Wavin' Flag

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"Wavin' Flag"
Wavin' Flag single.jpg
Single by K'naan
from the album Troubadour
ReleasedMarch 18, 2009
FormatDigital download
RecordedJune 2008
Songwriter(s)Keinan Abdi Warsame
K'naan singles chronology
"Bang Bang"
"Wavin' Flag"
""Stop for a Minute""
Music video
"Wavin' Flag" (original release (audio) on YouTube

"Wavin' Flag" is a song by Somali-Canadian artist K'naan from his album Troubadour. The song was originally written for Somalia and aspirations of its people for freedom. The original single was a hit in Canada and reached #2 on the Canadian Hot 100 as the third official single from the album, after the singles "ABCs" and "Bang Bang", which were minor hits.

After a devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, a remake of the song by an ad hoc supergroup of Canadian artists, credited as Young Artists for Haiti, became a charity single in Canada, reaching #1 on the Canadian Hot 100 in its own right. The song became a truly global hit when it was chosen as Coca-Cola's promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa. This amended international version with additional lyrics reached the top ten in more than twenty different charts around the world. The English version was released as "Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix)" by K'naan to differentiate it from the original Canadian hit or from the Canadian Haiti charity hit. The Spanish cover featuring David Bisbal became very popular. A version of the song featuring will.i.am and David Guetta was targeted for international markets. Many other bilingual and country-specific versions were released.

In 2012, K'naan published a children's book, When I Get Older: The Story Behind Wavin' Flag, about the song and its history.[1]

Original single[edit]

The original single of "Wavin' Flag" appeared originally on his album Troubadour. The single reached #2 on the Canadian Hot 100 as the third official single from the album, which was produced by Kerry Brothers, Jr. and Bruno Mars.[2] K'naan first performed the song acoustically live on Q TV, where he gave viewers a preview of Troubadour prior to its release.[3] The lyrics of the original version are about the struggle of refugees displaced by war, with references to K'naan's native Somalia, in comparison to the later version used for the World Cup, where the lyrics were rewritten in a more celebratory tone.[4]

Chart performance[edit]