Civilization IV’s Theme Was On America’s Got Talent, And It Was Excellent

Civilization IV’s Theme Was On America’s Got Talent, And It Was Excellent

Last week, the procession of pop songs on TV show America’s Got Talent was interrupted by a massive group performance of Baba Yetu, the Grammy-award winning Civilization IV theme.

Sung by the Angel City Chorale, it’s one hell of a performance of Christopher Tin’s work, which despite its surprise contemporary prominence (it won its Grammy in 2011) was indeed first composed for Civ IV’s release in 2005.

The group got a “Golden Buzzer” at the end from Olivia Munn.

I still do not know why this hasn’t just become the theme for every Civ game.

To compare, here’s the original, which featured the Soweto Gospel Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:


  • The shot of Munn before and just after when it looks like she recognises where the song is from too is pretty great.

    Fun fact: the choir is the same one that performed the Civ themes a couple of years ago at Cadogan Hall.

  • For anybody who loves that song (and really, how can you not?) it’s well worth checking out the rest of the album that eventually came about – Calling All Dawns. It features a diverse range of styles and languages, and some are better than others, but it’s an experience well worth having. The 4th track (Se É Pra Vir Que Venha) is a particular standout for me.

    • Mado Kara Mieru (track 2) and Kia Hora Te Marino (last track) are my favourites from that album.

      • Oh yeah, the last track is spellbinding as well. Perfect way to close the Dawn cycle/entire album. I also love the cycle within a cycle on track 2.

        There’s so much to love.

        • You’ll be pleased to know (if you didn’t already) that Tin has another album coming in 2019, To Shiver the Sky. I missed the kickstarter sadly, but I have preordered the album – can’t wait!

          • Yeah, I thought I had hit the Kickstarter but I’ve just logged in to check on a different project and looks like I didn’t. Oh well, I’ll still be grabbing it as soon as it comes out!

  • I love a good bit of choral music in a game (or movie for that matter), Baba Yetu is a great example of the sense of scale and drama they can bring.

  • This always makes me tear up :’) A great song with a beautiful performance do hope they make it all the way to the end.

  • I hope with the success of the golden buzzer they might do other songs from the other civ games. Personally I would like to see a live performance of terra nova from brave new world.

    • Word. Definitely the second best song from the series. The guy who sang the refrain in this one might have the range to sing the verses.

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