Fancy learning and African song? This was one I learnt a couple of years back after attending an African Drumming course with UK teacher Hans Sutton. Watch and listen to the song here:

I have transcribed the words against the Sunu dundun rhythm as follows:

 The X = bell beat; circle indicates open dundun beat; a ‘C’ indicates a closed dundun beat; / = space in pattern.   Disclaimer: Transcription does not account for the subtleties of the sunu swing.

The X = bell beat; circle indicates open dundun beat; a ‘C’ indicates a closed dundun beat; / = space in pattern.

Disclaimer: Transcription does not account for the subtleties of the sunu swing.

According to Hans Sutton, the song translates as:

Ah, where’s Sununba? Eh, Sunun can’t be found. Suffering isn’t your enemy; death is your enemy.

Eh, there is no God but God, Eh, and Mohammed is his prophet, Eh, In the name of God, Eh, In the name of the prophet, Eh, Who must we thank? Let the great man Sununba be thanked.

Ah, to reach old age is sweet, Eh, Jeneba Tera; Suffering isn’t your enemy; Dearth is your enemy.

Sunu is a rhythm played by the Kagoro people in Kaarta, Mali, West Afrfica. The orginial source is from Ibrahim Sarr, “Porte 386 Medina Coura.

Enjoy the song! Find out more about our African Drumming classes here!

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