Friends of Mustapha – Lyrics and History Lesson

3 Mustaphas 3 Heart of Uncle

3 Mustaphas 3 Heart of Uncle

I was at a party last night talking to a guy who was just in Albania. I was asking him about his trip and he went in to what he’d learned and at some point he was struggling to pronounce Enver Hoxha, the country’s late brutal dictator.


I jumped in with the (as far as I know) correct pronunciation. How did I know? A favorite song of mine by 3 Mustaphas 3 (3M3) – “A Chilling Tale”.


Back in the 1990’s I stumbled onto 3M3 by way of a CD at Tower Outlet in San Francisco. It was in the days when you choose music based on the album cover. Seeing the cover of the 3M3 album “Heart of Uncle” my mind drifted to imaginary more interesting places in times: Samarkand under the Soviets, eating in a Turkish village, or whatever positive stereotypical images I had of the Near East.


On another note, there are some surprising connections. When I research for writing these things odd connections pop up. For example, turns out a Mustapha had also been a member of another favo(u)rite musician of mine, Billy Bragg. Though the music is very different I find alot of weird connections between my favorite music.



For example, I stumbled upon Joanna Newsom back in the E-Music days. My wife hates her almost as much as another favorite of mine, Jake Thackray! Well oddly enough my wife is a fan of Billy Bragg, and Billy Bragg as it turns out is a fan of Joanna Newsom. I enjoyed playing that collaborative video of the two of them I found on Youtube (yes, I’m a jerk!)


Leaving the Mustaphas playing on Youtube, more connections popped up. Like the late Israeli singer Ofra Haza with the Mustaphas.


So, friends of Mustapha. I’ve done my best to transcribe the lyric here. There are likely a few errors and I’ve left the document open to comment, so please give corrections.