Die Stem van Suid-Afrika
|English: "The Call of South Africa"|
Excerpt from the F.A.K.-Volksangbundel
Former national anthem of South Africa
|Also known as||
English: "The Call"
|Lyrics||Cornelis Jacobus Langenhoven, 1918 (English version: Collectively, 1952)|
|Music||Marthinus Lourens de Villiers, 1921|
1994 (jointly with "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika")
1994 (as the sole national anthem)|
1997 (as the co-national anthem)
"Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" (instrumental)
"Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" (Afrikaans: [di ˈstɛm fan sœi̯t ˈɑːfrika], lit. "The Voice of South Africa") or "The Call of South Africa" was the national anthem of South Africa from 1957 to 1994, and shared co-national anthem status with "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" from 1994 to 1997, when a new hybrid song incorporating elements of both songs was adopted as the country's new national anthem.
Background and inceptionEdit
In May 1918, C.J. Langenhoven wrote an Afrikaans poem called "Die Stem", for which music was composed by the Reverend Marthinus Lourens de Villiers in 1921. It was widely used by the South African Broadcasting Corporation in the 1920s, which played it at the close of daily broadcasts, along with "God Save The King". It was recorded for the first time in 1926 when it was performed by Betty Steyn in England for the Zonophone record label; it was sung publicly for the first time on 31 May 1928. It was sung in English as well as Afrikaans from 1952, with both versions having official status, while "God Save The Queen" did not cease to be a national anthem until 1957, although it remained the country's royal anthem as it was a Commonwealth realm. The poem originally had only three verses, but the government asked the author to add a fourth verse with a religious theme.
It is lugubrious in tone, addressing throughout of commitment to the Vaderland (English: Fatherland) and to God. However, it was generally disliked by black South Africans, who saw it as triumphalist and associated it with the apartheid regime where one verse shows dedication to Afrikaners and another to the Voortrekkers' "Great Trek".
Decline and consolidationEdit
As the dismantling of apartheid began in the early 1990s, South African teams were readmitted to international sporting events, which presented a problem as to the choice of national identity South Africa had to present. Agreements were made with the African National Congress that "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" would not be sung at rugby matches, due to its connection to the apartheid system and minority rule. However, at a rugby union test match against New Zealand in 1992, the crowd spontaneously sang "Die Stem" during a moment of silence for victims of political violence in South Africa, and although it was ostensibly agreed upon beforehand that it would not be played, an instrumental recording of "Die Stem" was played over the stadium's PA system's loudspeakers after the New Zealand national anthem was performed, and spectators sang along, sparking controversy afterwards. At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona that year, Schiller's "Ode to Joy", as set to Beethoven's music, was used instead, along with a neutral Olympic-style flag.
"Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" retained official status after the advent of full multi-racial democracy which followed the 1994 general election. After 1994, it shared equal status with "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika", which had long been a traditional hymn used by the ANC. In 1995, "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" was sung by a black choir at the Rugby World Cup final match, as it had been done at the 1994 South African presidential inauguration in Pretoria, first in Afrikaans and then in English.
The practice of singing two different national anthems had been a cumbersome arrangement during the transition to post-apartheid South Africa. Only the first verse of "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" was sung at ceremonies in both official languages prior to 1994, with some English medium schools in what was then Natal Province singing the first verse in Afrikaans and the second in English. During this period of two national anthems, the custom was to play both "Die Stem" and "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" during occasions that required the playing of a national anthem. However, this proved cumbersome as performing the dual national anthems took as much as five minutes to conclude. In 1997, following the adoption of a new constitution, a new composite national anthem was introduced, which combined part of "Nkosi Sikelel 'iAfrika" and part of "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" into a single composition in order to form a new hybrid song.
Since the end of apartheid and the adoption of a new national anthem in the 1990s, the status of "Die Stem" has become somewhat controversial in contemporary South Africa due to its connection with the apartheid regime. It remains popular with far-right organisations such as the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, where it is sometimes performed at the funerals of such groups' members. Although elements of it are used in the current South African national anthem, some want those segments to be removed due to their connection with apartheid, whereas others defend the inclusion of it as it was done for post-apartheid re-conciliatory reasons. When "Die Stem" was mistakenly played by event organisers in place of the current South African national anthem during a UK-hosted women's field hockey match in 2012, it sparked outrage and confusion among the South African staff members and players present.
