On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Khaled – Didi (1992)
” Didi” ( Arabic: دي دي) is a song written and performed by Algerian artist Khaled, released in 1992. The song was the lead single from the singer’s eponymous album . “Didi” peaked at number nine in the French Singles Chart and remained on the “Top 50” chart for 20 weeks, making it the first tune sung in Arabic to chart in France.
We’re bringing an end to our time in 1992, dear reader, so leave the UK and fly south to Africa and settle ourselves in Algeria. Khaled Hadj Ibrahim was born in Oran in Algeria and began his career in the 1970s, becoming a key name in the development of rai, a form of Algerian folk music. We join him in 1992 when he has relocated to France and is looking to take his music global. The release of his self-titled album, Khaled, is our focus and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Didi.
Didi translates as “take take” and in the song Khaled seems to be singing about a beautiful girl that is causing him all kinds of problems. He clearly desires her but in the chorus suggests that he wants her to be taken away from him. The impression here is that he is one of many suitors that wants to be with this girl but she is not interested in him and Khaled can only curse his bad luck. This girl may have a reputation of being seen with numerous other men but our humble narrator remains besotted and locked in an endless cycle of wanting to walk away but finding himself constantly coming back for more hurt.
Khaled is one of the most famous Arabic singers in the world but ignorant me had not come across him before. I did not know what to expect with Didi but have to say I found this absolutely delightful. Despite the lyrical content, this song sounds so upbeat and full of energy. Khaled’s music would prove successful in Europe and enhance his reputation globally. Now in his sixties, he continues to perform to this day.
Favourite songs so far: