A Roman Catholic priest for many years, Fr. Dargie observed that many priests resorted to using European or North American melodies they knew and ignored the rich heritage of South African music, especially the music of the Xhosa and Zulu peoples. For example, the venerable Latin chant “Tantum Ergo Sacramentum” (a communion hymn attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas), was sung in one parish to “My Darling Clementine”!
For Fr. Dargie, a white South African of Scots-Irish lineage, part of the liberation of black South Africans from the political oppression of apartheid was to encourage them to sing their Christian faith with their own music rather than in the musical idioms of their colonial oppressors.
In the decades immediately f… Go to person page >