What an Omar Suleiman girl group would sound like

There is a lot to love about this 1963 song “Egyptian Shumba” by The Tammys, a one-hit (or, more accurately, no-hits) wonder from the US. It begins innocuously enough, sounding like any other saccharine early-60s girl group. As a former Cairo resident, I can attest that the line “Last night I dreamed I was on the Nile, dancing with you Egyptian style” is about the only part of this song that ties it to Egypt: they could just as easily have been on the Zambezi — or the Mississippi, for that matter. But then you get to the chorus and the yelping and wailing entirely subverts the girl group genre; suddenly, The Tammys sound very, very far ahead of their time.

But the real credit here has to go to Malkmusianful, who left the following comment on another YouTube page for this song:

Now I know what a girl group version of Omar Suleyman would sound like.
And it’s so fucking sexy.

Wow: that’s kind of scary and I am not sure I even really know what it means but I suspect it’s genius. If Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s recently deceased Vladimir Putin-like spy chief and Angel of Darkness, had been in an early-60s girl group — that alone is a prospect worth contemplating at some length — I am sure he would have been shrieking just like that!

As an added bonus, the dancing in this video is insane. Alas, they aren’t really doing the “Egyptian Shumba” here: the video was apparently downloaded from a now-defunct website where people could share found home movies so we’ll never know it’s provenance.


Click here to see all my posts about Egypt or the Middle East.


3 Responses to “What an Omar Suleiman girl group would sound like”

  1. Zora O'Neill says:

    I think the guy might’ve meant the Syrian keyboard king Omar Souleyman? (www.omarsouleyman.com) Although I’m laughing at the idea of the Mubarak crony dressed up in swingy skirts! And the dancing is indeed insane.

    • seanrocha says:

      Oh, you see, that’s my Egyptian bias coming out. But that certainly makes much more sense and would explain the (mis)spelling of Suleiman. However, there is no denying the inadvertent genius of their having implicated the spy chief — especially since he was so deathly silent in most public settings that I relished the thought of him yelping and wailing in some alternate life. Allow me my fantasies!

Leave a Reply