones,
a white man I do believe.
"A white man helping the kaffir?
Ag sies!" says Andries Kuhn,
"Doesn't he know any better?
He'll be helping the Russians soon!"
"Not if we have our way, he won't
and that's for blerrie sure,
he's helped one kaffir too many, I'd say,
he's not going to help any more!"
So they settle down to wait there
These two from the S.A.P.
Exchanging lighthearted banter
And jovial pleasantry.
They'd stick it out if they had to
From now until kingdom come,
For once the word has been spoken
It's a matter of Thy Will be Done.
For everyone knows that an order
Is made to be strictly obeyed;
You can't run a state or a family
Without a firm hand I'm afraid.
Ons Vader is altyd reg
And so's our Prime Minister too
Answerable to God up in heaven
So the Dominee says, and it's true.
And as sure as God made the heavens
And divided the day from the night
So made he mankind in like fashion
And divided the black from the white.
And never the twain shall mingle
Any more than the sun and the moon,
So said Lietenant Oosthuizen
To Major Andries Kuhn.
But there's always these troublemakers
Setting the rest in a tizz
People who can't or won't learn
To accept the world as it is.
And it's not just the occasional kaffir
Who refuses to stay in his place
There's also, God help us, some white men
Whose behaviour's a blerrie disgrace.
Take this chap coming tonight now
They say his name's Peter Jones,
A subversive, no doubt, and a rooinek,
He should have stayed where he was, back at home.
They say he's distributing pamphlets
Inciting the kaffirs to riot;
Well, perhaps we shall find a few ways
Of inciting him to keep quiet.
Says Andries, "I could do with some coffee
Some lekker black koffie, you know,
ën ou koppie Trekker, wat se jy?"
"Hou stil, man, " says Alfred, "Wag nou!
I can hear the sound of a moter
He'll be here I should say very soon."
"You're right. Shit! We'd better get ready,"
says Major Andries Kuhn.
The lights of a vehicle approaching
Stab through the African night,
Two men step hard on the gas
Two men stand still and hold tight.
Somebody's going to get hurt
Any moment now when they stop;
There's two sides to a coin , I've heard say,
And they can't both of them be on top.
The car comes closer and closer
And the driver sees with a frown
Lieutenant Oosthuizen step forward
Waving his torch up and down.
Just for a second he's tempted
To put his foot down and go zoom
But he'd made far too solid a roadblock
Had Major Andries Kuhn.
"Switch off, you two, and get out!"
The pit of the stomach turns cold.
Reluctant to move, they both sit there.
"Hurry up, and do as you're told!
So you're Peter Jones, well I never,
A coloured, I thought you were white.
Well that's one lesson I suppose
We won't have to teach you tonight.
As for you, Kaffir, don't look so haughty,
We'll soon wipe that look of your face;
And just where do you think you're going
At such a ridiculous pace?
So you don't want to answer my questions
Well I guess you will by and by;
But first of all, tell us your name!"
"Biko!" came the reply.
(p)© 3rd Ear Music (SA)
Jeremy Taylor (UK)
3rd Ear Music Company est. 1969 (Pty)Ltd.