Makeba, Miriam

The Click Song

Music, Language, a Beetle, and a Xhosa Wedding Celebration

I love this song because it brings the color of language expressed in the song of a Xhosa wedding celebration
Miriam Makeba, sings a Xhosa wedding celebration song about a beetle that makes certain knocking sounds which is supposed to bring good luck and rain
In South Africa there are at  least thirty-five indigenous languages ten of which are official – NdebelePediSothoSwatiTsongaTswanaVenḓaXhosaZulu and Afrikaans.

“The Click Song” – “Qongqothwane is a traditional song of the Xhosa people of South Africa. It is sung at weddings to bring good fortune. In the western world it is mainly known as The Click Song, a nickname given to the song by European colonials who could not pronounce its Xhosa title, which has many click consonants in it. The Xhosa title literally means “knock-knock beetle”, which is a popular name for various species of darkling beetles that make a distinctive knocking sound by tapping their abdomens on the ground. These beetles are believed by the Xhosa to bring good luck and rain.

The Second Click Song

Miriam Makeba Oxgam

Oxgam – This song is a rhyme of “nonsense words” with no meaning. Kids in South Africa sing it to practise the various clicking sounds of the Xhosa language

Khawuleza Mama please don’t let them catch you