Monday, July 11

"For those who say they don't understand"

I featured Senegalese singer/composer/musician Diogal Sakho's lyrical Xarit Taffa here a few weeks ago. Here's another song from Diogal. Samba Alla is a toe-tapper; nothing profound, unless it's the smile the song can bring to a long face.

As to what the lyrics mean -- I came across an enchanting comment at a YouTube page that featured the singing of another West African singer, Dobet Gnahoré
For those who say they don't understand ...I am Ivorian (like the singer) but I don't understand the lyrics of this song. We've got 63 local languages in Ivory Coast and we usually don't understand what songs are about. That doesn't stop us from loving most tunes.
-- loveapr18  2 years ago
That's been my experience; after I discovered West African music earlier this year I spent time trying to find, mostly without success, lyrics to songs I fell in love with -- an experience shared by many listeners from around the world, one can learn from YouTube comments. But most become philosophical, as I have, about not understanding the lyrics. And not understanding gives me the freedom to make up my own lyrics.

West African musicians have also given me a very great gift. I've learned to think of music as always there. It's just a matter of tuning the ear to hear it.

Listen to the first 24 seconds in this video, as Dobet uses a pottery vase and her hands and a ring on her finger as the percussion accompaniment to her singing. So never say you're without music....

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