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Music video by Young Artists For Haiti performing Wavin' Flag. (C) 2010 Universal Music Canada Inc.

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Wavin' Flag on Wikipedia
"Wavin' Flag"
Wavin' Flag single.jpg
Single by K'naan
from the album Troubadour
ReleasedMarch 18, 2009
FormatDigital download
RecordedJune 2008
GenreWorld music, Reggae fusion
Writer(s)Keinan Abdi Warsame
Producer(s)Kerry Brothers, Jr., Bruno Mars
K'naan singles chronology

"Wavin' Flag" is a song by Somali-Canadian artist K'naan from his album Troubadour. The song was originally written for Somalia and aspirations of its people for freedom. The original single was a hit in Canada and reached #2 on the Canadian Hot 100 as the third official single from the album, after the singles "ABCs" and "Bang Bang", which were minor hits.

After a devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, a remake of the song by an ad hoc supergroup of Canadian artists, credited as Young Artists for Haiti, became a charity single in Canada, reaching #1 on the Canadian Hot 100 in its own right. The song became a truly global hit when it was chosen as Coca-Cola's promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa. This amended international version with additional lyrics reached the top ten in more than twenty different charts around the world. The English version was released as "Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix)" by K'naan to differentiate it from the original Canadian hit or from the Canadian Haiti charity hit. The Spanish cover featuring David Bisbal became very popular. A version of the song featuring and David Guetta was targeted for international markets. Many other bilingual and country-specific versions were released.

In 2012, K'naan published a children's book, When I Get Older: The Story Behind Wavin' Flag, about the song and its history.[1]


  • 1 Original single
    • 1.1 Chart performance
  • 2 Young Artists for Haiti
    • 2.1 Track listing
    • 2.2 Weekly chart
    • 2.3 Year-end charts
    • 2.4 Certifications
  • 3 Coca-Cola Celebration Mix
    • 3.1 Chart performance
  • 4 Celebration Mix
    • 4.1 Bilingual versions
      • 4.1.1 Year-end charts
      • 4.1.2 Certifications
  • 5 In popular culture
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Original single

The original single of "Wavin' Flag" appeared originally on his album Troubadour. The single reached #2 on the Canadian Hot 100 as the third official single from the album, which was produced by Kerry Brothers, Jr. and Bruno Mars.[2] K'naan first performed the song acoustically live on Q TV, where he gave viewers a preview of Troubadour prior to its release.[3] The lyrics of the original version are about the struggle of refugees displaced by war, with references to K'naan's native Somalia, in comparison to the later version used for the World Cup, where the lyrics were rewritten in more celebratory tone.[4]

Chart performance

In 2010, the song was remade by a supergroup of Canadian artists, credited as Young Artists for Haiti, as a charity single to benefit relief efforts following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[6] The charity single was spearheaded by producer Bob Ezrin, engineered by Mike Fraser and was reworked to include specific lyrics for Haiti, including a rap solo by Drake. It was released on March 12, 2010[7] with proceeds going to Free the Children, War Child Canada and World Vision Canada. This new version went straight to #1 on the Canadian charts.

Participating soloists included K'naan, Nelly Furtado, Sam Roberts, Avril Lavigne, Pierre Bouvier, Tyler Connolly, Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Lights, Deryck Whibley, Serena Ryder, Jacob Hoggard, Emily Haines, Hawksley Workman, Drake, Chin Injeti, Ima, Pierre Lapointe, Elisapie Isaac, Esthero, Corb Lund, Fefe Dobson, Nikki Yanofsky, Matt Mays, Justin Nozuka, and Justin Bieber. Performing the chorus were Arkells, Lamar Ashe, Broken Social Scene, Torquil Campbell, Canadian Tenors, Aion Clarke, City and Colour, Tom Cochrane, Jim Cuddy, Jim Creeggan, Kathleen Edwards, Dave Faber, Jessie Farrell, Colin James, Pat Kordyback, Brandon Lehti, Colin MacDonald, Jay Malinowski, Stacey McKitrick, Suzie McNeil, Stephan Moccio, Kevin Parent, Josh Ramsay, Red 1, Hayley Sales, James Shaw, and Shiloh.[8] Students from Vancouver high schools Lord Byng Secondary and Magee Secondary also voluntarily participated by playing together as an orchestra. A music video was shot for the charity single at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[9] In March 2011, the single won a Juno award for "Single of the Year".

