Ag Pleez Deddy

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"Ag Pleez Deddy" (also known as "The Ballad of the Southern Suburbs") is a classic South African song written in 1961 and recorded by Jeremy Taylor (Gallo, SA).[1][2] It was penned in the vernacular of young, English-speaking South Africans, with smatterings of Afrikaans. The song's language was that of Jeremy's students, to whom he taught Latin in the southern suburbs of Johannesburg. On the surface a children's song, it became broadly popular. It is full of references to places, brands and entertainment popular among working-class white South Africans. The single sold more copies in South Africa than any single by Elvis Presley.[citation needed]

In the first four verses, a boy pesters his father to take him and his numerous friends to the drive-in theatre, the funfair, a wrestling match, and finally to a distant beach in Durban, with a chorus chanting: "Popcorn, chewing gum, peanuts and bubblegum". The father remains silent until the abortive fifth verse, when he retorts, "voetsek!" When the song resumes, the boy complains that, since his father won't take him out for amusements, he will have to entertain himself by beating up the boys (moer all the outjies) next door.


  1. ^ "Folk Song a hit in South Africa". New York Times. July 22, 1962. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Jeremy (1992). Ag Pleez Deddy!, Songs and Reflections. Pretoria, SA: Jeremy Taylor Publishing. 

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