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Let’s Get Weird—All World All Time Best Song Competition: Morocco

See, now I’m just hungry. I hope you’re all happy. Buy me b’stella.

Feel free to click on the first Global Song Competition post in which we determined “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” was Australia’s best ever contribution to music to learn the rules of this game. In short, we didn’t want to talk about the aftermath of the last regular season baseball series, so Andrew started a distraction contest to...

...determine the greatest song of all time, based on my limited knowledge of music and other countries.

First, we’ll go with the smattering of countries I can accurately point to on a globe and spell correctly—sorry, Kyrgustan (nope: it was Kyrgyzstan)—and then, we’ll go state by state in the good ol’ US of A.

*Note: Feel free to disagree with my choices violently, and suggest better songs in the comments. I will not listen to you, nor will it affect the outcome of this ridiculous distraction contest, but I want you all to feel both seen and heard, even though I don’t know what most of you look like, nor sound like, but I want you all to feel effectively placated.

You people voted for the beautiful and delicious country of Morocco for M, and maybe I shouldn’t have typed this up before eating anything. After sifting through a shocking amount songs that sounded like the same song over and over (note: Those “Top [country] songs of 202x” countdowns on YouTube are a lie), here’s what finally surfaced.

The Songs

1) Bab L’ Bluz / Synapson - Waylalah (Folamour Remix)

This one is probably cheating, since Synapson is French, but I care not. (And so is Folamour, come to think of it.) They released 2 albums of global music collaborations, and hooked up with the outstandingly named Bab L’ Bluz for this Moroccan entry, so I’m counting it.

Besides, this gives you a chance to vote for something named Bab L’ Bluz.

There are several remixes of this song, but this one sounded best in the car on backroads. Clearly, Moroccan music research is a serious undertaking. It starts off slow, but picks up once the siren of a lead singer starts wailing a minute in. I greatly enjoyed this in the moment, so whatever.

The video of the rocking swing is also oddly calming.

2) Hoba Hoba Spirit - Gnawa Blues

You had to figure as soon as I saw a band named Hoba Hoba Spirit, they’d be in, and you’d be right. I had some hopes for this in the first 30 seconds, then the lead singer showed up. Between the lyrical subject matter and his particular singing style, this guy’s dad must have had a metric boatload of Bob Dylan 8-tracks laying around while he was growing up. And miraculously, a still functioning 8-track player.

(Did you know Dolly Parton released a new Christmas album a couple of years ago on 8-track? No seriously, this really happened. This has been your useless fun fact.)

If nothing else, between Hoba Hoba Spirit and Bab L’ Bluz, Morocco is a favorite in the “All-Time All-World Band Names” competition. Maybe they could get Fat Kablob to move from Kyrgyzstan and really make a run. What Moroccan restaurant doesn’t have kablobs on the menu? Maybe team him up with Hefty Kofta.

3) Rachid Taha - Écoute-moi Camarade

Oh hell yes. You can’t have a Maghreb entry without some raï influenced music, and this right here will do wonderfully. Rachid Taha is completely worn down by life and has seen all the things, and he’s here to tell you damn kids all about it. The title literally translates as “listen to me, comrade.”

Hot women, a musical accompaniment straight out of the sleaziest bar this side of Marrakesh, and you can actually smell the hookah smoke while watching this. Tremendous stuff all around, which also sounded great in the car on the backroads.

Anyway, story time: Back in the early 2000s, before YouTube existed and everyone was still on dialup, I used to listen to some (I guess) Near Eastern radio station on adware-filled RealPlayer. They’d rotate between an American pop or rock song, a Europop song, and a track that sounded a whole lot like this. Then the DJ would talk in (Arabic? Turkish? Farsi? who knows?) for a bit, and we’d repeat the cycle. I think it was called Radio Rama, or something like that. If anyone else remembers this, or was listening to Burmese mountain yak herding radio instead, please do share in the comments. I’m sure it’s long since dead, but good times.

But why am I wasting my time telling you this? You people wouldn’t even vote for Adriano Celentano. You wanted Italian Eurovision.

4) Khaled - C’est la vie

So here, since Morocco is European-adjacent, have your Eurovision-adjacent entry. It isn’t from Eurovision, just the most Eurovision sounding thing that came up. No idea why France didn’t use this dude for their entry, to be honest, given what an effective earworm it is.

This wouldn’t be out of place in some 90s Eurodance club, spinning in between La Bouche and Aqua. You can decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing (note: it totally is). Life in plastic, it’s fantastic. Come on Barbie, let’s go party.

Honorable Mention

Sofia Essaïdi - Roxanne

Knowing nothing about Moroccan music, I figured turning to Google would be the smart thing to do. This would be so very, very wrong. All that came up was some “greatest Moroccan singers” article, and every single one sounded like the most boring Celine Dion clone imaginable. There was nothing noteworthy at all.

Except for Sofia Essaïdi. No, her top tracks on Spotify included one called Roxanne. So I went “Wouldn’t it be funny if that’s a cover of the Police song?” And it was. A terribly, terribly boring cover. Why don’t you go ahead and ruin Blitzkrieg Bop and Psycho Killer while you’re at it? Fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa fa.

Anyway, I’m going to go pick up some fat kablobs now. Run run run away.

Vote in the Poll (click on the tweet to vote on it, you crumb bums)

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