From the recording Prince and the Gypsy
I first heard "Malaika" while I was on music tour in Kenya, Africa. I immediately fell in love with the soulful melody. The Swahili lyrics spoke to me in the way that truly inspired songs always do, whether or not one intellectually comprehends the meaning. Whilst taking a break from my busy performing schedule, I went on a safari in breathtaking Masai Mara National Park. One morning I returned to my room after breakfast and was totally enchanted as I heard several Kenyan women singing “Malaika” as they made up the room. I asked them what it meant and they explained to me that “Malaika” means angel, and that the lyrics were about a young man’s struggle to come to terms with the fact that he could not marry his true love as he didn’t have enough money to pay her dowry. I was so moved that I asked them if they would sing it into my tape recorder. They graciously gathered around and treated me to one of the most beautiful impromptu performances I’d ever heard. Their spirit and emotion poured forth, bringing me to tears. Upon my return to Canada, I listened for many hours to learn how to correctly pronounce the Swahili and wrote music to accompany the haunting melody. Whenever Natasha and I perform “Malaika” it is received in the most beautiful way. The melody and lyrics of this traditional Kenyan folk song touches one to the core of their very being. I hope you feel as moved as I did when I first heard this gorgeous song.
Malaika Malaika, nakupenda Malaika Malaika, nakupenda Malaika Nami nifanyeje Kijana mwenzio Nashindwa na mali sina wee Ningekuoa Malaika Pesa zasumbua roho yangu Pesa zasumbua roho yangu Ningekuoa mami wee Ningekuoa daada Nashindwa na mali sina wee Ningekuoa Malaika Kindege, hukuwaza we kindege Kindege, hukuwaza we kindege Ningekuoa mami wee Ningekuoa daada Nashindwa na mali sina wee Ningekuoa Malaika English Translation: Angel, I love you my Angel Angel, I love you my Angel And I your young lover What can I do Were I not defeated by lack of fortune I would marry you my Angel Money is troubling my soul Money is troubling my soul I feel as strongly for you as I feel for my mother I feel as strongly for you as I feel for my sister Were I not defeated by lack of fortune I would marry you my Angel Little bird, I dream of you little bird Little bird, I dream of you little bird I feel as strongly for you as I feel for my mother I feel as strongly for you as I feel for my sister Were I not defeated by lack of fortune I would marry you my Angel