Baba Yetu

I love unexpected surprises; A smile from a random stranger, two greetings from far-away Bloggers, and a great opening song from Civilization 4. I am a simple person with few needs; these little things are all that takes to make me happy.

Great music from PC games is more rare than an honest politician. It is simply not worth the effort. The intended gamer audience usually doesn't care much for the subtlety good music provides. Besides, most of the music gets lost in the sound of explosives, special moves, and sound affects. It is very unlikely people buy a PC game for the music; therefore it is usually not cost effective to provide good music with games.

That is why the opening song of Civilization 4 totally blew me away. It is like seeing a girl smile for the first time. Before her smile you have no ideal how pretty she can be. That is what the music did for Civilization 4, it made a pretty game into a beautiful game all by itself.

The opening song is composed by Christopher Tin and based on Swahili. Yes, Swahili language of the Eastern Africa origin, a place more commonly known as "The Cradle of Life". It is appropriate as the opening for Civilization - a game that spans from the dawn of civilization to modern day, a game that is about human history and interaction.

The song is a chorus, an informal opera that is as good as Fortuna. Even though the language is based on Swahili, not all the singers are native swahili speakers. The diversity of the voice strangely added unity to the wonderful song.

The song reminisce the opening theme song of Battlestar Galatica 2004 mini-series "Are You Alive?". They both have a surreal quality, both open with a gentle female vocal that awakens primal emotions, and they are both produced with another language. Yup, even though Battlestar Galatica's theme song sounds Celtic it is actually composed of Sanskrit - a classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. This sense of mythical spirituality from both songs did not come by accidentally, because they are both about religion.

The theme song of Civilization 4, Baba Yetu, is actually "Our Lord's Prayer" spoken in Swahili. If you don't know, the prayer is referenced from Christian Bible Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.
Our Father, Who is in heaven,
Holy is Your Name;
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Battlestar Galatica Themesong, "Are You Alive?", is actually one of the Hindu Mantra: "OM bhūr bhuvah svah tat savitur varēnyam bhargō dēvasya dhīmahi dhiyō yō nah pracōdayāt"
ॐ भूर्भुवस्वः ।
(a) तत् सवितुर्वरेण्यं ।
(b) भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि ।
(c) धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Here is the rough translation:
O earth, atmosphere, heaven:
(a,b) May we attain that excellent glory of Savior the God:
(c) So may he stimulate our prayers.
Maybe religion is deep in our psychic, because I felt the inspiration before knowing either of these songs as religious. Maybe Voltaire is right, he said famously, "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer" which roughly translated means "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent one". The appreciation of spirituality seems to be an universal quality. Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientist remarked on the topic of religion and said, "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." That humble admiration is an apt description of how I felt about Baba Yetu.

One of the fanatic fan of Baba Yetu actually recorded and translated the song. Now I know you are just dying to read lyrics of a song you have never heard of. *wink*. To solve your dilemma, the composer of Baba Yute posted his own song on his website. This version (3:29 & 4.78MB) is slightly longer than the one you hear in the game (3:28 & 3.17MB). I think I like the song in the game slightly better, it is more condensed and the sound slightly sharper. If you bought the game Civilization 4, you can grab the song from your installed folder. Normally it is "Program Files/Firaxis Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/Assets/Sounds/Soundtrack" folder. It is called "OpeningMenu.mp3". If neither of those link works, here is another one courtesy of Civfanatics added June 24 of 2005,

Now that you have the music, you can feel free to sing along with the wonderfully transcribed lyric below. Oh, the silliness of singing in another language no one knows, I love it. In the US I can simply sing in Chinese and people would look at me funny, now I can sing Swahili in Taiwan ^_^
Baba yetu, Yesu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, Yesu, amina!
Baba yetu, Yesu, uliye
Jina lako litukuzwe.

Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, milelea milele!


Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni. (Amina)


Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, simama mwehu

Baba yetu, Yesu, uliye
Jina lako litukuzwe.
Here is the English translation and if you want another here is a link to the japanese translation:

The song is wonderful and I didn't expect its background to be so rich - so full of history. I was just going to do a quick write up before going to bed. Let it be a lesson for me - never try to start a post around 11:43pm, because it is now 4:41am. The more I research this song the more interesting information appears.

This is not just a pretty song, it is a piece of art with complex history and meaning. Which really strikes me as interesting at 4 in the morning, since I am attracted by pretty girls, but I fall in love for the depth of their soul, not unlike how I fell in love with this song. There is a lesson here somewhere*, I will think more on it once I get my lovely whole 2 hours of sleep.

Civilization Fantatics Center
Civilization Fanatics' Forums: MSTK's Post

Christopher Tin's Homepage
Yale language research forum, Swahili section

*Now that I look it over, I see no profound lesson. The mind does play tricks when running on an empty tank. The only thing I can think of is similar to the chinese zan saying, "A cup is only usefull because of its emptiness". You can't fall in love with a girl if she has no depth, because there would be no where to fall. Like you can fall in a well, but you can only fall on a ground. Not really profound, just a fact.

p.s. MSTK picked up the basic chord structure to Baba Yetsu, so now you can play the instruments too~!

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At 12/07/2005 3:48 PM, Anonymous Icy said...

thanks for that info =)

At 12/11/2005 12:19 PM, Blogger Shaun Kenney said...

did a Google search and found this post. Excellent work and many thanks!

At 12/12/2005 6:50 AM, Anonymous Korahan said...

I heard this Music theme and fell in love with Civ 4 :) Sometimes Music does that to me- I love Halo for example because of the great Music in the very first trailer.
Yesterday i stopped zapping Radio Channels and made a Playlist of all the great Songs I know, which i think are better than any actuall Hits. Unfortunately they are very hard to find. Now i found this Site through google. And i found all i wanted to: Now I know that I'm not the only one loving this kind of Music, got all Infos i was searching for and some usefull Links. Thank you, well done and "Grüße aus Österreich!"

At 12/18/2005 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anthony said...

I'm glad they put so much work in this opening but unfortunately most people will hear about 20 seconds of it when setting up a new game. This is some of the subtleties that I pick up from games that most people simply gloss over.

There is one old game which I recall playing simply because of it's articulate attention to it's soundtrack and most who played it would agree.It's called 'The Dig' by LucasArts (1996) which is very orchestral, and my be founded here:

At 12/20/2005 3:38 AM, Anonymous Marcos said...

I would like to thank you very much for your latenight research.

Precious information!

At 12/20/2005 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot :) I've been looking for the music for a while, found this link on Google. I appreciate the information. It's rare to find music such as this in a game, and I just had to find it.

At 12/21/2005 4:18 AM, Anonymous Gary Townsend said...

Excellent comparison between BSGalatica and this song nice write up.

At 12/21/2005 9:21 AM, Blogger Sushi Delight said...

My StatCounter became a skyscraper yesterday. I normally only get 50 hits a day but yesterday i got 400 hits from this one post. The nice pepole at Civfanatics posted my link on their page and someone also nominated my post on Wikipedia.

I am glad you found the article useful. If you have any idea on how to improve it please post a comment. English is my second language and I am sure there are lots of room for improvement ^_^

At 12/22/2005 3:25 AM, Anonymous Gary Townsend said...

I must say your closing statement is so true and hit so close to home i have to admit i shamefully plagerized it and used it on my wife. Let's just say it worked really well :)

At 12/24/2005 12:39 PM, Blogger MSTK said...

Wow, I feel really famous now =/ To be honest, the work only took me a couple hours. Once you have no life, the rest is easy.
Anyway, I am glad to be of service and/or inspiration to any of you.

At 12/25/2005 2:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Job, i was desperately searching on the web the music of the civ4 game, finally i discovered your article!
WHat can i say? Amazing pray.
SOme weeks ago i heared the same pray in aramaic language, also a very interesting and deeply experience.



