For decades, Rémi Bandali has been the voice of childhood and humanity. The Lebanese little girl who sang to us in the 80s “A’atuna Al Toufoule” (Give us the childhood) and made our hearts cry, now is mourning her musician father who just passed away on Saturday, December 28, 2019, at the age of 70 in his home in Tripoli, Northern Lebanon.
Lebanese composer and musician René Bandali wrote and composed songs for his family in cooperation with the late poet and journalist George Yammine. He wrote and composed 200 songs throughout his career.
Bandali shot to fame in the late 1970s and 1980s for performing with his family as a band called The Bandali Family; a large family of 12 people, all musicians. They were behind songs such as the hit Do You Love Me.
One of his most renowned songs are: A’atuna Al Tofoulé (Give us the childhood) sung by his little daughter Rémi Bandali, Ya Habibi Ta’al Lha’ani (My love, come follow me), Warde Hamra (Red Rose) sung by Dora Bandali, and Baba (Dad) sung by Rémi Bandali and René Bandali.
René Bandley was famous for his satirical songs, which mimic the days of the civil war in Lebanon that took place between 1975 and 1990. He was also known for his jolly children jingles, lullabies, and songs such as Ya Amar (O Moon), Teer W 3ali Ya Hamam (Fly High, O Pigeon), and 3enna Jar (We Have a Neighbor).
In the 1980s, René Bandali contributed to the rise of his daughter Rémi Bandali to international theaters, where she sang for her homeland Lebanon the trilingual song “Give us the childhood, give us the peace,” mesmerizing the audience.
Rémi was only 5 years old when she first sang “Give us the childhood” in 1984, a touching song. It speaks of kids living a war, particularly the Lebanese civil war; how they are deprived of their innocent childhood and are now demanding peace, a chance to live their childhood, and an idyllic Eid.
Baba is also another song that the late musician René Bandali is famous for. This song is a dialogue between René and his daughter Rémi.
In the song, Rémi keeps calling her dad but her dad is too worried and concerned about electricity and rent bills and mortgages and the financial crisis in general. Even though this song was composed decades ago, it sadly still fits our reality now.
Grieving her father, Rémi just posted a photo of her and her father on her own Facebook page, referring to the lyrics of their duo Baba song in her caption as she calls for him:
“Dad, answer me, talk to me. May your soul rest in peace, Dad, you will always remain a pretty image in my head and your melodies will remain forever bringing joy to my heart and the hearts of all children of the world.”