Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Tunisia, Vietnam, Greek Mythology : Weekly Ukulele World Tour

24 2010

This week’s search for ukulele videos from around the world started rather badly as 90% of the videos uploaded were either in English or of very poor quality. Things got brighter towards the end of the week however with two new languages to add to my list: Arabic and Vietnamese.

Add to these new languages a bit of magic from Brittany (please refrain from starting a technical discussion as to whether Nantes is part of Brittany), some alternative Greek mythology and a few interesting covers and you’ll end up with a good dose of ukulele entertainment for a good start to your weekend.

1. Country: Tunisia / Language: Arabic

Tunisian band Zemeken and their camel perform Zahwani.

2. Country: Vietnam / Language: Vietnamese

This vietnamese song Cô hàng nước (She found the water) sounds like a fun song to learn for one who wishes to learn Vietnamese even though it is somewhat longish.

3. Country : France / Language: English

French folk rock band from Nantes, Moustache Museum artfully combine the ukulele with the violin, flute and guitar in a song called The One to Blame Again. I really like the atmosphere created by the mix of instruments, and the Celtic feel to the song.

4. Country: United-Kingdom / Language: English

After a series of songs in latin, Alfred Williams now turns to Greek mythology and comes up with a rather alternative and entertaining version of the Orpheus Myth nicely arranged on the ukulele. I strongly recommend reading the humourous description of his video on YouTube.

Orpheus Myth as experienced by Eurydice : Eurydice’s lament :

Kate Hinksman covers My Boy Builds Coffins by Florence & The Machine

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4 Comments »

  1. Acilius on the 24th of September 2010 @ 20:47

    Great selection, Armelle! At the moment I have a lot of neighbors from Saudi Arabia and several more from Iraq, I’m scheming a way to introduce them to Zemeken. And as a teacher in a classics department I have a professional stake in the Orpheus myth.

  2. Armelle Europe on the 24th of September 2010 @ 21:35

    Acilius : glad you enjoyed, Acilius. I hope you manage to convert all your neighbours to the uke. Ukulele videos in Arabic or Persian are hard to come by.

    I am sure you will see the Orpheus myth in a different light now, which might affect your teaching :)

  3. Alf on the 25th of September 2010 @ 23:53

    Gosh, thanks. Very pleasant to find oneself in such august company. Frustratingly, perhaps, that song in its original format might have been more use to you in providing linguistic diversity. Back in the dim and distant days of my youth, long before I had ever picked up a ukulele, but shortly after I had watched Cocteau’s ‘Orphée’ in a Latin lesson, I first used the “tone deaf Orpheus” idea in a piece of French homework. It was prose rather than verse, of course, and not set to music, and in any case this was 12 years ago, so I’ve long since lost the actual text, but I remembered the thing when somewhat bereft of ideas of things to write a song about. So, in some sense, it was originally in French!

  4. Armelle Europe on the 26th of September 2010 @ 16:11

    Alf: it’s always great fun to read about your sources of inspiration. Never realised how entertaining homework could be :) I am curious what your original piece was like.
    By the way, any luck writing a song in palindromes ?
    cf http://ukulelelanguages.com/language-fun/longest-finnish-word-and-finnish-folk-song-on-ukulele/

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