At 12/30/2005 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

heyaa (:

im from singapore and i love that post of yrs.. my friend showed me yr post when he sent me the song.. if it wasnt for yr post, i wldnt have known that such a rich history exists behind this beautiful song.. tks for yr info ! (:

At 1/02/2006 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I got here from Wikipedia and I really liked it. I'm a native English speaker, and I couldn't tell that you aren't, so don't worry on that score. I think your sentiments are beautiful! Peace :)

At 1/02/2006 7:29 PM, Anonymous Shyska said...

Interesting post. I'm fond of "this kind" of music and seek to enrich my music library with these pearls (and it isn't very easy to do).
Oh, and the song reminded me of Badelt's "Eloi" ("The Time Machine" soundtrack).

At 1/29/2006 1:54 PM, Blogger MSTK said...

Hi. I'm just dropping by. I think you might be interested to know that I have put up a basic chord structure to the song on the original thread.

Guitar/piano/keyboard players can play along now :)


At 2/14/2006 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bless you kind person! I was looking for this song when I downloaded the CIV 4 demo. I couldn't bring myself to play game because I was captivated by the intro with Baba Yetu and the earth spinning, and day turns to night, and night turns to day. It brings tears to my eyes when I see the earth spinning on its bias, and I think life is happening under those clouds. And the lyrics spoken in swalhili is most remarkable. Very much feeling in the lyrics! totally awesome! THANK YOU!!

sarasota, florida

At 3/08/2006 1:56 AM, Blogger Chandan said...

The Song is veryu addictive. Thanks for the info

At 3/11/2006 11:13 PM, Anonymous Josh said...

Thanks for the write-up. I bought Civ4 about a week ago and fell in love with the theme song. It's nice to have the lyrics for it. :)

At 3/12/2006 2:24 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

I'm the billionth person to say that I fell in love with the theme song for Civ 4 the first time I heard it. It's amazing how much effort they actually put into this game... definately worthy of the Civ franchise...

At 3/28/2006 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll get in line. The song is amazing. Like you, I could feel the meaning and history behind the song before knowing exactly what it was about. It wasn't a suprise to find out the meaning. It sounds very spiritual, even to a non-religious person such as myself. I have listened to that song a hundred times and it never gets old. I don't know of any game that has ever picked such a perfect song to use in the opening! Any future game would be hard pressed to beat this one!

At 3/30/2006 2:14 AM, Anonymous Simon Pearson said...

I am no linguistic genius but....
While Baba yetu and Mbinguni yetu translate as Our Father, Who art in heaven....surely "Yesu uliye" and "Yesu amina" translate as "Jesus is alive" or "Jesus lives" and "Jesus is risen". Perhaps a Swahili speaker can enlighten is with a precise translation. I am at

At 4/01/2006 4:48 PM, Blogger ET20 said...

thx for your info!
It's really a very good song and just for your info, I have quoted your post in my blog~

At 4/09/2006 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice and touching entry.

At 4/16/2006 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

amazing song for amazing game, i spent half an hour on menu screen when i played it first time because of this track:D and since then (for about three days) i have listened to it about 30 times, i hope to find some other songs by this band,maybe they will be as good as this one:D

At 5/11/2006 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also came from Taiwan but I have lived in Australia for a long time now. I could not believe how intriguing the music was even though a: I'm not religious and b: I'm not that great at strategy games.

This song will set alight to Christian believers and most likely will no doubt invite more followers :D I'm definetly going to spread the word about this music. It is so unbelievable yet its touching at the same time.

By the way, thanks for all the research done on it. I never thought I could find this song through the normal way on the internet yet I do now and through the proper way :D

At 5/16/2006 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I google searched it too...I fell in love with it too...I just wanted to know what it meant. And now i do. Thanks.

Justin, from Canada

At 5/25/2006 5:41 PM, Anonymous George said...

Being a non-religious person, I must admit that this amazing music and lyrics brought a tear to my eye. It plays over in over in my winamp these days. Kudos to Christopher Tin, and thanks to Sushi Delight for his touching post!


