See the US v Slovenia soccer game June 18? That’s the one during which ref Koman Coulibaly called back a US would have been game winning goal. Big deal certainly in a contest of such importance, but shit happens and the US ended up playing through anyway.
Interesting thing is that the ref’s last name brought to mind a favorite track on a great CD. Coulibaly is a common surname in the Bambara language spoken in part of West Africa. (ref Coulibaly is Malian). Biton Coulibably (1689 – 1755) was a pre-colonial empire builder of whom there is great regional pride. Below is a photo of his grave near Segou Mali.
A track eponymously entitled on Dimanche a Bamako (Sunday in Bamako) laments “Where is Coulou against whom one can lean?”. It’s a great album by two known as the “Blind Couple from Mali” – Amadou and Mariam – with a lot of help from the guru of world music Manu Chao.
The record starts almost sweetly, conversationally, with expressions of love. Tone changes and momentum builds quickly with ‘Coulibaly’ sweeping one up and along. Dang tough thereafter to disengage.
A broad range of subjects are addressed including: the stark reality of daily life in Africa; difficulty of being an artist; sorrows wrought by politics; the fundamental beauty of weddings; first person pleas for fidelity; and more.
‘Taxi Bamako’ is another favorite of mine. The phrasing and easy pace induce a vision of just what a cab ride in the capital city might be like. Earnest, but not too. Neatly anthropocentric. Would have been perfect in the flic Cars. On y va. Come on let’s go.
The lyrics are in French, but relatively easy to translate, although those sung don’t exactly match the accompanying hard copy. Doesn’t matter if you chose not to try though for the music, voices, and wealth of ambient sounds combine for a hypnotic experience. Don’t attenuate its potential by downloading just one bit. That’d be like reading one chapter of a book or watching one act of an opera.
TAXI BAMAKOTaxi Bamako Ou tu veux, je t’emmene Taxi Bamako Tu m’appelle je suis la Taxi Bamako Je suis le plus rapide Taxi Bamako Tu est ma seule cliente Tu t’assois, je conduis On traverse le pont Je fais ma course au ciel J’evite tous les traffics, les problemes Mecaniques Je suis le pus rapide On traverse le pont Je fais ma course au ciel Tu t’assois, je conduis
TAXI BAMAKOTaxi Bamako Where you want, I take you Taxi Bamako You call me, I am there Taxi Bamako I’m the fastest Taxi Bamako Your’re my only fare Sit down, I’ll drive We’ll cross the bridge I make my way by the sky I avoid all the traffic And mechanical problems I’m the fastest We’ll cross the bridge I’ll make my way by the sky Sit down, I’ll drive
*Ref in yellow shirt is Komar Coulibably