John Edmond | Songs of Kruger Park

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Songs of Kruger Park

by John Edmond

A Wonderful original collection of songs by South Africa's foremost folk singer and song writer about a place KRUGER NATIONAL PARK world renown for its animals "Big Five",and other game, birds and history that goes back more than a hundred years.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Old Voortrekker Road
2:45 $0.99
2. Uncle Paul
4:11 $0.99
3. James Stevenson-Hamilton
2:49 $0.99
4. Paradise Names on the Breeze
5:10 $0.99
5. Crook's Corner
3:11 $0.99
6. Jock of the Bushveld
3:29 $0.99
7. Harry with the Lion Heart
4:08 $0.99
8. Ingwe-Beautiful Loner
2:45 $0.99
9. The Nile Crocodile's Lament
4:08 $0.99
10. Big Five Little Five
2:14 $0.99
11. Love Is a Walk in the Park
3:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Notes by the Composer John Edmond.
1. The Old Voortrekker Road: since the 15th century there have been seven known routes through area now known as Kruger National Park (KNP) from the Mozambique coast to the hinterland. Routes depended on water availability. First Europeans to the area were Frans de Cuiper of Dutch East India Company in 1725 then Portuguese Jao Albisini 1846 and compatriot Das Neves in 1860. First Voortrekker attempting to reach the coast from Zoutpansberg was Langhans Janse van Rensburg in 1836. He took northern route east of Elim to Limpopo River to follow it bound for Inhambane. His party of 49 massacred near confluence of Olifants River in June 1836 by Zulu chief Manukosi (alias Soshangane). Impi led by Malitel 2 children rescued by Zulu warrior but later die of malaria. Andries Potgieter unsuccessfully searches for van Rensburg in northerly direction but Louis Trichardt finds massacre site and returns home. In August 1837 Trichardt departs again with his group and only reach Delagoa Bay 13th April 1838. Most of his party contract malaria. Wife dies in May 1838 and he on 25th Oct. 1838. 20 odd survivors evacuated on ship Mazeppa to Port Natal. Before dying Trichardt commissions son Carolus (Carl) to find a good route. With experienced Joa Albisini they find one in 1849. Properly constructed by Alois Nelmapius in 1896. Was used to serve Lydenburg and Mac Mac goldfields and traversed by transport riders and porters. Sir Percy Fitzpatrick used it and his dog Jock was born en-route on present Old Voortrekker Road.
2. Uncle Paul: Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger born in Cape Colony 10th October 1825. As a youth was on great trek of 1835. Family settle in Rustenburg area. Becomes a great hunter and marksman, was extremely religious. Joins Transvaal military becomes a field cornet, and goes into politics. Elected to Transvaal Parliament in 1874 Later becomes vice president and finally president. Was involved in 1st Anglo Boer war 1880-1881. Although a keen hunter realises in 1884 game being depleted. Suggests a game sanctuary to parliament. In 1889 proposes areas for game reserves again. In 1895 MP’s Loveday and van Wijk table another motion. In 1897 an area agreed upon. On 26th March 1898 a bill passed. In 1899 second Anglo Boer War begins. Area becomes a battlefield. Game hunted to feed soldiers. Boers defeated and Paul Kruger advised to go into exile. Dies in Clarens in Switzerland. After WW1 (1914-1918) farmers and prospectors eye the area. On 31st May 1926 Minister of lands Piet Grobler (grandnephew of Paul Kruger) assisted by Deneys Reitz, Messers Papenfus, Pirow, Dr Schoch and Genl. Smuts, National Parks act passed. Paul Kruger’s dream comes true. Although the perhaps mythical Kruger millions, supposedly hidden after his exile, were never found, certainly the priceless preservation of Flora and Fauna are worth more than all the money in the world.
3. James Stevenson Hamilton; born Dublin1867 of Scottish parents, Col. James Stevenson and Eliza Hamilton of Fairholm, Scotland where he grows up. Attends Rugby school and Sandhurst military college. Becomes officer in 6th Inniskillings Dragoons. First in Africa in 1888 on campaign against rebellion of Dinizulu. In 1898 does Cape to Cairo expedition exploring Zambezi and Kafue rivers in Northern Rhodesia. Serves as cavalrymen in 1899 in Anglo Boer War. Attains rank of Lieutenant Col. Receives Queens and Kings Medals. In 1902 awarded wardenship of Sabie game reserve by Transvaal Government. Due to great passion, dedication, organising skills, administration, firmness and diplomacy does all ground work for KNP. Given the name Skukuza meaning the one who sweeps away or cleanses. In 1914 leaves for a while to serve in WW1. In 1920 marries Hilda Cholmondeley. After 44 years’ service retires. Dies 10th December 1957 at Hazyview. Wife dies 1979 and both their ashes scattered at Shirimatanga 12 km. from Skukuza in 1979.
4. Paradise Names on the Breeze; The sweet sounding place names in KNP all have their own meaning and history. Pafuri was the name of a Venda Chief. An asteroid discovered by English astronomer Harry Edwin Wood at Union Observatory 1924 was named after the Pafuri Triangle;confluence of Levuvhu and Limpopo Rivers. Nuanetsi means to sparkle. Punda Maria originally called Punda Malia- Swahili word for zebra by early local ranger Coetzer, formally involved in nature conservation in Kenya. Later Coetzer changes Malia to Maria in memory of his late wife. Punda Mariha means border between dry and lush area. Shingwedzi means the sound of metal rubbing together. Letaba means river of sand. Mopani is a tree species commonly found in KNP and has green leaves most of the year. Satara was named by an Indian surveyor’s assistant during surveying of KNP in Indian dialect meaning (milestone) number seventeen. Tshokwane was the name of a Sotho man. Talamati means plenty of water. Skukza means sweep away. Biyamiti means stockade of safety. Sabi means fear and Shirimantanga means till the land in the damp early morning.
5. Crook’s Corner; Triangular area between confluence of Levuvhu and Limpopo Rivers where Mozambique, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Transvaal (South Africa) meet. This area was a boon to scoundrels, fugitives, ivory hunters, poachers and human traffickers from many countries; Britain, USA, Ireland, Australia and other colonial countries. Inhabitants could avoid apprehension by authorities of any of those countries at the river confluence by slipping over a border into another country. It is said the beacon marking the axis of those lands was often moved to suit the fugitives.

