Stimela (Coal Train)

Today’s post is two takes on a musical theme, featuring videos for two songs you may be unfamiliar with. Both fit well into my writing playlist, so I thought I’d share them. Both feature the same central chorus:

Stimela siemba nambalale.
Sibele talaku bai. Shu Shu Shu

The train is moved by coal.”
“It’s taking them here to the Bay”

The first video is a 2012 song from Wynter Gordon, “Stimela.” Gordon wraps her song around the central choral theme to great effect. The lyrics are here.

The next song may be more familiar from Paul Simon’s Graceland album and tour, which featured Hugh Masekela’s “Stimela.” His version is both more powerful and intensely political. Here’s a 10-minute live version, which is worth a listen if you love music, Masekela, or especially if you’ve never heard him. Click here for a translation.

The man can sing a train better than the train sings itself. Y’all don’t hear me.

That 10-minutes flew by, didn’t it?


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