Baba Yetu

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"Baba Yetu" is a song by composer Christopher Tin. It was composed in 2005 when video game designer Soren Johnson, Tin's former roommate at Stanford, asked him to compose the theme song for Civilization IV.[1] It was sung by Ron Ragin[2] and the Stanford Talisman.[3] For its re-release in Tin's debut album Calling All Dawns, it was sung by Ron Ragin and the Soweto Gospel Choir.

In 2007, "Baba Yetu" was released by Alfred Music Publishing,[4] and in 2011 it was rearranged by Tin for an SATB a cappella choir with optional percussion accompaniment.[5]

Awards and Achievements

On December 5, 2010, it was reported that "Baba Yetu" was nominated for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) category, making it the first video game theme nominated for a Grammy Award.[6] On February 13, 2011, it was announced as the winner of its category, making it the first piece of music composed for a video game to win a Grammy Award.[7] At the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards, "Baba Yetu" was the winner in the 'Song Used in Film/TV/Multimedia' and 'World Beat Song' categories,[8] and at the 2006 Game Audio Network Guild (GANG) Awards in 2006 it won Tin two awards.[9]

"Baba Yetu" has been performed at various venues and events around the world, including The Dubai Fountain, the Kennedy Center, Royal Festival Hall, the Hollywood Bowl,[9] the Dorian Festival of Luther College, UKA(2011) - Norway largest festival and the New Year’s Concert of the sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly.[10]

"Baba Yetu" has garnered much critical praise; over 20 reviewers have singled out the theme on IGN, GameSpy, and Game Shark,[11] and it is the subject of numerous blog posts and choral renditions.[a][original research?]


The lyrics of "Baba Yetu" (which means "Our Father") are a Swahili language-translation of the Lord’s Prayer.[12]

Swahili English
"Baba Yetu"

Baba yetu, yetu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, yetu amina!
Baba yetu yetu uliye
M jina lako e litukuzwe.

Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji, utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, muovu e milele!

Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni.

Our Father, who art
in Heaven. Amen!
Our Father,
Hallowed be thy name.

Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us of
our trespasses,
As we forgive others
Who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from the evil one forever.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.


  1. ^ For examples, see:
    • "Sushi Delight" (November 20, 2005). "Baba Yetu". Once Upon a Dreamer. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
    • "D.B. Light" (December 26, 2005). "Christopher Tin; He Might Be the Next John Williams". Light Seeking Light. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
    • "Adrian" (March 15, 2007). "Baba Yetu". Mssv. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
    • "M" (September 20, 2006). "Baba Yetu". My Flights of Fancy. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
    • "Cape Town Youth Choir" (August 11, 2013). "Baba Yetu". Cape Town Youth Choir 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
    • "African Solar Rise" (February 16, 2011). "Media:Baba Yetu Song". Retrieved October 22, 2014.
    • "Peter Hollens feat. Malukah" (August 19, 2014). "Baba Yetu - Civilization IV Theme Cover". Retrieved November 25, 2014.


  1. ^ "Looking Back... Civilization IV". CVG. July 6, 2006. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  2. ^ Nichols, Max (September 1, 2007). "Video Games Live". N-Sider. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "Talisman featured on Civilization 4". March 11, 2005. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
  4. ^ "Baba Yetu". Alfred Music. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  5. ^ "Baba Yetu - SATB". Alfred Music. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  6. ^ Langshaw, Mark (December 5, 2010). "'Civ IV' theme nominated for Grammy". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  7. ^ Senior, Tom (February 14, 2011). "Civilization 4 wins grammy for Baba Yetu six years after release". PC Gamer. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  8. ^ "Christopher Tin". The Independent Music Awards. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Christopher Tin: Composer" (PDF). Tin Works. October 10, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Viva Vox Choir (Belgrade) - New Year's Concert of the 67th Session of the General Assembly. UN Web TV. January 14, 2013. Event occurs at 25:29. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  11. ^ Tin, Christopher. "Press". Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  12. ^ "Calling All Dawns Digital Booklet". Christopher Tin. 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2014.

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