At 5/26/2006 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6/15/2006 6:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Civ4 player here. Thanks for all the information on this song. As I played Civ3 before, I knew what the game was about. When I firsrt heard the song playing over the background of the Earth it just seemed so fitting for the game. Like something lifted from my heart as I heard it.

At 7/02/2006 2:34 AM, Anonymous Raiden said...

Great to see im not the only one who gets "the shivers" from this song. When I first started up civ4 the song immediatly cought my attention. And thanks to your post I found the file on my pc. Im not a man of many words. So, Thank you.

Greetings to all from Holland.

At 7/02/2006 11:47 AM, Anonymous Ender said...

Been searching for this for the longest time...even though I can't play it on my computer (stupid old laptop), I saw my friend start the game once and the music stuck with me ever since. Thanks for your research!

At 7/16/2006 2:06 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I am somewhat same as you
I Played Civilization and Couldnt SLEEP because When i wanted to sleeping , BABA YETU Song Sung By..*my Heart?*


At 8/30/2006 11:18 AM, Anonymous Saulo Leonardo Pinho Paiva said...

Amazing work! Great song!

I was deeply touched by this music even before reading what was behind it.

Google showed me your post and voilá!

Now I know why I was touched...

As a musician, sometimes you need a kind of stimulus, something to show you why you chose that profession.

It was a long time ago I last heard a music that touched my heart before.

At 8/30/2006 11:19 AM, Anonymous Saulo Leonardo Pinho Paiva said...

Greetings from Brazil,

At 9/12/2006 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first heard this song on the FIRAXIS website when researching Civ IV. I was stunned by the beauty of it before I knew what language it was or what the song said. This song fills the heart with happiness and hope. I belive it is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.

At 9/13/2006 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

where can i find the sheet music to this or anything with more detailed musical notes???

help would be much appreciated

At 11/06/2006 6:09 PM, Anonymous Aleksandra said...

świetna muzyka... szkoda,że nie rozumiem słów :)

At 11/26/2006 3:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the information.

At 12/28/2006 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, got to know the song during a visit in kenya some years ago in a musical variation of it - great and nice surprise to find it again - martin p. from germany

At 1/05/2007 8:37 PM, Anonymous JWhitten said...

The song is awesome. I too, like all of you, fell in love with the song and had to know more. Google brought me to Wikipedia and Wikipedia brought me here. Interesting to see that so many people from so many places listen to a song about God in a language they don't even understand and it gives them life, hope and spirituality. Not to mention that its incredibly well done and I was very much hoping to find out that there was an album behind it I could get to hear more... Oh, and Civ4 is really great too :)

At 1/28/2007 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, that was awesome...thanks so much.

At 2/02/2007 7:36 PM, Anonymous Ryan said...

a very nice song indeed. :) thank you! :)

At 2/13/2007 4:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, i really thought i was the only one who was struck by how good this song was for a game. I left the opening screen on for quite a while before thinking...i must find this song on the!

At 3/06/2007 9:22 AM, Blogger Doverspa said...

I love this song. And I'm so glad to learn more about it. Thanks so much for your research. Knowing the history and thought behind it makes it that much better.

At 3/22/2007 10:21 AM, Anonymous ZeuVen~Malaysia/USA said...

i love your post!! it's worth staying late to produce such a great piece of blog!

I love to praise God in this song, a language no one will know unless i'm in Africa.. hehe

At 4/08/2007 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The music of Civilization IV is what makes the game worth something. As of the other Civilization games, it is one of the most boring and time wasting games ever made. And in hotseat multiplayer it crashes quite often even after applying the official patch. Fortunately for the money that I've trown away purchasing it, there's that initial music masterpiece.

-- FSX
-- InReReRe

At 4/09/2007 12:56 PM, Blogger Charles said...

I was taking a break from writing the lit. review for my major term paper (finishing an M.A. soon) with a little Civ 4, and enjoying once again that great opening sequence. . . it sounds so primal, so primordial, so "when the Earth was new" that it is perfect for setting the stage for a game that takes in the vast sweep of time. But not only that, it is incredibly beautiful, and I wanted to find out more about it, and as another poster said, your blog popped up on a Google search of "Civ 4 Soundtrack." I am even more mesmerized by this piece now, and am even listening to it on repeat on my laptop (as I write this, when I should be doing my lit. review!). Thank you so much for this information--this may be corny, but I actually have tears in my eyes as I listen to this piece, knowing even more now about what it is.

