Lura sings "Di Undi Kim Bem" a song about suffering and slavery

Lura "Di undi kim bem"

Lura "Di undi kim bem" (Where I came from)

Born in Lisbon to parents from Cabo Verde, Lura (full name Maria de Lurdes Pina Assunção) sings in both Portuguese and Cabo Verdean styles. This song is a poem in Kriolu (the Portuguese/African creole of the Cape Verde islands), put to music by Lura. You don't need to speak creole to notice the mixture of both tenderness and anger in this performance.

What it's about: "Di Undi Kim Bem" means "Where I came from", while "La di undi kim bem" means "There where I came from". Lura says this repeatedly and intensely throughout the song. So it's more personal than geography. It's about her ancestors and the origins of the mixed-race inhabitants of Cabo Verde, including both her and the writer of the words.

Where I came from
There are stories to weep over
Mournful songs
That tell of homesickness for a distant land


Where I came from
Black women had mulatto children
The full moon illuminates the darkness of all Cape Verde

There where I came from
There’s a secret history kept by time
A scent, a mystery marked on the skin

There where I came from
The full moon soothes the torment
Of the chains people once brought from Africa

Tied at the feet, tied at the wrists, whipped on the body
("Maradu na pe, maradu na mon, sotadu na corpo" x2)
There where I came from

Letra: Abraão Vicente
Musica: Lura

Translation and original creole lyrics from

On a happier note, collaboration between singer and poet has extended beyond this song. Their daughter Nina (born in 2016 and named after Nina Simone) is a new Cabo Verdean brought into the world in much better circumstances.

Source: Image links to article at Portuguese edition of magazine Caras (Faces)


Translations of the lyrics of most of Lura's songs (into English and sometimes French) are available at

Partial Lura discography

2015 Herança - CD Lusafrica 762352 (which has this track on it)
2010 Best of Lura - CD Lusafrica 562652
2005 Di Korpu Ku Alma - CD Lusafrica 462362

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