What's your favorite song in a language you don't understand?

I have found that I can enjoy some songs without understanding the lyrics; the sounds of the words can be enough to convey meaning or mood. Or they’re just fun. So, what’s your favorite song in a language you don’t know?

I’ll start, although it’s a bit of cheat. Plastic Bertrand’s Ca Plane Pour Moi is mostly nonsense lyrics, but it’s French nonsense.

I’ve found that the German language lends an extra edge of cool to Falco’s U.S. hits.

I really like Tokebakicitte. I speak a little French, but not well enough to follow the lyrics without a translation.

Ai Du (and most other songs by), Ali Farka Toure. Sung in his native Bambara language of Mali. Oh, and the album with Ry Cooder won a Grammy.

Also Wolf Totem, by the Mongolian group The Hu

I saw Ali Farka Touré perform at a small club. After his short set, a blues/creole/zydeco band came out and did a short set. That was really great, but the cherry on top was when everyone came out and performed together. At the after-party enough people spoke French for everyone to “chat”.

After listening to them for decades, I finally saw the Gypsy Kings in concert this years. The lyrics could have been a phone book, but the delivery and energy made many of their songs incredible. Here’s one of my favorites.

I’ve seen them many times. When you said, “Here’s one of my favorites” I knew what would follow.

The majority of foreign music I enjoy I can understand at least a bit.

Don’t understand a word of this CLASSIC that never fails to make me happy.

Has to be Chaiyya, Chaiyya. I love listening to songs in other languages, but usually I understand at least the title. The video is pretty good, too (it came on TV when I was travelling). Give it a minute or so to warm up, but then enjoy Bollywood dancing on top of a moving train for six minutes: chaiyya chaiyya - Google Search

How about this one?

Maybe the best pop song ever. Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 “Mas Que Nada.”

Jorge Ben wrote it in a seemingly untranslatable mix of Portuguese and native languages, and the English versions are all over the map.

If i have to have lyrics, i prefer them in a language i don’t understand.
Lyrics are, almost without exception, rubbish imho.
Anyway … i love this song :

Reached No. 1 in the US in 1963:

Suo Gan, in Welsh: Welsh boy treble Cai Thomas (12y) sings Suo Gan - YouTube

And Pokarekare Ana in Maori: Hayley Westenra - Pokarekare Ana (English Subtitles)… - YouTube
This group sings part of it in English: Front Row Chorus - Pokarekare Ana - YouTube

Smokin’ tune. I know maybe two dozen German words and recognize none in the frenetically sung lyrics.


I’ll take Beethoven for $500…


That was my first choice as well.

But since that one is already taken, I have to admit “Gangnam Style” is pretty catchy as well.

bah. That feeling when the OP literally lists the song you came in to mention!

Another #1 from 1963: