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Tinan’tenan t’so, zaren tentereso

Kenegem teweso, amna’nem adeso
Yemetal tizita gwazun agbesbeso

Outdoing yesterday, shouldering on today,
Borrowing from tomorrow, renewing yesteryears,

Comes tizita hauling possessions.

Tizita lyric, in Amharic with English translation[1]

Tizita (var. Tezeta; Amharic: ትዝታ," which means memory,[1] "nostalgia" or "longing"[2]) is a type of song in Ethiopia. The term itself may serve as the name of a ballad performed in this style, or it can refer to the, qenet, musical mode, used in such songs.[1][2]

Western sources often compare tizita to the blues.[3][4] Other musical equivalent are the Portuguese Saudade, Assouf for the Tuareg people, or Dor in Romania. In Slovakia, the closest word is clivota or cnenie, and Sehnsucht in German.

Azmaris first introduced tizita.[1] Modern Ethiopian artists who have performed tizita songs include Aster Aweke, Bezawork Asfaw, Teddy Afro, Mulatu Astatke, Meklit Hadero and Mahmoud Ahmed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Dag Woubshet (2008). "Tizita: A New World Interpretation" (PDF). English at Cornell: A newsletter from the Department of English. Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  2. ^ a b Eyre, Banning (2006-09-15). "Kay Kaufman Shelemay - Ethiopia: Empire and Revolution (interview)". Afropop Worldwide. World Music Productions. Archived from the original on 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  3. ^ Eyre, Banning. "Éthiopiques 10: Tezeta: Ethiopian Blues and Ballad". Afropop Worldwide. World Music Productions. Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  4. ^ For example, the tenth release in the Ethiopiques series is titled Tezeta: Ethiopian Blues and Ballads.