[Music Fridays] Baba Yetu — Christopher Tin

The theme song of humanity.

The theme song of humanity.

Audio sources:

“Baba Yetu” is essentially the Lord’s Prayer sung in Swahili. The title translated means “Our Father”.

Baba yetu, yetu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, yetu amina!
Baba yetu yetu uliye
Jina lako e litukuzwe.Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji, utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, muovu e milele!Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni.

Our Father, who art
in Heaven. Amen!
Our Father,
Hallowed be thy name.Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us of
our trespasses,
As we forgive others
Who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from the evil one forever.Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.


On Fridays we feature music on this podcast and today i'm sharing one of my favorite songs - Baba Yetu. If all of humanity ever had a theme song, this would be my pick.

This first clip was from a performance with the Royal Philharmonic in London at Cadogan Hall.
Baba Yetu was the theme song for the game Civilization 4 and it was the first video game song to ever win a Grammy award. If you watch the official music video that comes with the game, linked in the show notes, you can imagine how it celebrates the crowning achievements of civilization from the taming of fire all the way through to the space race and the information age. But the renditions I feature here are not from the game, they are live performances conducted by Christopher himself. I really prefer the live performances because you get to see how passionate Christopher is about this song, and how much it lifts up the entire chorus and orchestra. As one youtube commenter said, "this is a song composed by an asian guy in an african language sung by white people from a game about the rise of humanity. Now if that isn't awesome I don't know what is."

Baba Yetu is the Lords Prayer in Swahili - so literally you are saying "give us this day our daily bread, forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive others" as you sing this song. To close out, here's another rendition I like with a more diverse cast and I love appreciating how a different soloist interprets it.

If you have the time, I recommend watching both performances on youtube. 
2021 Swyx