Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A matter of import - part 1

During the 1980's, South Africa experienced what was known then as the "brain drain". Many young South Africans left the country to settle overseas. Favourite destinations were Australia and England. Many of those young people contributed a great deal to the eventual end to apartheid in South Africa. After democratic elections in South Africa, many of those who lived in exile returned to South Africa. These young people received good education at overseas universities and eventually helped to reverse the brain drain to some extend. Those who joined the 'official' struggle movement while in exile were rewarded with positions in the new government.

Meet Neil, one of those young men. Neil left the country with Hugo and settled in London, where he received a degree in law. While in exile, Neil met and married an English girl. They had one daughter whom they named Melissa.

When Melissa was about 8 years old, her family relocated back to South Africa, where her dad got a job in the new government and became a member of the new Parliament.

Ten years later, the day after the freedom day celebrations, Melissa, with her friend, Tyler, arrived at her home to talk to her father, who is in their lounge.
At the freedom day celebrations the previous day, Tyler made up his mind. He wants to bring his father back to South Africa. Melissa told him to stop talking and do something about it. She suggested that they should go see her father, Neil who might know where he is.
Track: A matter of import part 1
Album: Unpublished (From the musical, The exile)
Artist: Eric Swardt

With that background, the lyrics of this song is self explanatory. After the introductions, Tyler states his business and Neil offers to assist. In the last verse Neil reflects on his memories of Hugo, which is covered in detail in the song which follows immediately after this one.
Good day father. it is good to see you again
please meet Tyler, he is my dearest friend
he's the son of Pam and wish to talk to you
about a matter that you may know a thing or two
Good day young man, tell me what's on your mind
is there some information that you wish to find
and as your member of the parliament
I'll take your matter without any argument
Sir, the matter about which i wish to talk
is not of public import
I seek news of the one who made a stand
and sacrificed so much for this land

I am told that you are one
who joined my father on the run
but while so many have returned
my father never claimed what he earned
(5a Tyler and Melissa)
We know what fate befell on every one
(oh yes, we know)
of the heroes that were on the run
but as for Hugo we don't know how
he is doing now
(6c with Melisa)
Sir, the matter about which I came to speak
is of great import to me
I come to you as I am on the trail
of my father who is in exile

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