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\'Song Texts in Morocco\': Moroccan politics through song

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Arab Today, arab today \'Song Texts in Morocco\': Moroccan politics through song

Casablanca – Rajja Al Aaysami

Mohammad Shugair recently published a book with the Ifriqya Al-Sharq (Africa of Orient) publishing house in which he analyses the complex relationship between politics and singing. The book, \"Song Text in Morocco - Between Building And Glorifying Power\" is split in two parts, along with a supplement of political song lyrics. Mohammad Shuqair, who holds a PhD in political science, says in the introduction that “since the 19th century, politics has been closely connected with singing. Enthusiastic ballads were present in wars, during victories or defeats. Songs were also used as a means for protest; hence, the nationalistic movement used song text in resisting foreign colonisers and confronting them culturally and politically”. The first section of the book analyses the lyrics of songs which celebrates armed resistance and nationalist movements. He also reviews song lyrics that glorified the symbols of the State: the national anthem, the flag, the Royal Institution and the army. The author also demonstrates the role of nationalist songs in public mobilisation from the sixties to the eighties. The writer recalls that at times of political crises, songs were conjured as a magic wand that gathers the elite and general public around it with much less effort than that needed for impassioned speeches. The author then moves onto the role of singing in the glorification of power and authority, but also its role in opposing authority. He explores the protest songs as an expression of political repression.

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