Free Nelson Mandela in Tramore..
This weekend I ended up in a club called "The Baldy Man" in the seaside village of Tramore county Wexford.
As is standard in Ireland at 2 oclock all the lights came on, the place closed and we all hit the street. Just out the door we started chatting to an Irish couple. This started off rather badly as my friend a fellow South African mentioned that ...
our parents where in fact British and her Grandfather was a protestant from Northern Ireland. I do not think we could have said anything worse than this, the guy made the sign of the cross against his chest and had a little drunken hiccup. His wife then went on about her membership of the IRA and who she would shoot if he was standing across the street. Apparently this good Friday agreement is not going to last long.
In an attempt to bring the conversation out of the danger zone I brought up everyone's favorite Nelson Mandela. This as always was a crowd pleaser, the wife then started telling me how her and her mates used to sing the "Free Nelson Mandela" song every weekend on the bar after a good night out.
She then started talking all kinds of nonsense about Mandela's history, his number of wives and why he went to jail. I did my best to get her facts straight but fear I had little effect as she had already written me off. The advice I gave her and I think every South African who wants to have some understanding of what happened, is to read
"I am Prepared to Die" the speech Mandela made at his Rivonia trial before being sent to jail. I certainly filled in a lot of blanks for me.
We parted ways with the couple as they had a 3 year old son they needed to get home to.
Back to the song free Nelson Mandela, I had never heard of it before which is probably not that surprising having grown up in South Africa. So this morning I did some googling and youtubing. It sounds very familiar so I have probably come across it before but not really taken it in. I love this entry from wikipedia though, "the song was performed as the show's finale, with Amy Winehouse on lead vocals. However, careful listening to the soundtrack reveals that, instead of "Free Nelson Mandela", she at times sang "Free Blakey, My Fella" (a reference to her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, a former drug dealer imprisoned for assault)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Nelson_Mandela
Nice way to take a very hectic song about someone who put his life on the line for what he believe right and use it for your drug addicted boyfriend, classy.