Baba Yetu is a song composed by Christopher Tin in 2005 when he was asked to write a piece for a video game called Civilization IV and then appeared on his 2009 album. The song is a version of The Our Father/The Lord’s Prayer sung in Swahili. The instrumentals are captivating, and the tune and lyrics give it a warm feeling that makes you want to sing along.
This song gives another meaning to word interculturalism.
I was first introduced to this song when I heard a cover by YouTube sensations Peter Hollens and Mahluka. Their acapella rendition is not only catchy and heartwarming but a beautiful example of how music can bring people together.
This piece has been covered by people all over the world in styles of acapella, instrumental, and even metal. Although at first, the lyrics almost seem like a bundle of sounds and syllables, once you know the meaning and feeling behind the words, singing along is natural, almost like Swahili is your second language. After listening to this song in every version I can find, and every cover artist possible, I can definitely say that this is in my top three peaceful, heartwarming songs.
The original lyrics to the Lord’s Prayer are
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven, Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us, Lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from Evil
The lyrics to the song in Swahili are
Baba yetu yetu uliye, Mbinguni yetu yetu amina, Baba yetu yetu uliye, M 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. (Amina)
I think that Baba Yetu is a great song for those who are not extremely spiritual but would like to have some kind of guidance in their lives. I personally don’t think of myself as extremely religious, but knowing that I can have fun while possibly speaking to a higher power gives me strength and a reason to continue to live in a world where spirituality is often overlooked. I would definitely recommend this song to anyone who is interested in finding themselves, or even just having a good time and practicing a new language.