Serenaded by Yemeni kids in the street

Mac (Houston, Texas)

Today I was serenaded in the street by my favorite group of kids in Sana’a. It all started when they made their usual plea that I take pictures and videos of them. This time I tried a new tactic; I wouldn’t film unless they sang for me. They barely hesitated for a second and belted out several songs in unison. I recorded two of them. The first (below) contains a simple religious message; the main refrains basically say, “I love God…I live all my life for God.”

The second song is more complex and interesting. The basic message is that parents often contradict their own moral messages.

I’ve translated the words below:

Hey daddy telephone! (Ya baba telephone!)
I’m not here.
Hey daddy telephone!
I’m not here.
My daddy says he’s not here.
La la la la la la la la la la…..
Daddy you told me that lying was forbidden
And that those who lie, daddy, God gets angry with them.

So the image here is of a little girl or boy answering the house phone. The kid shouts for daddy saying, “hey daddy telephone!” But then the father tells his child to tell the caller that he’s not in (“I’m not here.”). Without thinking twice about the consequences, the kid dutifully tells the caller, “My daddy says he’s not here.”

Now that’s a pretty clever way to deliver a moral message to both parent and child.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Serenaded by Yemeni kids in the street

  1. Claire

    these kids are too cute! thanks for posting. it’s good to hear what you’ve been up to.

  2. Virginia Skelton

    Those kids are so precious! I think that my classroom should record a video so you can show those kids what they are like here! Miss you lots!

  3. JR

    Hey Mac, you don’t know me but that was very cool. Kids are kids and it is always uplifting to see the purity of innocence come spilling out, no matter where in the world. Say hello to my son Chase for me.

  4. Philomena Duran

    Would LOVE to go to Yeman and teach but my grand daughter is due today.

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