Coca-Cola Celebration Mix

"Wavin' Flag
(Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)"
Wavin' Flag.jpg
Single by K'naan
from the album Troubadour: Champion Edition
ReleasedApril 30, 2010
FormatDigital download
GenreWorld music, Reggae fusion
LabelUniversal Music Group
Writer(s)K'naan, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Jean Daval
Producer(s)The Smeezingtons
K'naan singles chronology

In 2010, a remix of the song, entitled the "Celebration Mix", was recorded for use as Coca-Cola's promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa.[15] This version reached number one in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and number two in Italy, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

Coca-Cola described the remix as "inspired by the joyous dance celebrations familiar to Africa." Coca-Cola integrated its jingle, well known from previous Coca-Cola commercials, into the mix, generating a direct association between the remixed song and the brand. The song was used throughout the entire tournament, and was featured on all worldwide versions of the Coca-Cola campaign. The song was also played at events for the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, where K'naan performed this version live for the first time, and featured on the online digital platform for the World Cup. The music video for the remix includes a guest appearance by Malhar Chitnis.[16] The remix video was recorded in Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, the site of the first 1930 FIFA World Cup Final. The remix version appears on the Champion Edition of Troubadour.

Although the remix features many elements of the original song, it includes most notably a new pre-chorus that sets the uplifting, unified tone of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, turning the song into one that is more open, more inviting and more celebratory. "I'm so proud of this version," K'naan told Billboard.Biz. The new version also removes many of the darker lyrics of the original song. According to Billboard, Coca Cola "loved the song but noted that lyrical references to 'a violent prone, poor people zone' and people 'struggling, fighting to eat' didn't fit the campaign's themes".[17]

We took something like 50 drums and did this crazy mix for it. It's about the one time that we all get together and the world forgets its conflict and its problems and we focus on this unity and celebration. That moment is connected now to 'Wavin' Flag.'

Chart performance

A remix of "Wavin' Flag", which features French music producer David Guetta and American rapper, producer and The Black Eyed Peas frontman, was made for international release outside of Canada.'s solo parts were exclusively written for the international version, and for the K'naan part, some of the lyrics were amended. his version of the song was mixed by hit engineer Dylan "3-D" Dresdow. This version was later released as the B-side to the Celebration Mix.[44] The maxi-single CD also included the Spanish adaptation with the Spanish language verses written by Rafael Vergara and interpreted by David Bisbal.

The maxisingle release track list:[45]

The version featuring and David Guetta was released as the single B-side to "Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix)" single release in Europe.

A separate music video was made for this version, with the artists performing in front of a large black flag. However some scenes were used from the original Canadian music video and from K'naan's "Wavin' Flag (The Celebration Mix)" music video intertwined with visuals of the new video.

Bilingual versions

Many bilingual versions of the Celebration Mix have been made, for use in each of their respective countries. The initial bilingual version was recorded by K'naan and Spanish singer David Bisbal, sung in both English and Spanish, and targeting all Spanish-speaking markets, including Spain, Mexico, Central and South America. This version was entitled the "Spanish Celebration Mix", and was officially made available for digital download in February 2010. As a part of the promotion, a music video of the Spanish Celebration Mix was filmed and released for the song.[46] Another version sung in both English and Arabic, featuring Nancy Ajram, a multi-platinum Lebanese singer and spokesperson for Coca-Cola Middle East, was released in all Middle Eastern Countries. This version, entitled the "Arabic Celebration Mix", also had a music video recorded for it. Scenes were filmed in Denmark, Portugal, Brazil, Lebanon and South Africa.[47] A Chinese version, featuring Jacky Cheung and Jane Zhang, reached #1 on China Music Chart.,[48] and a Thai version, featuring Tattoo Colour, charted at #3 there.

