Alabama

CSS Alabama vessel

Township 6km west of Klerksdorp, said to take its name indirectly from the State in the South-East America. Named after, the Confederate raider, CSS Alabama, which was a war vessel built in 1862. The Confederate States Navy  commissioned the building of this vessel at Birkenhead, on the River Mersey opposite Liverpool, England. John Laird Sons and Company were resposible for the building of this vessel, Alabama, which was too serve as a successful commerce raider, attacking merchant and naval ships over the course of her two-year career, during which she never docked at a Southern port. She was sunk in June 1864 by USS Kearsarge at the Battle of Cherbourg outside the port of Cherbourg, France. It had an American captain and British crew and they arrived at Saldanha Bay on the 28 July 1863 and captured the Northern vessel, Sea Bride outside Table Bay, on 5 August. The Alabama returned to the Cape in March 1864 and inspired the Cape Malay folksong: 'Daar kom die Alabama'!

Afrikaans versionEnglish version
Daar kom die Alibama,
die Alibama die kom oor die see.
Daar kom die Alibama,
die Alibama die kom oor die see.
Nooi, nooi, die rietkooi, nooi,
die rietkooi is gemaak,
die rietkooi is vir my gemaak
om daarop te slaap.
Nooi, nooi, die rietkooi, nooi,
die rietkooi is gemaak,
die rietkooi is vir my gemaak
om daarop te slaap.
Die Alibama, die Alibama,
die Alibama kom oor die see.
Die Alibama, die Alibama,
die Alibama kom oor die see.
Daar kom die Alibama,
die Alibama die kom oor die see.
Daar kom die Alibama,
die Alibama die kom oor die see.
Die Alibama, die Alibama,
die Alibama kom oor die see.
Die Alibama, die Alibama,
die Alibama kom oor die see.
There comes the Alabama,
The Alabama comes over the sea,
There comes the Alabama,
The Alabama comes over the sea.
Girl, girl, the reed bed is made,
The reed bed is made,
The reed bed is made
For me to sleep on.
Girl, girl, the reed bed is made,
The reed bed is made,
The reed bed is made
For me to sleep on.
Oh, Alabama, the Alabama,
Oh, Alabama come over the sea,
Oh, Alabama, the Alabama,
Oh Alabama come over the sea.

References:
• New Dictionary of South African Place Names by Peter E. Raper.
• Fletcher, R.A. (1910). London: Sidgwick & Jackson. pp. 175–176. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
Google map: 

Last updated : 02-Nov-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 19-Sep-2016