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Lyrics for Baba Yetu (For those who want to sing/read along)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by MSTK, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. MSTK

    MSTK Chieftain

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    Okay, well, Firaxis has released the Opening Soundtrack - Baba Yetu - to Civ4 already, and it's a pretty catchy tune (at least, to me). When I tried to find the lyrics, I got really stuck. Christopher Tin (the composer) appears to have mixed around the words of "The Lord's Prayer". "Baba Yetu", in fact, means "Our Father" in Swahili.
    I don't know much about swahili grammar, but I don't think that he payed much reguards to the end result. That being said, here it is.

    There's still a bunch of mistakes, but it's enough to read along to the song.

    Here is a rough translation. Everything is mixed around, so I had to compensate. Tin added a bunch of extra "yetu"'s ("our"'s), so I took them out in the translation. I didn't understand some of the grammar, so I looked up key words in a dictionary and pasted corresponding Lord's Prayer from NKJ version of the Bible.

    I worked really hard on it using WinAmp and a human ear, so I hope it doesn't go to waste :p

    If you have any improvements, please tell.

    (If you missed the download, here it is.)

    EDIT: Well, we saw Civ IV finally come out. When I finally saw the title screen, and this music playing behind it...I must admit, it brought a tear to my eye. And now the audience is growing greater.
    Also, as some astute listerners might notice, the song actually goe "Baba yetu yetu uliye", as opposed to "baba yetu yesu uliye" transcribed here. CHristopher Tin has said that this is a result of a recording change. So if you're singing along, repeat the "yetu". However, for lyrical purposes, see the version above.

    BIG EDIT: Even though I put it off for months, I finally got together free time (you know, that lull you get after Semester Finals) to jot down a basic chord structure of the song. Now for those of you who play guitar, piano, or keyboard, find it HERE!

    Note: mfalme_mpendwa, a swahili speaker, has posted an alternate translation that is alot more accurate.

    Edit again Wow, it has seriously been almost five years since I originally sat down to transcribe this song. Anyways, I've received a tip from Zancor La Duca, who has helped me fix some words in the song (simoma -> simovu, which makes a bit more sense in that context). Listening over that stanza in particular, I've realized that I must note still that much of this is still all guestimation, by someone (me) with no Swahili or real linguistic experience. That being said, I'm really honored that I've been able to help so many people.
     
  2. Meleager

    Meleager Stoned as a Statue

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    Wow. I don't know if I will use this myself, but I really have to congradulate you on the effort you obviously put into this. :goodjob: :thumbsup: :hatsoff:
     
  3. Trajan13

    Trajan13 Chieftain

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    The tune is actually pretty catchy. It sounds pretty good for cIV. I mean it is pretty epic sounding, but I like it because it sounds of hope, not just of war and conflict.

    I wonder though why they chose Our Father? It's possible they just liked the tune, but maybe they were influenced by the new addition of religion?
     
  4. MSTK

    MSTK Chieftain

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    Maybe if I'm bored enough I'll add chord charts :p
     
  5. ogmoir

    ogmoir Arctic Troops

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    Maybe they just wanted something that sounds "African" and grabbed the Swahili version of the Lord's Prayer off the internet. ;)

    MSTK, I'm impressed. I've been studying Swahili a bit, and your transcription seems to be accurate. Do you speak Swahili?
     
  6. MSTK

    MSTK Chieftain

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    No, I mainly used a dictionary. For the words not in the Lord's Prayer (I googled a swahili version on the internet :p), I had to transcribe them the best I could and look them up.

    And of all the versions of the Lord's Prayer Tin could have used, it has to be the one I found in 1 out of 15 pages :rolleyes:
     
  7. Lockesdonkey

    Lockesdonkey Liberal Jihadist

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    It is certainly fitting. The chorus is apparently not all Swahili speakers, or at least not native ones, but that's probably good--it is indicitave of the fact that as far as possible, Civ does not discriminate.
     
  8. MSTK

    MSTK Chieftain

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    I think that they chose Swahili because it gives an "ancient" feeling to everything...probably because when we hear African chanting we usually are reminded of the acient tribal gatherings.
     
