Senqu – The Orange River

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Sung by either Voices of Joy or Sebokeng College of Education Choir or Revival Youth Choir Sharpeville (it’s hard to tell from the data). No recording details but it sounds like a live digital recording, stored 1992 on SABC CDT60, Trk. 20. This SATB song from 1951 in swaying 9/8 meter, is quasi operatic, singing the praises of southern Africa’s greatest river, The Orange, on its long journey from the Lesotho mountains to the Namibian coast.

River of gorges and grassland, I glide endlessly. I fall down deep holes; rumbling, crashing towards the ocean far, far away from the gorges I come from. Don’t call me collector-of-all if I find sheep for myself. I cut across the live, wide plains; food for the road is good for me, The Orange River. Ululate, gorges and plains, because I bring plenty of food to nations: meat, tree trunks, dampness to the fields. Please rejoice, remember your trumpets, step on the organ, blow those whistles! Lead the singing of war-songs, and sing together when I spread and pass the wide plains. Such praises suit me, Senqu - The Orange River. (MM-S)

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