C.J. Langenhoven wrote an Afrikaans poem called Die Stem, for which music was composed by the Reverend Marthinus Lourens de Villiers in 1921. It was widely used by the South African Broadcasting Corporation in the 1920s, which played it at the close of daily broadcasts, along with God Save the King. It was sung publicly for the first time on 31 May 1928.
It was not translated into English until 1952, while God Save the Queen did not cease to have official status until 1957. The poem originally had only three verses, but the government asked the author to add a fourth verse with a religious theme.
Marabi was played on pianos with accompaniment from pebble-filled cans, often in shebeens, establishments that illegally served alcohol to blacks. By the 1930s, however, marabi had incorporated new instruments, guitars, concertinas and banjos, and new styles of marabi had sprung up. Among these were a marabi/swing fusion called African jazz and jive, a generic term for any popular marabi style of music.