Thirteen years after “Baba Yetu” first tugged at our heartstrings in Sid Meier’s Civilization IV, the inspirational song is back at it again. This time, it was in front of the audience and judges of America’s Got Talent. Angel City Chorale, a highly diverse group of men and women based in Los Angeles and founded by Sue Fink, belted out the melodious tune which left viewers stunned. Judges couldn’t help but praise the choir. That led to Olivia Munn awarding them with their own Golden Age — the Golden Buzzer which sends them straight to the Live Performances.
The success of “Baba Yetu”
“Baba Yetu” is The Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father”) in Swahili and was composed by Christopher Tin for Sid Meier’s Civilization IV. It is, perhaps, the single most popular theme in the franchise’s history. Over a decade later, Civilization fans still remember it fondly. Some players even compare other Civilization songs to how each would stack up against “Baba Yetu.” Then again, Tin did compose Civilization VI’s opening, “Sogno di Volare” (“The Dream of Flight”), so we can’t complain. Oh, by the way, Angel City Chorale also sang that theme. The group frequently collaborates with Tin on his compositions and events.
“Baba Yetu” has been performed onstage during various events, most notably for the UN General Assembly. It has also earned the distinction of being the first video game theme to win a Grammy Award. It was considered as a milestone for the acceptance of video games as an art form. Angel City Chorale’s performance on America’s Got Talent certainly did it justice and much more. Olivia Munn rewarding them with the Golden Buzzer is also fitting. After all, she was one of the most recognizable ladies of game broadcasting when she hosted G4TV’s Attack of the Show! several years ago.
We basically saw and heard Civilization’s “Baba Yetu” performed for a mainstream audience in a primetime show watched by millions. Even composer Christopher Tin joined in on the celebration in the franchise’s subreddit, r/Civ. That just warms the heart of every Civilization fan. Now that’s what we call a Cultural Victory!
Watch the official music video of Civ IV’s “Baba Yetu” and Angel City Chorale singing Civ VI’s “Sogno di Volare” below.