Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh say can you Lift every voice and Arise oh compatriots?

I love music. From the age of about 13 I've been in some form of a choir or the other. Even before that, I've always loved to sing. When I was younger I used to sing at the top of my lungs and annoy everyone in the house, especially while doing the dishes. Hahaha.....still do that sometimes :)

As youngsters, most of us learn our country's national anthem. I vaguely remember learning the American national anthem"The Star Spangled Banner" sometime in elementary school. Around the age of 14 I was in my 'black power' phase. Hahahaha......I was reading every piece of African American literature I could get my hands on. This is when I learned "Lift Every Voice and Sing" the black national anthem. I loved the words of this poem-turned-song and I made myself learn it.

But just a little while ago (maybe a month and a half) I began to realize, I don't even know the Nigerian national anthem! Well, not all of it, at least. I knew the first three words (Arise oh compatriots), the last two words (Peace and unity) and the general tune. I even asked my mom, but she hardly remembered herself. So I took matters into my own hands. As a Naija American girl, I felt that I must. I looked up the lyrics on Google and found videos of the music on Youtube. Now I know the anthem, and I think its a very beautiful one. It's a call to action; short, sweet, and to the point. From what I see, it has two verses, but I've almost always only heard the first one sung the few times I've been somewhere where it was sung. Of the youtube videos that I found, my favorite version is by Beyonce, of all people. Imagine that. This akata woman dey come for Naija and sing anthem well pass any otha person. Hahaha.... I'm really not a big fan of hers, but I love this version because she puts her own style into it with that amazing voice!

Here's the link:

Great, isn't it? And the crowd is really soaking it up. Beyonce performing in Naija and singing the national anthem? No be small thing oh! Hahaha.......I hope I get to sing it somewhere someday, even if it's at a small, chaotic and disorganized local Naija event! :)

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