A Re Eeng(Songs of the Far South)
The train from Maseru to Johannesburg across the Lesotho-South African border is commemorated in A Re Eeng. There is a poignancy in the song despite its cheerfulness, for Maseru is at one ‘end of the line’ - and Lesotho still has no local rail network - and at the other end, for most people, Jo’burg spelled poorly paid work on the mines or slum-yards of South Africa and a life away from home. Basotho migrant workers used to constitute a large part of the labour force on the South African gold and platinum mines, and there are still tens of thousands of people who work in the Johannesburg area who return home to Lesotho only at Christmas. Mohapeloa expresses the anguish of parting in this song, as well as the station hustle and bustle, and the excitement of people heading for the ‘big city’. The noise of the tracks is represented by a persistent three-note figure and there is a sense of winding down at the end.