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Q: Meaning of African Lyrics ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Question  
Subject: Meaning of African Lyrics
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: georgeskye-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 26 May 2005 18:13 PDT
Expires: 25 Jun 2005 18:13 PDT
Question ID: 526116
What is the meaning of this African song: Phonetically the words are:
A Kee Wo Wo oo no kar ee lay, oh say doh oo no ka ee lay lay. These
are the main words which are repeated over and over.

Request for Question Clarification by justaskscott-ga on 26 May 2005 18:31 PDT
Do you know anything else about the song -- for example, the title or singer?
Answer  
Subject: Re: Meaning of African Lyrics
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 26 May 2005 22:45 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
 
The lyrics you've quoted are from Babatunde Olatunji's song, "Akiwowo
(Chant to the Trainman)". It is a variant of an old Nigerian folksong.

Here is a translation:

"Akiwowo
(Chant to the trainman)

Akiwowo Oloko lle
Akiwowo Oloko lle
lowo Gbe Mi Dele
lowo Gbe Mi Dele
Ile Baba Mi
Akiwowo Oloko lle
Chorus:Oloko lle
O Se O

Akiwowo conductor of the train
Akiwowo conductor of the train
Please take me home
Please take me home
To my fathers house
Akiwowo conductor of the train
Chorus:Conductor of the train"

Yahoo! Groups: Djembe
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/djembe-l/message/7257

Here's some information about the song's background:

"Bamidl, olk il,

 Bamidl, olk il,

 Jw gb mi d?l,

 Jw gb mi d?l,

 Il baba mi, o-.

 Bamidl, olk il.

 Bamidele, owner of the train,

 Bamidele, owner of the train,

 Please take me home,

 Please take me home,

 To my father?s house, o-o

 Bamidele, owner of the train.

In some songs, Bamidl is substituted for Akwowo, who is the main
character in roy?s poetry. Late Baba Oltnj, Nigerian master
drummer who was also an immigrant in America popularized this tune by
using the Akwowo name. Baba was old enough to know what happened when
trains were brand new in Nigeria, and for him, Akwowo was a famous
conductor who faithfully ensured that the passengers on his train did
not miss the train. roy?s Akwowo both recalls Baba?s and is in
synch with our childhood memories of 'Bamidl, olk il'. It recalls
Baba?s lyrics in the sense that there is a common name. It is in synch
with our childhood memories because the central character is a
trainmaster."

African Migration
http://www.africamigration.com/archive_02/editorial.htm#_edn19

My Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: akiwowo "babatunde olatunji"
://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=akiwowo+%22babatunde+olatunji%22

I hope this is precisely what you need. If anything is unclear or
incomplete, please request clarification; I'll gladly offer further
assistance before you rate my answer.

Best regards,
pinkfreud
georgeskye-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the answer. Our junior Choir sung and danced to the song on
the weekend and got 1st prize in the competition. Thank you.

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