Helena Hettema wrote the following for ESC Covers.
‘ La Mamma’ was a song written in 1962 by American French singer Charles Aznavour and also sung by Dutch singer Corry Brokken (who in 1957 won the second edition of the Eurovision song festival with the song ‘Net als toe’ representing the Netherlands).
My father came to South Africa from the Netherlands at the age of five in 1938, on a ship with his mother Leeuwkje and his father arrived in SA inv1939 two weeks before the outbreak of WW11.
As a child I grew up with the music of the continental and European greats such as Piaf, Brel, Aznavour and Matthieu as well as Corry Brokken.
Likewise, as a child my father grew up with Corry’s music which his mother Leeuwkje also loved, and he would often say I should sing this mesmerizing song about the gypsy queen who is facing her death with the beloved gypsy caravans coming across the land from far and wide to pay tribute to their queen in her last hours.
At last, during lockdown as part of my show ‘Divine ‘, we recorded ‘La Mamma’ as tribute to my Dutch heritage. I sing ‘La Mamma’ for my beloved father, Jan Hettema legendary double Springbok – cyclist and rally driver who died tragically on the 29th of June 2016.
Helena entered this song in the ESC Covers COVER2COVER promotional platform.