Mory Kanté – Yéké Yéké
“Yeke Yeke” can probably be the most mysterious song of the 80s. But definitely that August 1988 it was time for dance music, and in all clubs in summer 88 you could dance to this song. Yeke Yeke was always there, with a fantastic rhythm. Yeke Yeke was the first African song ever to sell over one million copies.
A song of mystery. I like to discover that, after more than 30 years, the mystery of this song is still deep. Internet and the power of the network did not raise the doubts about this song. We can find on the net some info and bio about Mory Kanté, born in Guinea of Malian descent, the first of 38 sons (!)
Yet, if we search for lyrics and info about the song, the mystery is still there. Many sites show the lyrics, of course. But with today’s internet many sites just copy the content from each other without really adding any value. So, if the lyrics do not make you confident (maybe the sounds seem different from the words), the problem is that you find the same lyrics version in all sites! Moreover, in this case there is something else. With Yeke Yeke it is a problem even to determine in which language Mory Kante is singing!
In Guinea and Mali, besides French, they speak many West African languages. If we read on forums, some say it’s Dogon language (but he adds “I think”, and adds a somehow weird translation). Some say it’s Mandinka or Mandinga language, spoken in Mali (but the translation is the same as before). We can say that the mystery… is still present, and it’s getting deeper and deeper!
Finally, I need to add sad news: Mory Kanté passed away on May 22, 2020 in his Guinea. Rest in peace and thanks for the joy you gifted us with!
Mory Kanté on Wikipedia