Walla Illa
Tinariwen Lyrics


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Ulla illa
Ulla illa

Ulla illa mizimallat gatti lilla
Adjodagh nemshi shuya ahi netrogh ghur Mizgawa
Ag adam dish offa d-illa tallaqq dagh man illa issikta
As nezdjamegh arghegh taba ed cigarette ha turhena
Ag adam dish offa d illa tallaq dagh man illa issikta




Overall Meaning

Tinariwen’s song “Walla Illa” is a deeply evocative piece that takes listeners on a journey through the vast terrain of the Sahara Desert. The opening lyrics of “Ulla Illa, Ulla Illa” are repeated throughout the song and serve as a chanting refrain that sets the tone for the hypnotic melody. The song draws on the rich musical heritage of the Tuareg people, a nomadic tribe that roams the Sahara region of North Africa. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the harsh desert landscape, where survival depends on being attuned to the rhythms of the natural world.


The imagery in the lyrics speaks of the unrelenting power of the desert and the Tuareg’s connection to it. “Ulla illa mizimallat gatti lilla” can be translated to mean “the wind that blows all day and all night”. This line acknowledges the ever-present nature of the desert wind and its incessant force. The lines “Ag adam dish offa d-illa tallaqq dagh man illa issikta/ As nezdjamegh arghegh taba ed cigarette ha turhena” are particularly striking. They speak of the desert’s isolation and the Tuareg’s reliance on each other for survival. These lines roughly translate to mean “Men with nothing to say, walking around with nothing to do/ Sharing a cigarette, killing time in the middle of nowhere”.


The song delves deep into the heart of the Tuareg experience, reflecting their deep-seated connection to the land, and its unrelenting power. It is a powerful anthem that reveals the Tuareg's sense of strength and tenacity, even in the face of the harshest adversity.


Line by Line Meaning

Ulla illa
This refrain is a repetition of an exclamation, possibly indicating a sense of urgency or affirmation.


Ulla illa mizimallat gatti lilla
This line may indicate a feeling of confusion or chaos, with the singer struggling to understand the situation.


Adjodagh nemshi shuya ahi netrogh ghur Mizgawa
This line describes someone traveling, potentially on a difficult or unpredictable journey.


Ag adam dish offa d-illa tallaqq dagh man illa issikta
This line may refer to the experience of being lost or unsure of one's path, with the artist seeking guidance or direction.


As nezdjamegh arghegh taba ed cigarette ha turhena
This line uses figurative language to describe the artist's sense of isolation or loneliness, perhaps indicating a desire for connection or companionship.


Ag adam dish offa d illa tallaq dagh man illa issikta
This repetition of an earlier line reinforces the idea of feeling lost or uncertain.




Writer(s): Ibrahim Ag Alhabib

Contributed by Brayden S. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

@user-jk5li6hq5b

شعب عظيم سمعت عنهم واتمنى ازورهم..كل الحب لكم...اخوكم من اليمن

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best band

@hasangabel8207

تحية للطوارق للتوارق شعب اصيل وتراث عريق وأغنية جميلة جدا

@mariarosenberg6405

Beautiful song!!! Words and melody

@saadalhasani52

حبيتهم من قبل ما ازورهم وراح ازورهم ل
ان شاء الله

@marjobruijnzeel7927

Touching beautiful 🎶

@mosaabdullah7256

My fav song ❤️

@DiegoRicardoLuyoEnciso

I love these guys, so spiritual, so mystic

@etahah

Diego Ricardo Luyo Enciso I agree,, It’s an Algerian song

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