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Nemalís Birth Song

A Nemalís birth song is a song parents give their children at birth and teach it to their communities. When a new baby is born, the parents will create a brand new melody along with the first verse or chorus. As the child grows older, they'll add more verses, possibly a second verse, and one or two bridges. By the time a child reaches the age of fifteen, the song is complete. At all major events in the child's life, this song is performed by the parents, family, and community members. It's a song that reminds each child where they come from and of the support they have behind them. It builds and continually strengthens the bond each child needs to develop with a strong foundation and support group. As the saying goes, "it takes a village," in Nemal, they take this ideology very seriously. While the majority of a child's upbringing is for the parents to shape, the family and neighboring community all come together to play a pivotal role.

We introduce one of these songs in Book One of The Paradise Planets. It's called, "Ashkana Tuv." Here are the lyrics to the song:


Remember when you’d dance to my vinyl records from my past

You would spin with both arms wide open, bouncing as you laughed

If I sat down, you’d grab my hand and make me dance with you

That was you, and ashkana tuv

Remember when you’d run through the palace playing hide and seek

You would hide behind the same old curtains thinking you’d fool me

You would squeal

When you were revealed

Giggling like you do

That was you, and ashkana tuv

All the days I spent far away were hard to be without you

The memories I didn’t get to see - missing out on things you’d do

When I’d come back

You’d run to dad

And be the girl I knew

‘Cause you loved me, too - you

Remember when you grew up so fast right before my eyes

If only we could go back in time to moments of our lives

I wouldn’t change

A single thing

Even the hard times, too

That was all still you, and ashkana tuv


Rikordûtu máti olis pareludu shi nayalí biníl luþitóbé dari nayalí sahul tuvat

Olis kwídu kin amos rukûtó brít kík tuvat, kertsésách áz ritudu tuvat

Lô bekala fichi nayat, olis viposudu nayalí shoho tuvat, i hulitu parelutu kin tuvé mwat.

Budu tuvé sîmat, i ashkana tu

Rikordûna máti olis koorudu méso li sarébé neltudu bisabé i kimé tuvat

Olis bisadu gésh li mara taman atanóbé tuvat, pensách olis jilizu mwabé tuvat

Olis sikadu tuvat

Máti budu keshefudu tuvat

Basamách áz daidu tuvat

Budu tuvé sîmat, i ashkana tuv

Dur poþ kehevala amni li tagóbé/ôeróbé nayat, budala sabun shi kehevala kimun tuvat

Daila néz prapala shi tazala li dakiratóbé nayat – téa néz fizanala kwam shi nayat

Da olis vaksala nayat

I tum olis péudala nayat

Van amni li miharitóbé olis daizu tuvat

Budu méshû tuvé sîmat, tuvat

Rikordûna máti wasînudu nak hûn kásh vikolak dávor nayalí potóbé tuvat

Lô hanya téa píbi lersûbi lev agité shi shukanó van bizí vitó bizat

Olis néz sorjana nayat

În tani shéané

Pun li sabu agitó, gam

Budu amni orla tuvé sîmat, i ashkana tuv

by: Shaun Barrowes

Author Shaun Barrowes


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