woensdag 20 september 2017

Ella Ree (1853) / Carry Me Back To Tennessee (1865) / Sarie Maré (1889) / Sarie Marais (1927) / Sweet Allalee (1927)

Although Sarie Marais became known as a typical South African song, its origins go back to the American Civil War, where a song called "Carry Me Back To Tennessee" or "Ellie Rhee" was written in 1865 by Septimus Winner (1827-1902).

But this song has a confusing history. In 1852 or 1853, Charles E. Stewart and James W. Porter published “Ella Ree.”

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Ella Ree | Library of Congress

In 1865, Septimus Winner altered the lyrics of the song to fit the post-Civil War circumstances. That seems to be the original of most of the traditional versions, although they cannot agree on whether the girl is Ella or Ellie, and Ree or Rhee or Rhea, or even “Allalee.”

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Carry me back to Tennessee; Ellie Rhee (b1043) - Historic American Sheet Music - Duke Libraries

The Originals © by Arnold Rypens - CARRY ME BACK TO TENNESSEE

Ellie Rhee (Ella Rhee, Ella Ree)

This song was heard being sung by Americans working the Transvaal gold mines by Afrikaans journalist Jacobus Petrus Toerien , who adapted the song into the Afrikaans language sometime around 1889 (between the First and Second Freedom Wars, as the Boer War was known in South Africa). He substituted the name of Ellie Rhee with that of his own sweethart Sarie Maré, who he later married and with who he had 16 children, 8 of whom survived.

Sarie Marais - Wikipedia

The first recording of the original American version I could find:

(c) Carroll Clark (1910)  (as "Carry Me Back To Tennessee")
Recorded early 1910 in New York
Released on Columbia A852

Carrol C. Clark* - Carry Me Back To Tennessee (Shellac) at Discogs

Columbia matrix 4445. Carry me back to Tennessee / Carroll Clark ; Vess L. Ossman - Discography of American Historical Recordings

Listen here:

(c) Lester McFarland and Robert A. Gardner (1927) (as "Sweet Allalee")
Recorded December 8, 1927 in New York
Released on Vocalion 5199

Lester McFarland (2) And Robert A. Gardner - Lay My Head Beneath The Rose / Sweet Allalee (Shellac) at Discogs

Listen here:

(c) Kanawha Singers (1929) (as "Ella Ree (Carry Me Back To Tennessee")
Recorded August 27, 1929 in New York


Released on Brunswick 459

Kanawha Singers - Ella Ree (Carry Me Back To Tennessee) / Climb Up, Ye Chillun, Climb (Shellac) at Discogs

(c) Blue Sky Boys (1936) (as "Sweet Allalee")
Released on Bluebird 6854

The Blue Sky Boys (Bill And Earl Bolick)* - Can't You Hear That Night Bird Crying / Sweet Allalee (Shellac) at Discogs

Die Afrikaanse woorde van Sarie Marais het die eerste keer in 1927 in druk verskyn in Joan van Niekerk se “Groot Afrikaanse-Hollandse Liederbundel” waarin dit bloot as ‘n Afrikaanse volkswysie beskryf is. 

"Sarie Marais" was also the title of the first South African talking picture, directed by Joseph Albrecht and made in 1931. Filmed in Johannesburg, Sarie Marais manages to pack a lot into its 10-minute running time. Set in a British POW camp, the film concentrates on a group of Boer prisoners as they pass the time under the watchful eye of their British captors.
One of the internees, played by Billy Mathews, lifts his voice in song with the popular Afrikaans patriotic tune "My Sarie Marais". His enthusiasm catches on with the other prisoners, giving them hope for the future.


Sarie Marais (1931) - IMDb

Chris Blignaut also sang some songs in the Sarie Marais talking picture referred to above,
Blignaut's recording with the Melodians as backing is from the same year as the movie.
Released on Columbia DW. 4485 (mx EA 186)

Listen here:

The version below by Chris Blignaut with the Welgens Suikerbossie Orkesis a variation of the original song in which he is backed by a boeremusiek band.