Speaking of absolutely wonderful music for computer games, there was a game that came out over a decade ago called "Ascendency," which was actually basically a "Civilization" clone set on the galactic stage. The music for that game was breathtaking, and if you were able to get a hold of it, I think your blog readers would be forever appreciative.

Thanks again. . . truly heartfelt.

At 4/26/2007 12:33 PM, Blogger Callipygian said...

Just one more thanks in a long line of fans. Your post is EXACTLY what I was looking for.

At 5/11/2007 3:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you

At 5/19/2007 8:09 AM, Anonymous Takeshi said...

Hi there. i hope this comment will be read, even if its like 1 1/2 years after your post.

I just played civ4 for the 1st time and fell in love for this song !!!

After i read your post and found out its the "our lord" - prayer i even love this song any more.

I love music like this... i want you to listen to one more piece of this kind of great music. its a game-main-theme, too. its from a game called Lineage2

At 5/30/2007 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the god of gods
Master of the art
I desecrate the chaste
Writhe in the flesh


Chant the blasphemy
Mockery of the messiah
We curse the holy ghost
Enslaver of the weak
God of lies and greed
God of hypocrisy
We laugh at your bastard child
No god shall come before me

At 6/08/2007 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mr.Christopher Tin and the choir,and anyone who had anything to do with this theme song "BABA YETU",I just want to say ASANTE NA MUNGU AZIDI KUWABARIKI(thank you and may God continue to bless you).I am a swahili speaker from Tanzania and today for some reasons I just wanted to learn what the site has to say about my national and official language.So,I googled swahili and I chose to get info from wikipidea and that's where I came across the song.I have heard many different version of Baba Yetu but when i listened to this particular one I could not believe my ears so i decided to get headphones.I still do not have words to describe how rich and beautiful it sounds.I actually thought it was a choir back home which I have never heard of, only to learn here that it is not.I don't know if they had some swahili speakers in the choir or not but all I can say,they all sounded as if swahili is their first language.

Well,I have never heard of this game civilization4 but now for sure I will be looking for it.Also,I'll try to find other songs by Mr.Tin and this amazing choir.

Thank you again guys,you did an excellent job and God bless you.

At 7/14/2007 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!


At 7/23/2007 1:08 AM, Blogger Klondike said...

Also found through Google -- thanks so much for the wonderful transcription, and translation. I'm learning to memorize it with this, actually. It could be a nice lullaby to sing to my kids later in life, or sing to a girlfriend sooner in life.

At 8/09/2007 10:04 AM, Blogger Mario said...

When our son Alex died (at age 22) we selected this beautiful and deeply emotional song to play during the service, since it was one of his favorite songs. It will always remind us of Alex.

At 9/04/2007 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christopher Tin's version of Baba Yetu is really awesome. I felt goose bumps when I first heard it (and I still do) that I looked for the MP3 file in the installation folder of the Civilization 4 game and extracted it. If religious songs are composed like Baba Yetu a lot of people will be deeply moved. Songs have this power of reaching deep down a persons psyche, it's really amazing!

At 9/06/2007 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baba Yetu translates into our father. Thanks for writing this!

At 9/15/2007 2:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... dropped :o what an interesting song.

At 12/04/2007 11:23 PM, Anonymous Haktar ( said...

Maaaan! God bless you for these words about game music in general and "Baba Yetu" in particular! I love this song.

At 12/14/2007 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like so many others, I was compelled to find out about the origins of this track. Does anyone actually know anyone, who uses the default Intro music in Beyound the Sword (whish is actually pretty good, but still fades away in comparison) instead of the original Baba Yetu?
Anyway - I read the comments of all You people and It's good to see so many people having similar emotions about this song. Also, one post mentioned the sountrack of "Ascendancy" - I mean, I felt the exact same sensations of witnessing the creation of life and the beginning of something Great as with Baba yetu...
One has to wonder if there are any remixes and interpretations of baba yetu around - surely there must be, with a vast fan base of civ IV?