Versions released under Coca-Cola sponsorship for 2010 FIFA World Cup:[49]

  • Arab world: "Wavin' Flag/Shagga' Bi Alamak" by K'naan and Nancy Ajram[50]
  • Brazil: "Comemorar" by K'naan and Skank[51]
  • Greater China: "Wavin' Flag" (Chinese: 旗开得胜) by K'naan Jacky Cheung and Jane Zhang[52]
  • France: "Wavin' Flag " by K'naan and Féfé[53]
  • Greece: "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan and Professional Sinnerz feat. Komis X[54]
  • Indonesia: "Wavin' Flag (Semangat Berkibar)" by K'naan and Ipang[55]
  • Japan: "Wavin' Flag" (Japanese: ウェイヴィン・フラッグ) by K'naan and Ai[56]
  • Nigeria: "Wavin' Flag (Naija Remix)" by K'naan and Banky W. & M.I.(Jude Abaga).[57]
  • Spain/Latin America: "Wavin' Flag (Bandera de Libertad)" by K'naan and David Bisbal.[46]
  • Thailand: "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan and Tattoo Colour.[58]

Unofficial releases collaborate with FIFA 2010 Coca Cola campaign theme

  • Caribbean: "Wavin' Flag" (DJ Power Remix) by K'naan and Machel Montano [59]
  • Haiti: "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan and MikaBen.[60]
  • Hungary: "Nálunk van a labda" - anchors and sport reporters of Magyar Televízió [61]
  • India: (In Hindi) "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan and Jasim[62]
  • Somalia: "Wavin Flag" by K'naan Feat. Gulled Ahmed [63]
  • Italy: "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan ft. Mr. Blaza and MagicEmy[64]
  • Mongolia: "Wavin' Flag" - P.Bayartsengel, D.Anu, E.Solongo and E.Soyombo.[65]
  • Russia: "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan and St1m.[66]
  • Sri Lanka: "Wavin' Flag/Ekama Irak Yata" by K'naan, remixed by Pradeep [67]
  • Vietnam: "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan and Phương Vy.[68]
  • Denmark: "Bare kom an" by Anne Mortensen, Lasse Jakobsen, Anders Andersen, Dennis Schultz & Erik Bruun


In popular culture

  • "Wavin' Flag" sung by K'naan was performed collectively at the finale of the 2010 Juno Awards live, featuring Drake with additional rap lyrics, Justin Bieber and Nikki Yanofsky and others.
  • The "Celebration Mix" version was featured on the soundtrack of the EA Sports video game 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
  • This song was used by Mitt Romney at campaign rallies during his 2012 United States Presidential Campaign. On 1 February 2012, K'Naan formally requested that the Romney campaign discontinue its use of the song.[83]
  • The original version sung by K'naan appeared on the soundtrack for NBA 2K10.


