Baba Yetu – Hear the Lord’s Prayer sung in Swahili

I love the experience of serendipity that the internet offers. Following a link to a YouTube video of the Angel City Chorale, I discovered a song that I have never heard before. The song is called ‘Baba Yetu‘. Having lived in South Africa for a number of years, the African sound of the title caught my attention, and I searched for further information. It turns out that the song was composed years ago (2005) by Christopher Tin for a video game, Civilizations IV. (The fact that I only discovered the song today will tell you a lot about my level of engagement with video games!) In fact, Christopher Tin won a Grammy Award for ‘Baba Yetu’ in 2011. That this Grammy Award-winning song should have been composed for the video-game market makes it all the more remarkable that the lyrics are a version of the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili. Although Swahili is not one of the eleven (yes, 11!) official languages of South Africa, I was delighted to discover that there is a South African connection with the original recording of the song: it features the excellent Soweto Gospel Choir.

This song thus draws together three things dear to my heart: Scripture, song, and Africa! How could I not love this?!

And I do love it! The song is a wonderful blend of African harmony and energy, combined with rich orchestral instrumentation. This is particularly evident in the version of the song performed in the Cardogan Hall in 2016 by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Angel City Chorale, with Christopher Tin himself conducting.

Take a few minutes to listen to this wonderful song. I am certain it will lift your heart.

I am also excited that across the world hundreds of thousands of people have watched the YouTube videos (and doubtless, hundreds of thousands more have listened to the song on the video game), and many of them will have searched the internet, as I did, to learn what the unfamiliar words mean. And they will have discovered the words of Jesus! And these words change lives! I pray that some of these gamers will have (and will yet) come to know Jesus through their choice of video game!

[The image I have used for this post comes from Lioness Graphics.]