A Puzzle

I take a lot of pride in the music I listen to and where it comes from (not for the reasons you’d think). So there is this song called Nagma that I have two versions of it – one sung by a guy named Mohamed Waryaa and the other one by King Khalid (which is much recent and more popular it seems). There is also a Jabuti (Djibouti) version, which is sung in Anfar and some claim is the original version. I always thought this song was Somali – until I saw this:

Which of course is in Amharic. From the look of the video, the song is much older than King Khalid’s version below. But the Somali-Anfar one from Jabuti does seem to be much older than both. Yet…

This brings me to the puzzle of this song: who made the original song? More precisely, who’s ripping who? I have no interest in the original creator other than just to know. With so much similarities across the Horn, cultural borrowings is inherent in the regions dynamics. But do artists in the region credit the artist’s work they borrow? I hope they do. Then again, the song could’ve been a folksong that goes back hundreds of years; adding to the mystery of its origin.

Anyone know who is the original artist and where it originated from? If anyone is keeping count, there is at least four languages used in this song.

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Categories: East Africa, Music | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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