Tuesday, May 28, 2024
I’D HAVE MARRIED

I’D HAVE MARRIED

N’BA TI L’AYA (YORUBA) – Tunji Oyelana, Nigerian social commentator, folk-song crooner, lecturer – and his band, the Benders – recalled a folk song about the drunk a few decades ago.

NOTE: This song was originally crooned by Irewole Denge in 1937. He was one of the originators of the popular Juju Music in Africa.

N’ba’ti l’aya, keregbe ni o je o e-e-e,

N’ba’ti l’aya, keregbe ni o je o a-a-a,

L’ojo i’toro, emu ni,

L’ojo sisi, emu ni,

L’ojo sile’kan, emu ni,

N’ba ti l’aya, keregbe ni ko je o e-e-e.

N’ba’ti l’aya, keregbe ni o je o e-e-e,

N’ba’ti l’aya, keregbe ni o je o a-a-a,

L’ojo i’toro, emu ni,

L’ojo sisi, emu ni,

L’ojo sile’kan, emu ni,

N’ba ti l’aya, keregbe ni ko je o e-e-e.

(ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY DELE AJAJA)

I would have married, but drinking precluded me,

I would have married, but drinking precluded me,

The day I had three-pence, I expended it on drinking,

The day I had six-pence, I expended it on drinking,

The day I had a shilling, I expended it on drinking,

I would have married, but drinking precluded me.

I would have married, but drinking precluded me,

I would have married, but drinking precluded me,

The day I had three-pence, I expended it on drinking,

The day I had six-pence, I expended it on drinking,

The day I had a shilling, I expended it on drinking,

I would have married, but drinking precluded me.

IMAGE: The day I had three-pence (toro,) I expended it on drinking.

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