Also as a side note - when in the futute for some unknown reason I am forced to say grace before dinner (being an atheist and all), I can do it swahili and feel a lot less violated:)

At 1/05/2008 9:18 PM, Anonymous Søren Hansen said...

For the first time I started up Civilization IV, I wanted to start a new game very quick. But as Baba Yetu started to play, I just leaned back and heard the most beautiful song, that has ever been written and sung in the history of mankind. My god, I was stunned, and I'm still stunned. Everytime I want to play Civilization IV, I stop, and I hear the song at least one time. After a little research in my game files, I even found the .mp3-file, so now I listen to it every now and then. The most beautiful song in the world, that's for damn sure!

At 1/15/2008 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is lyndsey and i attend high school at cartersville high school.. i love this song.. i didnt even know it exsisted until we began singin it in chorus class.. anyways i love this song..!! its wonderful..!!

At 4/14/2008 9:45 PM, Blogger deo said...

Speaking in Tongues - For Real.

I'm a Christian and quite honestly, I dislike Christians "speaking in tongues" because they're obviously fake.

However, around the year 2000, while in Praise and worship, I was so blessed and I can't help shouting "Baba Yetu!". Since then, I love repeating that phrase whenever in worship because I feel love.

Then i played civilization 4 and heard this song. Tears of joy instantly filled my eyes. I was so blessed eventhough I don't know the meaning of the song.

Now that I have learned the meaning of the lyrics, I am convinced that God let me experience one of his miracles again.

At 7/16/2008 12:10 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

does anyone know of any CD's or other groups that have music like this. i know christopher tin is releasing one at the end of '08 but i would like to find some other CD's

At 7/31/2008 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I bought Civ4 yesterday and I found it hard to get past the menu stage cos this song was amazing!

Thanks heaps for your website, I was desperate to find out what the song was. Thanks again!

At 8/26/2008 12:26 AM, Anonymous d said...

amazing song thanks for the back round

At 9/21/2008 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

our school choir is learning Baba Yetu... LOVE IT! and your post was helpful, thanks!
interesting too, that blogs such as these can be read from all the way around the world... Greetings from Canada!

At 11/20/2008 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As George from Ukraine said, just the same happened to me 2 years ago as I started Civilization 4 for the first time. Tears of happiness came to my eyes, tears I live that world with you, nice people. With you. Just as you did I tried search in Google for more info and occured here. Grate thanks to the Autor for his large work. Rading thos all commens I still feel eternally shaken and happy there are so many beautifull people all aver the world. Thank you all so much for being as you are...
Borislav from Bulgaria

At 12/16/2008 9:34 AM, Anonymous Thomas said...

I am, like many others here, completely blown away by this song. The production value is simply fantastic; it's ethereal without being cheesy, and maintains a very endearing ethnic quality despite being built upon a very Western pop progression and melody. I love the layered vocals and call-and-response segments; they almost lift you to your feet and slam you back to the ground in amazement.

I had assumed the lyrics were merely gibberish (like the way The Sims speak), but I found it pretty cool that they're just a translated Lord's Prayer. Though I'm an atheist, I am often quite moved by spiritual music, especially when I cannot understand the words. Sometimes melody is more powerful than words.

Congratulations to the developer for putting forth this deservedly-recognized effort, and thanks to the author of this blog for shedding some light on the lyrics.

At 2/22/2009 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is beautiful music - but unfortunately producer and singers did not always treat the language well. Obviously nobody was sure what text they were using. One very audible mistake is a "lakani" instead of "lakini". And then the line meaning "deliver us from Evil" is badly mangled; first turn just cut off right in the sentence and the second time pretty nonsensical. Pity - isn`t it? Just a bit more diligence...

At 2/22/2009 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adding: the mangled line is given here as
"Utuokoe, na yule, simama mwehu"

What they sing isclear until "Utuokoe, na yule" and afterwards it is mangled.

