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  1. District Six

This is song number two of my series of stories from South Africa and other places. This song was inspired by a novel I was reading on my trip. It was called “Joonie” and is by the South African author Rayda Jacobs. In fact my previous song was also inspired by the same novel.

The story of District Six is a sad one. There used to be a vibrant coloured community living in the heart of Cape Town’s inner city in the shadow of Table Mountain. In the bad old days of apartheid days District Six was bulldozed and the residents kicked out to make room for an upmarket white suburb. The residents ended up scattered all over other areas of Cape Town and the lively community was no more.

This is a simple story of an abused girl who breaks the pattern and leaves. I think one reason women stay in abusive relationships is that they think they have no other options. This song tries to say that there is always an option and you can always find it.

Lyrics

Copyright Joanne Cooper

I used to stay with granny in her home in District Six
People came down to her stoep their problems would be fixed
One day a girl came walking a toddler by her side
Her face was blue and swollen granny listened as she cried

Why don’t you leave why don’t you go It’s no use staying on
Go back home to mum and dad They know where you are from
Your whole life your whole life your whole life a-head
Go back home to mum and dad Go back home she said

A year has passed the girl came back a smile from ear to ear
Dressed just like a lady not a trace of fear
She has a gift to give my gran carried on her back
A sack of oranges with which to show her thanks

Thank God you had the strength to leave It was no use staying on
You went back home to mom and dad They knew where you’re from
Your whole life your whole life your whole life a-head
Went back home to mum and dad You went back home she said

When you can only see one road a-head
There’s a pathway down the side Just ask you’ll be lead

We make mistakes a wrong turn here it’s no use staying on
Go back home to mom and dad They know where you are from
Your whole life your whole life your whole life a-head
Go back home to mum and dad Go back home she said