6. Jock of the Bushveld; Song originally recorded in 1965. Desmond Niven, grandson of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick gave his blessing. Royalty of the sale of this first recording donated to the Percy Fitzpatrick memorial trust which contributed greatly to the development of KNP. Song portrays Jock, legendary cross Staffordshire bull terrier belonging to Percy Fitzpatrick, transport rider on old Voortrekker road. Jock was born to Percy’s friend’s dog Jess between Pretoriuskop and Afsaal. After transport riding Percy moves into other walks of life. Jock cannot settle down in town so is boarded out to store keeper Tom Barnett. Feral dogs bother his livestock at night. Jock protects them with his life. One night during a disturbance in fowl run, Tom fires rifle and kills what he thinks is perpetrator; it was Jock. Jock had already killed the raider, his duty was done. Buried beneath a fig tree somewhere between Komatipoort and Maputo.
7. Harry with the Lion Heart; Harry Charles Christoffel Wolhutter born 14 Feb 1877 Beaufort west. Went to Johannesburg at 14 years of age. Became a shepherd, big game hunter, trader and farmer. Cattle wiped out by Rinderpest 1896. During Boer War joins Steinaecker’s Horse on British side although had friends on Boer side. His patrol area covered much of KNP and was very familiar with area. Meets James Stevenson Hamilton after war in 1902 and recruited as one of the first wardens. In Aug 1903 on horseback patrol near Lebombo Mountains and Metsimetsi stream ahead of his crew with wire haired terrier ”Bull”, looking for a water hole, attacked by two lions. One goes for the horse other grabs Harry by shoulder. Harry stabs lion in the heart, gets up a tree and crew finally arrive and tend his wounds. Ends up in Barberton Hospital, recovers and returns to duty. Serves 45 years in the park. Dies 13 January 1964. His son Harry junior follows in father’s footsteps.
8. Ingwe Beautiful Loner; This song is derived from a poem I wrote for a leopard protection group to be published in their journal / newsletter in 2010. This beautiful animal is a survivor and is still persecuted as it has been for centuries. Leopard skins were much in demand in Africa and around the world. Leopards occur in many parts of the world; can live in any habitat but numbers declining, they are nocturnal, solitary ambush predators. The biggest cat that climbs tress and the smallest of the big cats. It is not one of the big five for nothing, Name comes from the Greek leopardus and is a combo of (lion) leon and (panther) pardus. Can run nearly 60km per hour, jump 3 m. high and 6m wide. Males maximum 80kg females maximum 60kg. Classified as near threatened by IUCN Red list (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Occur in Africa, Arabia, China, Himalayas, India, South West Asia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Java. Gestation period 3 months, 2 / 3 cubs very good mothers. Vision 7 times that of a human and hearing 5 times. Good swimmers, forelimbs stronger than lion. Spots on leopard’s face are unique like fingerprints. Known to kill crocodiles. Call is a rasping sound. Can take its own body weight into a tree and is a very particular eater, removes fur or feathers from prey before eating. 15 year life span.
9. The Nile Crocodile’s Lament; For many years big game hunters claim the big five the most dangerous animals to shoot on foot (Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard ) This song is a humorous angle on why the Nile crocodile is left out of the big five club. There are 3 types of Crocodiles in Africa. Slender Snouted Crocodile (3m max in length), West African Dwarf Crocodile (2 m max) Congo Dwarf Crocodile (1.5m max) Many other related species around the world. Nile crocodile is the second biggest in the world (7 m max) Australian salty (7m+). Can weigh plus 500kg. Very efficient hunter and dangerous. Eyesight hearing and sense of smell excellent. Has retractable eyes protected by membranes and bone. Excretes “tears” from lachrymal glands to cleanse eyes- hence crocodile tears. Running speed 14kmph swimming speed 35kmph. Pressure of jaws plus minus 2.5 tons. Can stay submerged 30min to 2 hours. Have plus minus 60 teeth always replaceable. Form has remained unchanged for many millions of years. Life span plus minus 100years. 5 Digits on fore feet and 4 on hind can lay up to 80 eggs. Thick skin on back called osteoderm for protection and anti-de-hydration. Hunting technique is to stalk, lunge out of water, grab prey twice its size, twist, pull into water and drown. Cannot chew. Tears carcass apart and swallows.
10. Big Five Little Five; Most visitors to KNP want to see the big five but often miss out on other wonders of nature such as the little five ie. Elephant shrew, ant-lion (insect), Buffalo weaver (bird), Rhino beetle and leopard tortoise. This song aims to make young people aware of the other wonders of nature.
11. Love is a walk in the Park; KNP is the size of Wales and attract millions of visitors from around the world, it is not only a paradise for nature lovers but is a place to unwind and relieve the stress and strain of a crazy world. This song was especially written for my wife.



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