Ag Pleez Deddy
While I was growing up my sister and I always knew we were in for a special treat when my dad brought out his guitar and songbook. One of our favourite songs and which has become an anthem of sorts in our family was Ag Pleez Deddy.
For those of you who have not heard this ‘ballad of the Southern Suburbs’, here is a snippet of the song that has provided my family with many happy memories …
Ag pleez deddy won’t you take us to the drive-in
All six, seven of us, eight, nine, ten
We wanna see a flick about
Tarzan and the Ape-men
And when the show is over you can bring us back again
Popcorn, chewing gum, peanuts and bubble gum
Ice cream, candy floss and Eskimo Pie
Ag deddy how we miss
Nigger balls and liquorice
Pepsi Cola, ginger beer
and Canada Dry
And so starts the ballad of the Southern Suburbs, my dad used to sing it with great gusto and an accent that would make any Capetonian child proud. The verses range from pleading to go to the fun fair, watch a wrestling match and take a trip to Durban and you can only imagine this is what every parent must hear come weekend or holiday time. My sister and I would giggle uncontrollably when my dad would sing the line of the father telling the children to “voetsek” and sustain the laughter through the final verse in which the children tell their father that if he doesn’t help them in the quest for something to do they will have no other option but to go and pick fights with the children next door.
This song that holds so many happy memories was not written by my dad, as I had naively assumed while growing up, but by Jeremy Taylor in 1961, long before I was born. Taylor was born in the U.K., but spent most of his life in South Africa. He was originally an English teach in Johannesburg, but is since famed as a folk singer and song writer. Taylor was an entertainer not only through his music, but also as a stand-up comedian. His performances and artistry usually had some social commentary included and he had perfected the dramatic pause in critical points in his songs, which aided in making his songs so humorous.
Through his songs Taylor allowed audiences to laugh at themselves while delving into deeper underlying issues in society. This however did not make him popular in apartheid South Africa and many of his songs were banned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the government.
Now why on earth am I telling you this you might be wondering, well while at dinner last night my mom mentioned that they were very keen to go and see Jeremy Taylor who would be performing at the Baxter in the upcoming week. “Who???” was my response and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the singer of this old favourite would be in my home town. I will most definitely be joining my parents at this show to relive happy childhood memories and I thought I needed to share this with you incase you would like to do the same.
Jeremy Taylor will be performing at the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch. I feel this is most certainly a fitting venue as Ag Pleez Deddy is the ballad of the Southern Suburbs and Rondebosch is in the heart of the Southern Suburbs. The show previews on Tuesday 13 October 2009 and runs until Saturday 24 October 2009 with the performance beginning at 19h30.
Tickets are R85 for the preview on Tuesday 13, otherwise R110 from Tuesday to Thursday and R120 for Saturday and Sunday, Monday night offers a discounted price, however, conditions apply.
I thought I would leave you with my own ballad:
(sung in the tune of Ag Pleez Deddy – Jeremy Taylor)
Ag pleez Cape Town won’t you please book your tickets
Jem will entertain with a song or two
He’ll make you laugh and cry and smile
And roll around in the aisle
I am looking forward to a giggle or two …
Or perhaps we’ll leave the singing and song writing to Mr Taylor himself!
Dates and Times:
Preview on Tuesday, 13 October, at 19:30
Opens on Wednesday, 14 October, at 19:30
Thereafter Monday–Saturday at 19:30