ORIOJORI-ETERNAL SPIRITS

Beautiful Nubia and the Roots Renaissance Band - “Oriojori – Eternal Spirits”
All songs written by Olusegun Akinlolu. (English translation in italics). © & ℗ Olusegun Akinlolu/EniObanke. SOCAN/ASCAP

1. iMoremi
This song celebrates the selfless sacrifice of Yoruba matriarch and heroine, Moremi, who gave her only child, Oluorogbo, as a sacrifice to save her people. Today, Oluorogbo is a prominent deity in Yorubaland.
“Mother calls and I hearken
She bemoans her loss,
“He that I gave that the Earth may know peace
My only one whom I gave up for you
My beloved son, Oluorogbo, ascends into immortality”
Descend, mother, descend
Descend, Moremi, descend
She mourns, she wails, she calls
Olurogbo lives forever…”


2. Nightime in Africa
Don’t know when the moment’s gonna come
They say it’s getting nearer, soon coming
Don’t know if the sky is gonna fall
In flaming red on Monday
Doesn’t matter who you are
When you are dancing with me
Don’t have all the answers to the riddles
Just stay in motion, keep going
Don’t know what the morning will deliver
But this very moment I’m feeling truly, really good
Doesn’t matter where you’ve been
When you’re dancing with me
It’s nighttime in Africa, we’re cruising again
It’s nighttime in Africa, we’re rolling again
It’s nighttime in Africa, we’re grooving again
It’s nighttime in Africa, we’re sailing again
(To everyone hearing this music, folks from far and near,
let it move you, body and soul)


3. Oriojori (Eternal Spirits)
(Listen friend, I’m just doing my own thing; obeying my instincts and talent.
Competition is a waste of time)

I am the sun, I am the rain
I am the wind blowing good your way
I shine the light for the one who lives in darkness
And even if they come to take me out
A thousand more will take my place
We are eternal, eternal spirits
I stand up strong against the forces of evil
Speak the truth; I will not be bought
I sing aloud of the ancestors’ wisdom
And even if they try to cut me down
A million more will take my place
We are eternal, eternal spirits

4. Masters of the Earth
Some people think
They own everything in the world
And they can rob and cheat and be strong
But they are wrong
Some people say
We can shout and fight all we want
They will always have their way and be gone
(Yes, that day will surely come
When the saviour will be absent
And the deliverer will be impotent
The godfather, he will be silent
Our time is limited, live a selfless life)
Some people live
As if they’ll be here forever and they will
Always be the masters of the earth
Someday will come
When even the most powerful man
Will fall on his knees and cry like a baby

5. Araromi
(Here is all I desire, I am comforted
Beautiful one with delicate eyes
In my low moments, I recall your smile
And I am inspired.
Here is all I desire, I am satisfied
Peacemaker, harbinger of wealth
In moments of weakness
I recall your words and I am strengthened.
Return, beloved, please
Stay and share these good times
Come home, sweetheart
Stay and share these good times
In our home, sweet home)


6. Farabale
You will never walk alone
I’m always with you my friend
On the road to heartbreak now, moving too fast
Basking in the morning sun, reaching for happiness
On the road to renewal, we’re getting real strong - Keep your head up!
(Tread gently, take it easy
Life requires patience)
There’ll be many days like this when the going gets too tough
Darkness and endless pain but it won’t last
We leave a trail of happiness
We are the lucky ones my friend
On the road to redemption now, we’re getting real strong - Keep your head up!
Even when the road is rough
Brother, even when the tide is high
Even on a stormy day
Keep your head up!

7. EniObanke Gangan
In the song, the artist takes the position of the village poet and entertainer. Imagine an open traditional marketplace…
(Here comes the King’s entertainer, call both the old and the young
Here comes the merrymaker, get on the dance floor
Death will not visit your home; illness will not be your lot
Cheer up friend; today’s your special day
Bend down and dance; stand straight and dance - dearest one, beloved of the King.
Dance with ease; dance with your front, back, and your feet - my darling, beloved of the King.
Loosen up, D-Day is here and your body is fit
Here comes the merrymaker, set up the dance floor…)