It is clearly nit the "simama" which is nonsense in Swahili. With some difficulty I discover the "mwovu" (the Evil one) from the Swahili pryaer, but they put some syllable before and after it. It could be something like
"Utuokoe na yule si mwovu, hey"


At 5/12/2009 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love CIVs and usually rush through the setting menus to start the game; but this song stopped me at the very beginning of my encounter with CIV 4.
Looking at the Earth as the sun sets then disappears, while listening to this prehistoric-styled AND well-composed sound...
After I'd read this post, I played this piece for myself. It still gave me goose-skin, though I'd heard it several times before. Just wonderful.

Greetings from Hungary!

At 5/15/2009 2:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my first attempt at playing CIV I just sat there at the startup screen for a looooong time .... such a fantastic song! Many thanks for the research and background

At 7/13/2009 6:46 PM, Anonymous Docta Deky, Serbia said...

thank you my friend

At 12/30/2009 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! Thank you.

At 1/24/2010 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmm, something recent about the song: it is been used as background music for a dancing fountain in the new tallest skyscraper in Dubai. Watcj this:

At 1/25/2010 11:49 PM, Anonymous Yüce said...

thanx for the info man that was great.. :)

At 5/03/2010 11:21 PM, Anonymous frontline plus said...

Civ4 is the best in this world. The info you give background on the song is great. I've played Civ3 earlier with my brother and we always seem like the game is grandly elaborate.

At 6/29/2010 1:28 PM, Anonymous teething symptoms said...

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind

At 10/09/2010 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just came across your blog as I was lokoing for the lyrics of Baba yetu. I am not a computer game player but my husband and kids are, so I just had the strangest experience of trying to do some research for teaching the Lords prayer in sunday school tomorrow and coming across this song - it got my interest as I lived in Tanzania for a year but had not hear this song. My son then comes rushing into the room thinking I'm playing civilization and wanting to join in. So I was amazed to find that this song is the intro for the game. Helen H

At 1/13/2011 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baba yu mwema...I cry everytime I hear this song,it touches me to the core of my being.I am from Kenya and Catholic as well.We always sing 'Baba Yetu' before we receive the body of Christ.I have sung many versions of the song,but this is one of my best.You can see God's footsteps all over this song.
Atheists might say they are atheists but when your touched by such a song,you really need to re-think your belief or lack thereof.
God is truly love and this song wil win a Grammy watch this space.
Thanks for the post:)Asante sana

At 1/17/2011 10:33 AM, Blogger Eva Ligi said...

Woow, after reading your post the last thing that really shook me up was seeing someone write a comment in Turkish, haha... I'm a native Estonian speaker but lately I've developed a deep love for Turkish.

Anyway, about half a decade later and approximately at the same time (4:25 AM, OMG)... Thanks for taking the effort to write that blog post.

I've been quite enchanted by the song myself, and my past month has been spent under the influence of CIV 4...

There's a point here somewhere, I'm a bit sleepy.

Anyway, what you wrote about falling in love with beauty due to finding depth in it, touched my heartstrings just as Baba Yetu did. Possibly cause I'm a girl, and beautiful, and with depth. Not to mention extremely modest.

Anyway, whereever you are and whoever you are, namaste.

Oh and I like your writing style. I might actually read some of your other posts once upon a time I've had some sleep.

At 11/15/2012 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was not aware that it was a prayer. I listened to the music because it gave me a good vibe if You know what I mean. Than searching for a translation I've bumped on Your article about it ! I was happy to read Your article. Now I enjoy the song even more ^^

At 4/12/2013 4:13 PM, Anonymous armie said...

Nice post.Music and translation is shown to be a fascinating area to explore, not only for specialized translators as well as for researchers in translation studies, cultural studies, media studies and musicology.I might say that having music translated on Japanese translation or in any languages is far good to be one of the samples that beginners on translation to be practiced

At 3/27/2015 10:07 PM, Blogger Barbara Zafošnik said...

Great post!


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