|Single by Deep Forest|
|from the album Deep Forest|
|Format||CD single, CD maxi,
7" single, 12" maxi
|Label||Epic, Dance Pool|
|Deep Forest singles chronology|
"Sweet Lullaby" is a world music/ethnic electronica song by Deep Forest which originally appeared on their eponymous album. The song gained popularity in 1992 and 1993 when it was released as a single, becoming a top 30 hit in many European and Oceanian countries. In 1994, it was re-released in remixed versions.
The song is based around a traditional Baegu lullaby from the Solomon Islands called "Rorogwela", and uses a vocal sample originally recorded by ethnomusicologist Hugo Zemp in 1970 and later released by UNESCO as part of their Musical Sources collection. The lyrics refer to a young orphan being comforted by his older brother despite the loss of their parents.
The music video, directed by Tarsem Singh, was also nominated for several awards at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. The video consists of a little girl riding a tricycle in front of iconic scenes from around the globe.
In 2005, the song gained renewed exposure when it was featured in Matt Harding's Where the Hell is Matt? viral video. The video featured the "Nature's Dancing 7" Mix of the song. In 2008, Harding traveled to the Solomons island of Malaita to try to find Afunakwa, the woman who is thought to be the performer of "Rorogwela" on Zemp's recording. According to Harding's follow-up video Where the Hell is Afunakwa?, Afunakwa had died in 1998.
The song and music video were used at some point in the mid-1990s to advertise the world-conscious Australian television station SBS. The song inspired a short film depicting a little girl travelling around the world on her tricycle while the lullaby played in the background, eventually returning home to hear the lullaby while in her mother's arms. The short film was accompanied by the subtext "The world is an amazing place".
The track and its creators have come under criticism for their unauthorized appropriation of musical recordings.
The saxophonist Jan Garbarek recorded his own instrumental arrangement of the song on his album "Visible World" (1995), with the title "Pygmy Lullaby". In the CD cover it is erroneously stated that the melody is African.
The Italian dj Mauro Picotto sampled the song on his hit Komodo in 2000.
The debut single for the group, "Sweet Lullaby" was a success for Deep Forest, reaching #3 in Norway, #7 on the Australian ARIA Charts, #10 on the British charts, #78 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 and the Top 20 in France and Switzerland.
1 "Sweet Lullaby (remix '92)"
End of year charts
- A Sweet Lullaby for World Music
- Deep Forest Lyrics and Meanings
- 1994 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS
- Where the Hell is Matt? FAQ
- Where the Hell is Afunakwa?
- Hafstein, Valdimar T. (2004). "The Politics of Origin: Collective Creation Revisited". Journal of American Folklore 117 (465): 300–315.
- "Sweet Lullaby", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved April 14, 2009)
- "Deep Forest singles, German Singles Chart" (in German). musicline. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Billboard allmusic.com (Retrieved April 14, 2009)
- "Single top 100 over 1994" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Irish Singles Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 14, 2009)
- UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved April 14, 2009)