8. The Happiness River
Somewhere deep down in Africa
Runs a river, full of mystery
It’s been there since the beginning of time
And they call it the happiness river
People go there to be reborn
And discover the purpose of life
If you take a dip with your worries
You’ll emerge to a new dawn of hope
Oh yes we call it the happiness river
Flows from east right down to the west
And if the day is dark or the road be rough
We’ll keep on smiling; we’ll go down no more
Everyone is in this journey of life
The little ones, the weak and the old
Every man is his brother’s keeper
And every woman is the mother of all
On the road to redemption
There are many who fall by the wayside
But if your soul is pure
And your purpose is right
You come along, raise your voice
And sing the song
Oh yes, we’re sailing the happiness river
Flows from east right down to the west
And if the day is dark or the road be rough
We’ll keep on smiling; we’ll go down no more
Oh yes, we’re sailing the happiness river
Hand in hand, reaching for the sky
And if the day is dark or the road be rough
We’ll keep on smiling we’ll go down no more
Let hate depart from you,
Open your heart today
Let the spirit of love come shining through
We are up like the birds and we’ll fly again
We will fly again like the birds
And you’ll come with us
There’ll be no more pain - just one love

9. Ifesowapo
(Love is our bond
May that which binds us never disperse us
If we commune in purity, it shall be well with us
Virtuous living is our bond
May that which binds us never disperse us
The good life is ours, we’ll thrive and never fail
A foolish being says there’s none like him
Countless others have walked this path
Eventually everyone departs.
Truth is our bond
May that which binds us never disperse us
If we commune in purity,
We will thrive and never fail
Smile; good fortune awakens with you
Dance with abandon - forward ever!
Blessings daily, may you suffer no loss
Smile; good fortune awakens with you
Walk, swiftly, up the path of progress
Let your ways reflect your good breeding
Joy in your work, may you suffer no loss
The wicked one fools only himself
Countless others have walked this path
Eventually, Truth will triumph)


10. Road to Redemption
Bombs falling from the sky to buy your freedom
What manner of freedom you gonna get?
They’ll taint your women, corrupt your children
Time passes by and you never learn
So you go down on your knees and pray to a foreign god
And you scream and shout and fast and no one answers
You read your holy book and wait for deliverance
Time passes by, you never learn
Brother don’t you see we gotta wake up
The answers are not far from our noses
We’ve got to liberate our minds my sister
Time passes by, you never learn
Time passes by; you’re still the same

You turn your back on hard work and wisdom
Stretching out your hand for compassion and charity
Your children become strangers in their own world
Time passes by, you never learn
You silence all your prophets and good sons and daughters
Stamp out all contrary opinion
You’re a slave to money and possessions
Time passes by and you never learn
Sister, don’t you see we gotta wake up
The answers are not far from our noses
We’ve got to liberate ourselves my brother
Time passes by, you never learn
Time passes by; we’re still the same
Bombs falling…
The road to redemption may not be easy
But I’ll walk with you all the way…

11. OmoAgba
(Chosen one, you’re now in the place of riches
Don’t misbehave, don’t act rashly
Chosen one, now that you’ve come into wealth
Don’t misbehave, don’t act rashly
The well bred don’t give in to anger or violence
Gentle soul, nation-builder
Chosen one, now you’re in the place of power
Don’t misbehave, don’t act rashly
They need you, the poor, out there, looking to the heavens
They need you, the downtrodden, out there, looking for succor)


12. We Live Here Too
As it was in the beginning, so it is in these times
Man’s greed knows no bounds and he will trample
On anything and anyone in his search for glory
And the quest for wealth and fame
But the inheritors of pain cry out
“We are here!” and I am there too
Yes lord, I am here; we live here too
Don't underestimate us, we’re not fools; watch us!
We’ve seen the likes before
Mighty armies straddling the whole world, seemingly unbeatable
But, just like time, everything passes
They will fall, they will scatter and their armor
Will be of no use in the hands of the master
And the witnesses of history cry out
“We are here!” and I am there too
Yeah lord, I am here; we live here too
Don't underestimate us, we’re many; watch us!
Soon will come this time, I’m saying
When the king of the north marches upon the lands of the south
Pestilence, anger and anguish walk hand in hand
On this terrible day when the sun turns dark
But it’s only just for a while
A new day cometh, bright new dawn, sun shining, happy people singing
“We are here!” and I am there too
Yes lord, I am there; we live here too

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A Sampling of Songs