Eugène Terre’Blanche, NewsRevue Lyric Actually Used, 26 July 1992

I like to think of Ogblog as the fifth emergency service. So when John White texted me on 1 January 2017 to say that he had my old Eugène Terre’blanche/Sweet Gene Vincent song giving him earworm and could I please Ogblog it sharpish…no sooner the word than the deed – click here for that hurried rescue piece.

But in truth, I wanted to write more about this lyric and in any case that original version from February 1992 was pre-NewsRevue (from my point of view) and never professionally performed.

By the summer of 1992 I was writing quite regularly for NewsRevue and, fortuitously (for me and for NewsRevue, not for the people of South Africa), Terre’blanche was back in the news.

Stalwarts of the show that summer were Jonathan Linsley and his then girlfriend Paula Tappenden. Both had a go at both acting and directing the show; at that juncture, Paula was directing and Jonathan was acting. That was good fortune for this song, as Jonathan was able to personify the ghastly Eugène Terre’Blanche very well.

I recall some excellent business in the intro where they would take the line “I like to watch springboks rutting” and get a member of the cast to do some suggestive puppetry with a pair of sneakers, only for Linsley/Terre’Blanche to yell, “I said springboks, not Reeboks”.

The female members of the cast would don deer masks and then dance around as a chorus of springboks. I recall that Dorothy (“Dot”) Atkinson was one of the springboks in that song but more importantly one of the supremely talented members of that cast.

Perhaps you had to be there – it was great. Paula and Jon (and indeed Dot); you were and are stars. It was one of the golden eras for NewsRevue.

In my delight and excitement at this triumph, I found, in Record and Tape Exchange, which is/was around the corner from my flat, an utterly ghastly album of Afrikaaner Oom-pah-pah music by Johnny Saffer and his Afrikaaner Pennywhistle Brass Band. OK, perhaps the band wasn’t called that, but the jolly looking chap on the cover “boer” a passing resemblance to Linsley/Terre’Blanche.

I gave the album to Paula and Jonathan. I think Jonathan and Paula enjoyed the wheeze. I wonder what became of that memento when they split? Perhaps this Ogblog piece will uncover one or both of  those lovely people and my question might even be answered.

Meanwhile, the lyrics that were actually used in NewsRevue follow:

                              EUGENE TERRE’BLANCHE – JULY 1992 VERSION

(To the tune of “Sweet Gene Vincent”)

 

INTRO BIT

 

{CHORUS:Eugene baby}

I like to get out of Cape Town sometimes and drive round the Karoo,

I like to eat Boerwors with right wing reporters who claim we don’t screw;

I like to watch the springboks rutting, I like to eat them barbecued.

Eugene Terre’Blanche, Neo-Nazi baas, Eugene Terre’Blanche.

{CHORUS:Who, who, who’s that baas?}

 

1st MAIN BIT

 

White face-black shirt, whites rich-blacks poor, Afrikaner-Hottentot, white’s right-black’s not:-

Eugene Terre’Blanche,

There’s one in every town;

I’m fond of dressing up like the Ku Klux Klan,

In a pointed hat and gown.

 

Eugene Terre’Blanche,

I am a crashing Boer;

Before we cede power to the ANC,

We’ll fight a civil war.

 

Well, the Nationalist Party is much too soft,

I think they’re Botha jerk,

But I’d still sooner have to take my Pik,

Than F.W. de Klerk.

 

2nd MAIN BIT

 

White Meneer-black Kaffir, whites vote-blacks don’t, Afrikaner-Bantu, hate blacks and Jews:-

Eugene Terre’Blanche,

They say that I’m like Himmler;

I haven’t yet caused as much violence as him,

But our accents sound quite similar.

 

Eugene Terre’Blanche,

I’m the baas laager lout;

We’re gonna cause trouble in the RSA,

Until we get thrown out.

 

Eugene Terre’Blanche,

I’m just a big fat git;

I’d like to end this song on a profound note,

But I’m afraid that’s it.

 

Click here or below for the Ian Dury and the Blockheads version.

 

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