The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “to post a song with a metaphor in the title or lyrics.”
While it’s been covered more than a dozen times, it was American recording artist, Josh Groban, who made the song, Weeping, more accessible to the international community. In fact, Weeping is a song about apartheid South Africa. It was written by Dan Heymann of the South African band Bright Blue, while completing his compulsory 2-years of National Service in the South African army in the mid-1980’s. From Dan’s own website:
“I’ve been asked many times about the symbolism in the Weeping lyrics, so maybe I should say something here.
The man referred to in the Weeping lyrics is the late P. W. Botha, one of the last white leaders of South Africa before the end of the Apartheid regime;
The demon he could never face in the Weeping lyrics refers to the aspirations of the oppressed majority, while the Weeping lyrics also refer to the neighbors, literally the journalists from other countries who were monitoring the situation in South Africa.”
Song writer Heymann, was an unwilling white soldier, drafted into the Army. Weeping began as an instrumental piece, expressing his unhappiness 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.”
It is an extraordinarily powerful song, and was voted the “All-time Favourite South African Song” in 1999.
Below are two versions of Weeping – Josh Groban in concert in Salt Lake City, Utah and Dan Heymann’s group, Bright Blue, singing the original version.
See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.
Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
by Josh Groban
WEEPING Written by Dan Heymann
(Copyright Bright Blue)
I knew a man who lived in fear
It was huge, it was angry, it was drawing near
Behind his house, a secret place
Was the shadow of the demon he could never face
He built a wall of steel and flame
And men with guns, to keep it tame
Then standing back, he made it plain
That the nightmare would never ever rise again
But the fear and the fire and the guns remain
It doesn’t matter now
It’s over anyhow
He tells the world that it’s sleeping
But as the night came round
I heard its lonely sound
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping
And then one day the neighbors came
They were curious to know about the smoke and flame
They stood around outside the wall
But of course there was nothing to be heard at all
“My friends,” he said, “We’ve reached our goal
The threat is under firm control
As long as peace and order reign
I’ll be damned if I can see a reason to explain
Why the fear and the fire and the guns remain”
Compiled from Genius Lyrics, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Weeping.info.