Jewish Maghrib Jukebox

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Rose By Any Other Name: La Jeune Ouarda (Warda) sings "Ya Oummi"

For the fourth night of Hannukah, I bring you the earliest recording of the classic, "Ya Oummi." 

Like their Ashkenazi counterparts, North African Jewish musicians sang songs to honor their mothers. "Ya Oummi" (Dear Mama), written, composed, and eventually recorded by Tunisian-born Youcef Hedjaj (aka José de Suza), was one of those songs. While Algerian Jewish chanteuse Line Monty is most closely associated with Ya Oummi - and indeed, her version is stunning, she was not the first woman to record it.

That distinction went to a young, up-and-coming Muslim vocalist who then went by the stage name of la jeune Ouarda (al-fattat Ouarda). Yes, before she went from Ouarda to Warda, before she appended al Jazairia (the Algerian) to her name, and before she left Algeria and married Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi, la jeune Ouarda committed a beautiful version of Youcef Hedjaj’s Ya Oummi to record. For those who know the stately Warda, I think you'll be blown away by her teenage self.

You can compare to Line Monty's iconic take here:

And you can hear Youcef Hedjaj not only singing Ya Oummi here but also providing us with the details of just how popular the song was (in French).

Since that time we have been blessed with a number of remarkable covers, including this by young Israeli Moroccan artist Neta Elkayam (with exquisite piano by Amit Hai Cohen).


Ted Swedenburg said...

who plays piano on Line Monty's version -- Maurice El Medioni?

Chris Silver said...

I imagine so but happy to be corrected if wrong.

Gypsyjazz said...


Well explained each and every segment i must say truly amazing:)
Jazz band for wedding

Jasmine Miller said...

This article is amazingly helpful and intersting,Thanks for sharing such an informational article with us.
keep updating.....
vinicunca mountain

AVG Customer Service Number said...

my website about antivirus is very usefull for everyone , you can try this .
Avg help number

Printer Customer Service UK said...

many peples like your post it is really awesome , tanks and keep posting, Printer Support UK 0800-014-8570 Printer technical Support number UK
Printer technical Support number UK

Laptop Support Number UK said...

your post very usefull for everyone and I really like it, Dell Laptop support UK 0800-014-8456 Dell Laptop technical Support number UK
Dell Laptop Technical Support Number UK