Watch the Haba Na Haba online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Acoustic Guitar Greatest Hits Vol. 1
Lesson Source: Tommy Emmanuel's Little By Little Songbook
The words Haba Na Haba are from a proverb which translates to "little by little your pot will be filled." Essentially, the saying means if you take things little by little or a day at a time then you'll get what you need.
My inspiration for this song came to me through Liz Watkins, who told me about a story that she had seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show about an orphanage in Tanzania, and how they turned their lives around thanks to a missionary lady who taught them how to weave, sew, and dye products. They turned this place into a little factory of things they could sell around the world, and it gave those children great hope and gave their life more meaning.
I purposely wrote this song in a way that would really reflect African music and African culture. I've been to Kenya and listened to quite a lot of African music over the years, so I tried to use those experiences to help me write this song in a very authentic way.
The lyric that I wrote in the chorus, "Haba Na Haba, Haba Na Haba, La La Salama. La La Salama" means sweet dreams. In other words, "do not be afraid, little by little you'll get what you need. Sweet dreams, your dreams will come true."
I'm going to teach you how to play the instrumental version. When I play this live I generally sing some of the chorus, so you can choose whether or not to sing. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!