Man Sonder ‘n Naam: My First Afrikaans Song

The cast of Deurbraak 2011 directed by Stephanie Badenhorst and performed at Aan De Braak Theatre

The cast of Deurbraak 2011 directed by Stephanie Badenhorst and performed at Aan De Braak Theatre

In mid 2011, I was invited to join an ensemble of fellow performers as part of Aan de Braak Theatre’s Deurbraak (Breakthrough) initiative. Headed up by Christine Falck (owner of Aan de Braak Theatre), Deurbraak’s aim was to showcase the theatrical work of young performing artists. You can read a review on the show here.

We were required to write and perform two of our own pieces, one of which was a song called Man Sonder ‘n Naam (Nameless Man) which I co-wrote with my girlfriend Sam. Generally, Sam’s grasp of the Afrikaans language is stronger than mine – and she easily churned out the lyrics to the song you’re about to hear. In English, the lyrics are translated as such:

DEURBRAAKThe years left their marks on your dirty face

You beg for money but in your eyes is a lord’s pride

Can your cardboard castle shelter you from the weather?

While you wonder about your life and what tomorrow will bring

Nameless Man, is there someone to hold your hand?

Nameless Man, loveless, treasureless

I wanted to talk to you, but our worlds are so different

I may not know your name,  but I might understand your suffering

Because we all have thorns in our flesh that we have no control over

We live by grace, perhaps tomorrow we can try again

Nameless Man, is there someone to hold your hand?

Nameless Man, loveless, treasureless

Nameless Man, there is someone to hold your hand

Nameless Man, your heart is where your treasure lies

I got some good feedback on the tune and I re-used it in Gemengde Oorsprong: Hemel in Aardse Kruike (Mixed Heritage: Heaven in Earthen Vessels), the spoken word show I did at Woordfees (Word Festival) earlier this year.

I was being pedantic about posting it – but Sam nudged me into uploading it. Let me know what you think of it:

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7 Comments

  1. I’m not sure if your link isn’t working or there’s a problem with Soundcloud, but at the end of the post, there isn’t any song info and I can’t play it.

  2. From my unprofessional, but music loving ear, it is great. I enjoyed it. I like the melody, the lyrics are heartfelt, and it is a good length. Since you are a bass player i think you should add more music to the song and let it go a little longer without words. I love songs that have a higher amount of music than lyrics.

    Thank you for posting it and thanks to Sam for pushing you to. You are definitely on the right track for doing what you love and that is inspiring. I am taking my first violin lesson on Monday and excited as I have yearned to play for many years.

    • Thank you for the feedback Impowerer! 🙂 So glad you dig the song and I’m even more glad that you’re pursuing the dream of taking up the violin! I always think how beneficial it is to take up an instrument at a later stage in life – being more mature, disciplined and committed to the task at hand. Well done :)!

      • Thanks. I just picked up my violin today. I know it was the right decision because since walking out of that store I can’t stop smiling. 😀

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