The Gay Night Birds
Only the title of ‘The Gay Night Birds’ is in English; the text is in Mohapeloa’s home language, Sesotho. The subtitle, unusual in Mohapeloa’s work – ‘A Suggestive Title’ – ‘suggests’ that maybe this was the name of a popular vocal group or jazz band in the 1940s. So popular, indeed, that Mohapeloa could refer to them in the song by their initials: ‘G.N.B.’. Such groups regularly performed at entertainments in the Johannesburg area, especially on Saturday nights, in the African townships. Not surprisingly, then, the song lets rip about enjoying oneself and cheering up.