Melodies of Mongolia
TNC staff shares their favorite songs that convey the soul of Mongolia's boundless plains and the spirit and culture of the local communities.
Mongolia is renowned for its seemingly endless steppe: grasslands that support a rich array of wildlife and more than 160,000 traditional herders. With its rich biodiversity and nomadic herding traditions, Mongolia has a strong history of conservation. Since 2008, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been working in Mongolia to help protect 30 percent of the country by 2030.
We asked our colleagues to share songs that reflect the beauty, spirit and culture of Mongolia and the communities we work with. As you listen to these songs ranging from classical to pop, we hope it gives you a sense of Mongolian history and the beauty of their land.
Track 1: МУГЖ С. ЭРХЭМБАЯР "ТОРОЙ БАНДИ"
"As Mongolians, we have protected our national culture since ancient times, passing it down through generations. This drawling folk song has a uniquely Mongolian sound that you may not have experienced before. We are so happy to share this with you!"
Track 2: "Tumendemberel" – The Crystal Clear ‘Tamir’ River
This is the legend of Mongolia’s Tamir River: “Before mirrors were invented there was a girl named Tamir. Tamir lived near a crystal clear river and used the water as a mirror. One day, a rich man proposed to Tamir, but she refused because she was already in love with another. Boiled with anger, the rich man tainted the river so it was no longer crystal clear. Tamir was shocked to see the unclear water and dove in to find out the cause. She never came out, and the locals changed the river name to 'Tamir' in her loving memory.”
Sit back, imagine the Tamir river and enjoy this mesmerizing and atmospheric song performed with a single instrument and an amazing voice.
Track 3: "White Stupa"
"This song touches my heart and makes me feel a sudden burst of compassion, peace of mind and love. I hope this takes you somewhere too. Perhaps you can imagine riding a horse across the steppe with me as you listen."
- Khaliun Ganbaatar, Adminstrative Officer, TNC Mongolia
Track 4: Magnolian - "The Bride & the Bachelor"
With English lyrics, this track still provides a traditional sound while being an accessible and easy gateway into Mongolian music.
Track 5: “I am a Mongolian” - MonБи Монгол Хүн - Тэнгэр, Ариунбаатар Bi Mongol Hun - Tenger , Ariunbaatar
Enkhtuya Oidov, Senior Advisor to TNC Mongolia, has chosen to share “I am a Mongolian,” performed by Mongolian singers, Ariunbaatar and Tenger. Enkhtuya explained that this is a poem that every child learns in school in Mongolia and that this performance stirred great pride in Mongolians all over the world. Here are the translated lyrics:
I am born in herder ger*,
I think grasslands are my home,
River water is like mother’s milk,
I am a Mongolian who loves their motherland.
(*A nomadic round house fit for frequent movement)
Track 6: Mohanik - “Чонон Бүжиг” / “The Wolf Dance”
We think this post-modern punk-rock band hits all the 80s nostalgic classic sounds with this song. Do you agree?
Track 7: Ariunbaatar - ‘”Mongoliin Tal Nutag” | The Voice of Mongolia 2018
Enjoy Ariunbaatar’s rousing performance with a live orchestra on the Voice of Mongolia in 2018.
Track 8: Norovbanzad – "The Sun of Compassionate Universe"
This is often said to be the best Mongolian song. It is widely agreed that this song is timeless, and we hope you feel the same.