Ali Sabah with trio members Dan Svensson and Elina Nygren
Ali Sabah with trio members Dan Svensson and Elina Nygren Credit: Karin Genrup/Sveriges Radio

Swedish troubadour Evert Taube played on the oud

5:06 min

Can music help immigrants feel at home in their new country? Iraq-born musician Ali Sabah thinks it can. He's adapted the songs of Evert Taube, Sweden’s much-loved troubadour for the Arabic lute or oud.

When Ali Sabah's Swedish bandmate Dan Svensson began playing Änglamark, one of Taube's most-loved songs, over the Arabic rhythm he was playing on his Arabic lute, both realised they were onto something.

Next year they'll be touring their 'Taube Project' all over Sweden.

 "We posted it on Facebook, and the funny thing was that my friends in Iraq they thought it was my melody," Sabah says of the first Taube song they Went public with.

He says he had never managed to click with Swedish music until he heard Evert Taube's songs.

"The melodies. The melodies are fantastic. They are very easy and I can't forget them."

Evert Taube had an adventurous youth as a sailor and a labourer in South America, before coming back to Sweden and become one of the country's most loved songwriters of the mid-20th Century.

He even became an Argentinian citizen.

Music is the fastest way to the heart. And the beautiful thing is that the most of his music is influenced by Argentina, and this is crazy, this is wonderful: the most Swedish music is influenced by Argentina, and this is why he is a wonderful example for all immigrants."

Listen to Ali playing Taube on his oud by clicking on the play button above.

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