Once called the "world's most defiantly joyful song", Miriam Makeba's Pata Pata has been re-recorded by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo, to spread information and hope in a time of coronavirus.
Without any alteration to chords or syllables, though with several changes to the lyrics, Pata Pata was be re-released by UNICEF across the globe on Thursday. It has been more than 50 years since the international smash hit first took the world by storm. According to a statement released to the press it does so with full copyright approval.
LISTEN TO THE SONG HERE:
MIRIAM MAKEBA THE SOUTH AFRICAN ICON'S IMPACT IS STILL FELT TODAY:
Nicknamed 'Mama Africa', Miriam Makeba was a South African singer and songwriter. She was a United Nations goodwill ambassador who worked on hunger, HIV and domestic violence, as well as a civil rights activist.
Makeba was among the first African musicians to receive worldwide recognition, winning a Grammy in 1965, performing from Johannesburg to New York; Lagos to London. Makeba died in 2008 in Castel Volturno, Italy. She was both a friend and a mentor to Kidjo.
THE MEANING OF THE SONG:
Pata Pata literally means 'touch touch' in isiXhosa. The modified version sung by Kidjo includes lines such as: "It's a time to sit it out!/ This is no-pata-pata... Stay at home and wait it out/We need to keep our hands clean/So no-pata pata'/Don't touch your face, keep distance, please."
The song has particular resonance for Kidjo whose friend, Afro-Jazz icon Manu Dibango, died earlier this month from coronavirus.
"Manu inspired me. Miriam inspired me. And Pata Pata gave me hope," said Kidjo.
The music legend remarked in closing: "We all know what needs to be done, but we also know how much communities are suffering. Pata Pata has always been there for people at a time of struggle. I hope it helps once more. And I hope from our confined spaces we can dance once more."
Compiled by Alex Isaacs