|"Die Stem van Suid-Afrika"||"The Call of South Africa"||Literal translation from Afrikaans|
|Uit die blou van onse hemel,||Ringing out from our blue heavens,||From the blue of our heaven|
|Uit die diepte van ons see,||From our deep seas breaking round,||From the depths of our sea,|
|Oor ons ewige gebergtes||Over everlasting mountains,||Over our eternal mountain ranges|
|Waar die kranse antwoord gee.||Where the echoing crags resound,||Where the cliffs give answer|
|Deur ons vêr verlate vlaktes||From our plains where creaking wagons,||Through our far-deserted plains|
|Met die kreun van ossewa.||Cut their trails into the earth,||With the groan of ox-wagon|
|Ruis die stem van ons geliefde,||Calls the spirit of our country,||Rustles the voice of our beloved,|
|Van ons land Suid-Afrika.||Of the land that gave us birth.||Of our country South Africa|
|Ons sal antwoord op jou roepstem,||At thy call we shall not falter,||We will answer to your calling,|
|Ons sal offer wat jy vra:||Firm and steadfast we shall stand,||We will offer what you ask|
|Ons sal lewe, ons sal sterwe,||At thy will to live or perish,||We will live, we will die|
|Ons vir jou, Suid-Afrika.||O South Africa, dear land.||We for Thee, South Africa|
|In die murg van ons gebeente,||In our body and our spirit,||In the marrow of our bones|
|in ons hart en siel en gees,||In our inmost heart held fast;||In our heart and soul and spirit|
|In ons roem op ons verlede,||In the promise of our future,||In the glory of our past|
|In ons hoop op wat sal wees.||And the glory of our past;||In our hope of what will be|
|In ons wil en werk en wandel,||In our will, our work, our striving,||In our will and work and wander,|
|Van ons wieg tot aan ons graf.||From the cradle to the grave-||From our crib to our grave|
|Deel geen ander land ons liefde,||There's no land that shares our loving,||Share no other land our love,|
|Trek geen ander trou ons af.||And no bond that can enslave.||No other loyalty can sway us.|
|Vaderland, ons sal die adel,||Thou hast borne us and we know thee,||Fatherland! We will bear the nobility|
|Van jou naam met ere dra:||May our deeds to all proclaim||Of your name with honour:|
|Waar en trou as Afrikaners,||Our enduring love and service||Dedicated and true as Afrikaners,|
|Kinders van Suid-Afrika.||To thy honour and thy name.||Children of South Africa|
|In die songloed van ons somer,||In the golden warmth of summer,||In the sunglow of our summer,|
|in ons winternag se kou,||In the chill of winter's air,||In our winter night's cold|
|In die lente van ons liefde,||In the surging life of springtime,||In the spring of our love,|
|in die lanfer van ons rou.||In the autumn of despair;||In the autumn of our sorrow|
|By die klink van huw'liksklokkies,||When the wedding bells are chiming,||At the sound of wedding bells,|
|by die kluit-klap op die kis.||Or when those we love do depart,||At the stonefall on the coffin.|
|Streel jou stem ons nooit verniet nie,||Thou dost know us for thy children||Soothes your voice us never in vain,|
|Weet jy waar jou kinders is.||And dost take us to thy heart||You know where your children are.|
|Op jou roep sê ons nooit née nie,||Loudly peals the answering chorus;||At your call we never say no,|
|Sê ons altyd, altyd ja:||We are thine, and we shall stand,||We always, always say yes:|
|Om te lewe, om te sterwe -||Be it life or death, to answer||To live, to die –|
|Ja, ons kom, Suid-Afrika.||To thy call, beloved land.||Yes, we come South Africa|
|Op U Almag vas vertrouend||In thy power, Almighty, trusting,||On your almight steadfast entrusted|
|het ons vadere gebou:||Did our fathers build of old;||Had our fathers built:|
|Skenk ook ons die krag, o Here!||Strengthen then, O Lord, their children||Give to us also the strength, o Lord!|
|Om te handhaaf en te hou.||To defend, to love, to hold-||To sustain and to preserve.|
|Dat die erwe van ons vadere||That the heritage they gave us||That the heritage of our fathers|
|Vir ons kinders erwe bly:||For our children yet may be;||For our children heritage remain|
|Knegte van die Allerhoogste,||Bondsmen only to the Highest[a]||Servants of the almighty,|
|Teen die hele wêreld vry.||And before the whole world free.||Against the whole world free.|
|Soos ons vadere vertrou het,||As our fathers trusted humbly,||As our fathers trusted,|
|Leer ook ons vertrou, o Heer:||Teach us, Lord to trust Thee still;||Teach us also to trust, o Lord:|
|Met ons land en met ons nasie||Guard our land and guide our people||With our land and with our nation|
|Sal dit wel wees, God regeer.||In Thy way to do Thy will.||It will be well, God reigns.|
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