Weeping, the freedom song

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Click here to view the lyrics of "Weeping"
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Click here to view a very compressed history of the anti Apartheid movement in South Africa
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Josh Groban's first recording of Weeping was released internationally, early in November, 2006.

Weeping had its debut in South Africa in 1987, as a protest song about the oppressive white government. The writer of of Weeping, Dan Heymann, was an unwilling white soldier, drafted into the Army. Weeping began as an instrumental piece, expressing his unhappines at being drafted by the regime, and later he wrote words to Weeping when the government declared a State of Emergency and imposed a ban on media-coverage of the situation in South Africa.

The first recording of Weeping was by Bright Blue, the South African band in which Dan Heymann played keyboards. That version of Weeping included a brief instrumental reference to "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika", the anthem of the African National Congress, which was banned by the government at the time; However, the official censors didn't act, and the radio DJ's had a field-day with the song, so Weeping spent two weeks at number one on the government radio-station.

There have been several recordings of Weeping released since then.
The second version of Weeping to appear wasn't by any particular band, but was done by a crew of South African session-musicians for the soundtrack of the movie "Ipi Tombi".
Weeping was next recorded by Qkumba Zoo, in a "techno" style, followed by the Soweto String Quartet version of Weeping.
Later, Coenie de Villiers translated Weeping into Afrikaans for his version, with a theme about poverty, while James Stewart chose to give Weeping somewhat more of a rock treatment.
The Kearsney College Choir had a choral flavor, then Jinny Sagorin, in Boston, did Weeping for a cabaret setting.
Still later, Weeping received the attention of the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Josh Groban's 2006 version of Weeping featured additional vocals by the South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and an appearance by Vusi Mahlasela, who previously was the guest vocalist on the Soweto String Quartet's recording of Weeping.
That studio recording of Weeping made use of the extraordinary producer, Glen Ballard,
while the subsequent (2008) live recording of Weeping was produced by Humberto Gatica.

Here's the cover-artwork for existing releases of "Weeping", as far as I know:

1987: Bright Blue (on the flip-side of our "forty-five" Yesterday Night)
Weeping: Cover-art from 1st version
1993: Various personnel (recorded for Ipi Tombi movie soundtrack)
Weeping: Cover-art from 2nd version
1996: Qkumba Zoo (on their CD Wake Up & Dream)
Weeping: Cover-art from 3rd version
1996: Soweto String Quartet (on their CD Renaissance, with guest vocalist Vusi Mahlasela)
Weeping: Cover-art from 4th version
Around 1997: Coenie de Villiers (with lyrics in Afrikaans, on his CD Solo)
Weeping: Cover-art from 5th version
2000: Kearsney College Choir (on their CD Road to the Olympics)
Weeping: Cover-art from 7th version
Around 2002: James Stewart (on his CD Eklektik)
Weeping: Cover-art from 6th version
2004: Jinny Sagorin (on her CD It's For You)
Weeping: Cover-art from 8th version
2004: Soweto Gospel Choir (on their CD Blessed)
Weeping: Cover-art from 9th version
2006: Josh Groban (on his CD Awake)
Weeping: Cover-art from 10th version
2008: Josh Groban, a second time (on his CD-DVD package Awake Live)
Weeping: Cover-art from 11th version

Click here for "Weeping" Homepage

Weeping , written by Dan Heymann (sometimes mis-spelled as Dan Heyman ), 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 Bright Blue and, more recently, Josh Groban , in a collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Vusi Mahlasela , who has previously released a solo recording of this song of protest . The anti Apartheid lyrics Weeping contains are among the most-recorded freedom song lyrics of any protest song to have come out of South Africa. The Weeping song (rights to which are partially controlled by Muffled Music ) led to a February, 2006, encounter between singer Josh Groban and songwriter Dan Heymann (occasionally mis-spelled as Heyman ) at New York City's Sony Studios, a legendary institution which has given many a song freedom to soar. It was a thrill for Dan to hear his anti Apartheid song being recorded by such a high-caliber team. Having been a musician in contact with various anti-Apartheid movements during the Freedom-Struggle in South Africa, when examining the Weeping lyrics , 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 to the Weeping song , having already performed it live so many times, and this new rendition of Dan's familiar rhyming- lyric protest song should give the song freedom to reach many new listeners. Many protest songs were inspired by the anti Apartheid movement and Dan is proud that his freedom song has been so well-received, particularly when there are already so many wonderful anti-Apartheid protest song lyrics in existence.