“Summer of ’69” a Nepali Anthem?

A few years ago, when P and I were living in New York, P’s former roommate was Filipino, and like many Filipinos he loved to sing karaoke. I had a projector that I used for work, and occasionally we would have evening/weekend gathering where our Filipino friend’s friend would bring her karaoke machine, and I would hook up the projector and we would project the songs on the wall of our apartment and sing along with the lyrics.

A popular song was Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69.” It didn’t matter how shy one of our Nepali guests might be, when the “Summer of ‘69” came on, it was easy to stand up, grab that microphone, and belt out the tune. I started to think, “Hey every Nepali knows this song!”

Later, when we moved to Massachusetts, there were still more gatherings, sans karaoke machine, but still with singing—sometimes with people gathered around a guitar and laptop (for lyrics), or sometimes in just a room full of people clapping hands and singing together for as long as someone could remember the next line. Although these songs were mostly Nepali/Hindi, occasionally English songs were peppered in, and “Summer of ‘69” was an easy fall back.

So I can’t say I was surprised that the BBC recently had a video feature about the “Summer of ‘69” in the taverns of Thamel. Why do Nepalis love this song? Check out the three minute video to see.

With one of the news clip interviewees stating “the song is basically almost like an anthem” for Nepal, no wonder Bryan Adams made a trip to the country in February 2011, one of very few western musical artists to perform live in concert in Kathmandu.

As a lover of classic rock, I don’t mind jamming to “Summer of ‘69”… how about you?


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6 responses to ““Summer of ’69” a Nepali Anthem?

  1. One of our favorites, actually! One of my most memorable moments of senior prom was hearing it on the radio as I drove to prom (says something about how invested I was in my senior prom — I think I might’ve had the windows down, hair be damned). It’s one of the few songs that both A and I genuinely love, actually! We have very different tastes in music, but something about Summer of ’69 fits us both.

    • I wish I had a “like” button for comments like on facebook Sara ;)

      Another thing to add to the list… waffles (and rice?), and singing “summer of ’69” with the windows down in the car!

  2. Very nice work. As americannepali said, wish it had a “like” button. Thumbs up for your good work…

  3. I was going to respond about an hour ago but ended up jamming to summer of 69 instead ;)

    I had not idea the song so popular in Ktm!!

  4. i find that so interesting how popular it is over there. i saw the bbc article and didn’t realise they all knew it

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