My friend Robert insists that mbira music is too obsessed with lyrics about suffering and complaints. He says if ever you are feeling a bit low either avoid listening to mbira totally or listen to instrumentals only.
His challenge is this, make a list of 10 songs without thinking hard about what songs you want to include on the list. Now think of the lyrics. His view is that in 90% of the songs, the lyrics will be complaining about something or lamenting of some suffering of sorts.
Today is Valentine’s Day and I am not going to lie to you that there is a great tradition of Mbira and Valentine’s Day. Neither am I going to debate Robert’s view but it challenged me to hunt for some songs with some love overtures, the kind of mbira songs that will leave one with that warm fuzzy feeling that many love songs from other genres do.
I hoped to write something about mbira love songs but I guess I didn’t leave enough time because after listening to many songs by various artists for hours on end I couldn’t come up with a list that I could call a tour de force on the subject. I was rather distracted by the many songs on relationships which unfortunately in many cases would fall into Robert’s suffering and complaints category.
I am not seeking to disprove Robert’s view, all I am seeking is a bit of affectionate mbira songs.
HELP! Please let me know some songs that should go in the all time list of mbira love songs! Doesn’t need to be Zimbabwean mbira only either.
In the mean time, have a listen to these songs
Ndinewe – Hope Masike
Ndiwe Chete – Thomas Mapfumo
Bob Marley’s ‘Is this Love’ Cover – Alessandro Corsi