SOTW - A Ram Sam Sam (Morocco)
Did you know that the song “A Ram Sam Sam” is from Morocco? I didn’t! Because we have lost the context for so many songs over time, you probably think of "A Ram Sam Sam" as a silly nonsense word tune that little fluffy creatures like to sing. Even in Music Class, we work super hard to include music from all over the world but rarely have time in class to point out where each song is from.
SO, we are going to have a specific theme for the blog this session, Music from Around the World! We’re going to use one song from The Bear Collection to highlight a different country each week. What I’m NOT going to do is try to summarize traditional music from each country, because there’s absolutely no way I could do it justice. (Although that was originally the idea…HAAAA 🙄) Instead, I’m going to pick one fascinating and fun musical thing from each culture to highlight along with the TMC song that we know and love.
Without further ado, here’s “A Ram Sam Sam” from Morocco!!
“A Ram Sam Sam”
“A Ram Sam Sam” is a traditional children’s song from Morocco. (Did I already mention that this song is from Morocco? No?!) While “a ram sam sam” ARE actually just nonsense words, the other lyrics do have meaning. “Guli” means “tell me” in Darija, the Moroccan dialect of Arabic that is often considered to be its own language. “Rafiq” means companion or friend in Arabic. We went from zero to two languages in .5 seconds. How cool is that!
Moroccan musical tradition is incredibly rich and varied just like its people. (THIS is the best overview I could find if you want to dive in a bit more, which I highly recommend.) The oldest Moroccan music comes from its indigenous Amazigh (or Berber) people. By "oldest" I mean literally that the oldest homo sapiens fossils ever discovered were in Morocco! Berber music has a strong, continually evolving oral folk tradition focusing on vocals and poetry. The amazing voices of Berber musicians are something that really stood out in every video I could find, which makes sense in a tradition that has potentially been passed down vocally for hundreds of thousands of years!! So today for our Moroccan feature, I present to you someone who exemplifies both the outstanding vocals and ever-evolving genre of Berber music, Malika Zarra. Enjoy!