  1. ^ "The story behind K'naan's "Wavin' Flag" | Toronto Star". 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  2. ^ "K'Naan feat. Chali 2na (of Jurassic 5), Chubb Rock, Damian Marley, Mos Def - 'Troubadour' (Audio CD) Detail - Underground Hip Hop - Store". Underground Hip Hop. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  3. ^ 'Waving Flag' by K'naan on QTV on YouTube
  4. ^ Sana (2010-06-23). "The Sad Irony of K'naan's Waving Flag " Aristotle's Lackey". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  5. ^ Canadian Hot 100 chart for original
  6. ^ "Bob Ezrin Recruits Artists For K'naan's Wavin' Flag Cover For Haiti". Rockstarweekly. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  7. ^ "Niet compatibele browser". Facebook. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Canadian All-Star Benefit Single For Haiti: Update | | Blog". 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  9. ^ "Young Artists For Haiti - Wavin' Flag". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  10. ^ "Wavin' Flag - Single by Young Artists for Haiti". iTunes. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Young Artists for Haiti – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Young Artists for Haiti.
  12. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: New Entries Update". Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Canadian Hot 100: 2010 (Year-End)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  14. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Young Artists for Haiti – Wavin' Flag". Music Canada. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  15. ^ [1] Archived November 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Malhar Chitnis - Wavin' Flag - Reggae Music Videos". Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  17. ^ "How K'Naan's Song Became Coca-Cola's World Cup Soundtrack". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  18. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  19. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  20. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  21. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
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  23. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201433 into search. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  24. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag". Tracklisten.
  25. ^ [2] Archived June 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ " – K'naan Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  27. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  28. ^ "Chart Track: Week 23, 2010". Irish Singles Chart.
  29. ^ "K'naan – Wavin' Flag Media Forest". Israeli Airplay Chart. Media Forest.
  30. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag". Top Digital Download.
  31. ^ "Luxembourg Digital Songs - May 22, 2010". Billboard. 
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 29, 2010" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  33. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag". VG-lista.
  34. ^ "Archive Chart: 2010-05-19". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  35. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201027 into search.
  36. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag" Canciones Top 50.
  37. ^ "Promusicae (Week: January 1, 2010)" (PDF). Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  38. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag". Swiss Singles Chart.
  39. ^ " – K'naan – Wavin' Flag". Singles Top 100.
  40. ^ "K'naan: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  41. ^ "Archive Chart: 2010-06-12" UK R&B Chart.
  42. ^ [3][dead link]
  43. ^ "Top 100 Music Hits, Top 100 Music Charts, Top 100 Songs & The Hot 100". 2011-02-26. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  44. ^ / PhonoNet GmbH (2010-05-17). "K'Naan - Wavin' Flag". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  45. ^ "K'naan – Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix)". 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  46. ^ a b "Wavin Flag (Coca Cola Spanish Celebration Mix) - K'Naan feat David Bisbal". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  47. ^ "Leila Kanaan Directs Nancy Ajram for World Cup 2010". 2010-05-23. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  48. ^ "China Music Chart, as of 23 May 2010". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  49. ^ [4] Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  50. ^ "K'naan ft. Nancy Ajram - Waving Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  51. ^ "K'naan ft. Skank - Waving Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  52. ^ "K'naan+張學友+張靚穎-旗開得勝". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  53. ^ "K'naan ft. Féfé - Waving Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  54. ^ "K'naan and Professional Sinnerz ft. Komis X - Waving Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  55. ^ "K'naan ft. Ipang - Waving Flag". 
  56. ^ "K'naan ft. Ai - Waving Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  57. ^ "K'Naan ft. Banky W.& M.I. - Wavin Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  58. ^ "K'Naan ft. Tattoo Colour - Wavin Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  59. ^ "Machel on Wavin' Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  60. ^ "World Cup Remix ft. Machel Montano & DJ Power - Wavin Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  61. ^ "Nálunk van a labda - MTV". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  62. ^ "YouTube - K'naan & Jasim - Wavin' Flag (Indian Version of the Official FIFA Song 2010) Hindi Version". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  63. ^ "YouTube -"Wavin Flag" by K'naan Feat. Gulled Ahmed". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  64. ^ "YouTube - K'Naan feat. Mr.Blaza & MagicEmy - Wavin Flag (Italian Version)". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  65. ^ "Waving Flag Universe Best Songs". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  66. ^ "K'Naan ft. St1m - Wavin Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  67. ^ "K'naan ft. Pradeep Nishantha - Waving Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  68. ^ "K'Naan ft. Phương Vy - Wavin Flag". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
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  71. ^ " - Dutch charts portal". (in Dutch). Hung Medien / Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
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  74. ^ "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 2010" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
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  77. ^ a b "Top 50 Canciones Annual 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
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  79. ^ "Gold Platinum Database". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
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  81. ^ "FIMI - Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana - Benvenuto!" (PDF). 2013-08-18. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  82. ^ "Wavin' Flag Goes Gold With Digital Only in India". Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  83. ^ "K'Naan Wants Mitt Romney To Stop Using 'Waving Flag'". MTV. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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