Song of the Day #4,559: ‘I Zimbra’ – Talking Heads

Maybe it’s the David Byrne American Utopia movie released earlier this year, or maybe it’s pandemic-related, but I’ve been really digging on Talking Heads lately.

When today’s song — the opening track of the 1979 album Fear of Music — popped up as a Random Weekend selection, I was positively giddy. With lyrics based on a nonsensical Dadaist poem by Hugo Ball and music inspired by the African rhythms Byrne was increasingly drawn to, this song is unlike anything the band had done to that point, but still perfectly in character.

A year later, Talking Heads further explored those African rhythms in Remain in Light, widely considered their best album. I’d give my vote to 1983’s Speaking in Tongues, but both Fear of Music and Remain in Light are brilliant.

Gadji beri bimba clandridi
Lauli lonni cadori gadjam
A bim beri glassala glandride
E glassala tuffm i zimbra

Bim blassa galassasa zimbrabim
Blassa glallassasa zimbrabim

A bim beri glassala glandride
E glassala tuffm i zimbra

Gadji beri bimba glandridi
Lauli lonni cadora gadjam
A bim beri glassala glandrid
E glassala tuffm i zimbra

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,559: ‘I Zimbra’ – Talking Heads

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’ve always been more partial to later albums like Little Creatures and the live performances of older material on Stop Making Sense.

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