  9. PeteT

    PeteT Chieftain

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    In the other thread, Bismark2990 linked to Christopher Tin's site where it is revealed that the song is performed by Talisman a Cappella. They are a very interesting student vocal group from Stanford University and can be found at:

    http://www.stanfordtalisman.com/html/frames.htm

    If you navigate around there, you can find a couple of other of their songs to download. One is that really heavy Billie Holiday classic Strange Fruit.
     
  10. josephstalin

    josephstalin Kremlin Highlander

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    Baba Yetu is one of the best examples of polytheistic music ever. That's why it sounds so "epic".
    Nice job, by the way!
     
  11. MSTK

    MSTK Chieftain

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    Interesting...

    Although I'd much rather hear more of Christopher Tin's work :)
     
  12. Origen

    Origen Chieftain

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    MSTK, you're my HERO!! I saw this song listed as one of the news items, and thought I'd give it a listen, just out of boredom, not know how incredible it would be, and I was so moved !!! And now you've laid the words out, too!

    I'm VERY grateful to you!! You've made my day!!
     
  13. garric

    garric Chieftain

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    We have to make a fricking voice recording of us singing it. WHOSE WITH ME?
     
  14. Greek Stud

    Greek Stud Chieftain

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    I have the best voice. Especially in Swahilli :)
     
  15. Phoenix_56721

    Phoenix_56721 Chieftain

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    I love the song its perfect!!!
     
  16. MusicLaunch

    MusicLaunch Emperor of Arabia

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    Fantastic job on the translations, MSTK! I like this song as well - I can't wait for Civ 4!
     
  17. Downer

    Downer Chieftain

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    This song is amazing, I love it! And if this is really the theme song(?) for Civ 4, then I think that bodes well for what we'll see come this November. :D Good move by Firaxis in choosing such a song that fits the new religions that's being added to the game.

    Also, if people loved this song as I did, you may want to check out similiar artists such as David Arkenstone and Solace. David Arkenstone does a wide variety of themes ranging from egypt to The Lord of the Rings, all instrumental but very beautiful. Solace is defined as "classical middle-eastern with excursions into electronica", and you can actually listen for free to them at:

    http://magnatune.com/artists/solace

    They have 7 albums, all fantastic and they really fit the classical to medieval era music very well.

    If anyone knows of any similiar music like Baba Yetu, please, please share, give me a name. :)
     
  18. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    MSTK, man, thanks a lot. It is a catchy tune, but not too overpowering. Strong and masculine but not rough and abrasive. I like this song. I just wish I could sing.

    Hmm. Just thinking out loud. I wonder, just wonder, if I could talk our Worship Leader at church into doing this for a Sunday Morning Choir Special. Perhaps on a Sunday that was part of a Missions Conference. Let's see, the congregation would need to see both sets of words, the Swahili and the English. Words on a moving background would be nice, may have to settle for multiple static backgrounds (Powerpointish).

    It would certainly be a different sound from what they are accustomed to.

    Hmm.

    First I will let him listen to it, then show him the Swahili/English translation.

    Then I will tell it comes from a computer game! :eek:

    It will knock his Southern Gospel socks off.
     
  19. pvzh

    pvzh Chieftain

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    Good thing that there are Music Off and NoIntro switches. Cannot think of more inapropriate music for CIVILIZATION, which is LATIN word in the first place. Civilization is roads, aqueducts, literature, legions, etc. -- the Empire whereas this music convey an image of savages singing in the jungle/savannah. It is not "Tarzan".

    Moderator Action: Certain parts of this statement are clearly trolls. You can criticize all you want, but do it in a constructive way. Warned.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  20. Origen

    Origen Chieftain

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    Frankly pvzh, that's a pretty foul thing to say. People singing are not deserving of being called 'savages.'

    Your post clearly demonstrates you're the last person around here to be passing judgement on what's civilized and what isnt.

    EDIT (to add a thought, in line with mod's note): Perhaps you'd like to name some music you think would be more apropriate? Perhaps in a seperate thread than this one?
     

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