LISTEN: Miriam Makeba’s joyful Pata Pata re-recorded to spread information and hope in the time of Covid-19

2020-04-23 13:10
 
Angélique Kidjo, Miriam Makeba

Once called the "world's most defiantly joyful song", Miriam Makeba's Pata Pata has been re-recorded by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo, to spread information and hope in a time of coronavirus. 

Without any alteration to chords or syllables, though with several changes to the lyrics, Pata Pata was be re-released by UNICEF across the globe on Thursday. It has been more than 50 years since the international smash hit first took the world by storm. According to a statement released to the press it does so with full copyright approval. 

LISTEN TO THE SONG HERE:

MIRIAM MAKEBA THE SOUTH AFRICAN ICON'S IMPACT IS STILL FELT TODAY: 

Nicknamed 'Mama Africa', Miriam Makeba was a South African singer and songwriter. She was a United Nations goodwill ambassador who worked on hunger, HIV and domestic violence, as well as a civil rights activist.

Makeba was among the first African musicians to receive worldwide recognition, winning a Grammy in 1965, performing from Johannesburg to New York; Lagos to London. Makeba died in 2008 in Castel Volturno, Italy. She was both a friend and a mentor to Kidjo. 

THE MEANING OF THE SONG: 

Pata Pata literally means 'touch touch' in isiXhosa. The modified version sung by Kidjo includes lines such as: "It's a time to sit it out!/ This is no-pata-pata... Stay at home and wait it out/We need to keep our hands clean/So no-pata pata'/Don't touch your face, keep distance, please."

The song has particular resonance for Kidjo whose friend, Afro-Jazz icon Manu Dibango, died earlier this month from coronavirus.

"Manu inspired me. Miriam inspired me. And Pata Pata gave me hope," said Kidjo. 

The music legend remarked in closing: "We all know what needs to be done, but we also know how much communities are suffering. Pata Pata has always been there for people at a time of struggle. I hope it helps once more. And I hope from our confined spaces we can dance once more."

Compiled by Alex Isaacs

Read more on:    angélique kidjo  |  miriam makeba  |  music

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