Mali first gained independence in June of 1960 in a federation with Senegal called the Mali Federation. The anthem of the federation, titled “Un Hymn du Mali” (A Song of Mali), used music based on an old folk tune, possibly dating from the Mali Empire of the 13th century. The lyrics for the federation’s anthem, however, were written by a Senegalese man who would go on to be Senegal’s first president when the union dissolved two months later. While the music was written by a Malian and thus adopted by the new nation of Mali, new lyrics were written by a prominent writer and politician, and adopted as the new national anthem two years later. Despite the title commonly being given as the first line of either the chorus or the first verse, the anthem’s official title is “Le Mali”.