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White Zulus and My Musical Past

Feel free to skip this self-involved prologue and just watch the video.

This song was popular in South Africa when I lived there as a young man. Johnny Clegg (the white Zulu) was a great artist and influenced the way I think about music to this day. He was also a white man who loved the Zulus and Zulu culture, as I did. I saw an interview as a teenager where he talked about the difference between music borne on the air and music conveyed electronically. Anyway, maybe it was silly, but it resonated and influenced me toward acoustic/folk music which was a doorway into Dylan, Cash, Bluegrass, and multiple musical wonders. Ngiyabonga, Johnny.

Anyway, enjoy this. It’s a wonderful song. I love it because it combines a folk/pop/rock sound with traditional Zulu chorus. I always felt like this song connected two parts for me. My Appalachian-American heritage which celebrates folk music and my African years of being in dusty Zulu township  schoolrooms singing hymns with the most beautiful voices you can imagine.

Funny, isn’t it, how a song that has nothing to do with us can feel so connected and personal? Do you guys have similar stories?

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