(c) Vier Vrolike Kerels (1930's)  (as "Sarie Marais")
Conducted by Alec Benjamin
Released on Columbia LE.44 mx WEA.444)

Listen here:

(c) Albert de Booy (1933)  (as "Sarie Marijs")
Dutch lyrics Wilhelm Ciere
Matrix PR 2112
Released on Triumph 581 and also on Regina S 3479
Also released on the Astra-label

Listen here:

(c) August de Laat (1933)

(c) AVRO band Kovacs Lajos (vocals: Bob Scholte)  (1933)  (as "Sarie Marys")
Recorded end 1933
Released on Parlophon B 17816 and Odeon A 164997

AVRO band Kovacs Lajos, Bob Scholte - Dat gaat nu met de Pelikaan / Sarie Marys (Shellac) at Discogs

Listen here:

(c) Welgens Orkes (1930's) (as "Sarie Marais")
Released on Gallotone 286

Willie Welgens

(c) Joseph Marais and his Bushveld Band (1939) (as "Sarie Marais")
Recorded December 18, 1939 in New York
Released on Decca 18048 as part of Decca album A-113

Songs of the South African Veld by Josef Marais (Album): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music

this was re-released in 1949 on Decca album DL 5014

Josef Marais And His Bushveld Band - Songs Of The South African Veld (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs

(c) Anne Shelton (1945)  (as "My Beautiful Sarie Marais")
with Stanley Black and his Orchestra
English lyric and musical adaption by Michael Carr and Tommie Connor


Anne Shelton With Stanley Black And His Orchestra* - My Beautiful Sarie Marais (Shellac) at Discogs

In 1950 Dutch singer Eddy Christiani made a very free adaptation of "Sarie Marais"

(c) Eddy Christiani (1950)  (as "O mijn Sarie, mijn Sarie Marijs"

(c) Kilima Hawaiians (1954)  (as "Sarie Marei")
German lyrics by Bruno Balz and Norbert Schultze
Also sung in the movie "Ein Leben Für Do"
Recorded March 17, 1954 in Hamburg
Released on Philips P 44588 H

Die Kilima Hawaiians* - Sarie Marei / Fahr' Mich In Die Welt, Mein Stolzer Kapitän (Shellac) at Discogs


Listen to a sample here:


(c) Eve Boswell (1956)  (as "Sarie Marais")
Released on Parlophone R 4189


Listen here:

(c) Bobbejaan Schoepen (1959)  (as "Sarie Marijs")
Incorporated in the Bobbejaan in Transvaal medley


(c) The Giants (1962)  (as "Sarie Marijs")

The Giants (10)* - Sarie Marijs (Vinyl) at Discogs

Listen here:

In June 1934, a gentleman by the name of A. Kloosterman wrote to a Dutch newspaper to have a song he wrote published in the newspaper. He claimed that it was written to be sung on 31st August (Queen Wilhelmina"s birthday). In the song, simply called "Vlaggelied" (Flag song) is expressed the close relationship between the Netherlands and the House of Orange. He also claimed that the song was already being taught in all Dutch schools and sung by Orange associations, in political circles, in the army and by the fleet. In this capacity he offers his song as a national anthem alongside the classical Wilhelmus to our Great Netherlands. The melody to be used was that of Sarie Marijs (Sarie Marais)

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Vlaggelied - Geheugen van Nederland

(c) Thembi (1977)  (as "Take Me Back To The Old Transvaal") (#  Hit in The Netherlands)

In 1977 South-African singer Thembi recorded the medley "Take Me Back To The Old Transvaal", which was a medley of "Suikerbossie", "Boere" and "Sarie Marijs"

Thembi - Take Me Back To The Old Transvaal / Didi Mala (Vinyl) at Discogs

Listen here

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