Weeping, first recorded by South African band Bright Blue
Click here to visit my "Weeping" Homepage
Click here to view the lyrics of "Weeping"
Click here to read about the development of "Weeping"
Click here to view some details about Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Click here to read something about Josh Groban's career
Click here to read a little about Vusi Mahlasela's story
Click here to view a very compressed history of the anti Apartheid movement in South Africa
Click here to see my story
Click here for Muffled Music
Click here to see the Sitemap
Picture: Gideon Mendel
Bright Blue was a rock-'n-roll band, formed in Cape Town, South Africa, in mid-1983.
The musical influences that made Bright Blue distinctive were American rock and funk, early-eighties British New Wave,
and a unique, extremely dance-able South African gospel style called 'mbaqanga";
The combination of these sounds made Bright Blue extremely popular for live, "club" appearances.
Three of the founder members of Bright Blue were former high-school-mates:
Keyboard-player Dan Heymann and the Cohen brothers (bassist Ian and drummer Peter) had jammed together as teenagers, and had kept in touch during their University years.
With old friend Tom Fox on guitar, and front-man Robin Levetan, the initial line-up of Bright Blue was complete.
South Africa was in the grip of the oppressive Apartheid government at the time, and Bright Blue incorporated an anti-Apartheid motif in many of their lyrics.
Months of live gigs around Cape Town made Bright Blue a "hot ticket" around Cape Town during the holiday season at the end of 1983,
and in early 1984, Bright Blue spent a few months performing around Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city, and hub of the local music business, trying to attract interest from the record-companies.
A deal with Trutone Records wasn't long in coming, and Bright Blue headed into the studio to record their first album, "Bright Blue".
Unfortunately for Bright Blue, at this point the Apartheid regime intervened;
No sooner was the "Bright Blue" album released, than two band-members, Ian Cohen and Dan Heymann, were drafted into the military for two years.
With no band to promote the album, sales of "Bright Blue" were disappointing, and the Trutone deal was allowed to expire after two years.
Meanwhile, it was in the army that Dan Heymann expressed his unhappiness towards the regime by writing first the music, and later the lyrics, of "Weeping".
After discharge from the South African Defence Force, Bright Blue, re-united in Cape Town, took the decision to move permanently to Johannesburg, in order to be closer to the action.
Unfortunately, front-man Robin Levetan was unable to make the move, and left Bright Blue, his position at the microphone being filled by Ian and Tom.
Early in 1987, the move took place, and a few months later, Bright Blue, now without any recording-contract, spent a night in a small recording-studio, laying down two songs, which they had pressed as a "forty-five" and sent to various radio-stations.
On the flip-side was "Weeping", which Bright Blue recorded with a brief instrumental echo of "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika", at that time the anthem of the African National Congress, and therefore "banned" under the laws of Apartheid.
In the event, the official censors didn't react, and the DJ's picked-up on "Weeping";
It spent two weeks at number one on the government-owned Radio Five.
Within months, Bright Blue was offered a fresh recording-contract, this time with EMI, and the result was the album "The Rising Tide".
But Bright Blue was losing momentum, and soon drummer Peter Cohen left to join another band.
Despite performing with a few temporary drummers, Bright Blue wound down during 1990, the year Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and negotiations began for democratic majority rule in South Africa.
There are people around the world who still have have fond memories of dancing outdoors by the sea at Bright Blue gigs during that unforgettable season at the end of 1983.
Click here for "Weeping" Homepage
, written by
(sometimes mis-spelled as
), is a
famous protest song
that emerged from the
South African anti Apartheid movement
during the mid-1980's, and this
song of freedom
has been recorded by many artists, including noted South African band
and, more recently,
, in a collaboration with
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
, who has previously released a solo recording of this
song of protest
contains are among the most-recorded
freedom song lyrics
to have come out of South Africa.
The Weeping song
(rights to which are partially controlled by
) led to a February, 2006, encounter between singer Josh
and songwriter Dan
(occasionally mis-spelled as
) at New York City's Sony Studios, a legendary institution which has given many a
to soar. It was a thrill for Dan to hear his anti
being recorded by such a high-caliber team. Having been a musician in contact with various
during the Freedom-Struggle in South Africa, when examining the
, Dan was thrilled to feel the connection of his
lyric to protest song
tradition. When the time came to add backing vocals, nobody needed to teach
Vusi Mahlasela lyrics
, having already performed it live so many times, and this new rendition of Dan's familiar rhyming-
lyric protest song
the song freedom
to reach many new listeners. Many
were inspired by the
anti Apartheid movement
and Dan is proud that his
has been so well-received, particularly when there are already so many wonderful
protest song lyrics