One question I often get is "Brian, how do you find this stuff"?
So – Chinese ladies in Texas line-dancing to the South African Dutch country-music version of the theme song — complete with yodeling — of a Japanese cartoon about a Swiss-German girl. How do I find it?
It all started with our vacation in Southern Africa.
Background information: Down there in Namibia the main spoken language is Afrikaans, which is the language that Dutch turned into after 300 years in Southern Africa. It is (in written form) 80-90% comprehensible to me and I enjoy reading it and hearing it on the radio there. The accent is really beautiful actually – sometimes even sexy! Unfortunately it's suppressed in favor of English these days — even though most Afrikaans-speakers are people of color, Afrikaans was promoted under apartheid.
I was looking for music to accompany a video I was going to make of our trip (but never did). One song I thought of was "Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba, perhaps the most famous South African song of all.
While searching for Pata Pata I saw there was an Afrikaans version called "Baie Baie". I listened, and, meh. Not so great. But then I saw a link to a video which was Baie Baie line dance. Well, it was a completely different Afrikaans song (here is the original video).
Line danced by some Chinese ladies in Texas.
Which, in itself took me some time to process. Chinese ladies. They are in America. Line dancing. OK cool!
Huh? Well it appears these Chinese ladies danced to a whole lot of music from around the world. And some lady in Holland was choreographing a lot of Afrikaans music, a lot of which has a country beat.
I guess when you put white people on a new continent and they raise cattle, they start singing country. Thus also in South Africa.
There was more Afrikaans music these Chinese-Texan ladies were line-dancing. One was "Sweet Heidi". And I recognized the melody. It was the theme song from Heidi, a Japanese anime series wildly popular around the world except for the U.S. I had seen the series in the Netherlands. And it also existed dubbed into Afrikaans:
And this Afrikaans singer had turned the theme song into a country-style love ditty about his sweet Heidi, with a music video mostly shot in his car.