SOUNDBENDER

Words and Music composed and arranged by Olusegun Akinlolu
© & ℗ 2015 EniObanke. All rights reserved. SOCAN/ASCAP

ARA
(When the EniObanke crew comes to town,
everyone turns up to dance in various styles)

EniObanke lo ko’lu jade o
Firijaji l’ero pe’se sibe
Lawon omoge ba ro s’oju agbo
Orisirisi ijo ni won pe s’ese yi o
Ara leleyi o – ara repete
Ara leleyi o – ara ribi-ribiti/gbemigogiriwo
Ara leleyi o – ara meriri

Eniobanke lo m’orin s’enu o
Aye o gb’ero ni’jo t’a wi yen
Odomokunrin ba ko’ra jade
Laiwo’ju enikan ni won fi jo s’eye o

Eniobanke e ku ise oni o
Ani ka pa’lu k’a wa re’le o
Awon omode ba ni ‘jo oun kan won o
L’awon agbagba ba gbe won l’eyin

OUTSIDER
You walk the thin line
Don't want to lose your soul
But the hammer of justice has gone to hell
Then you realize you are the guardian
Of a truth that no longer fits the bill
When the music dies you carry on
Deep into the night
And when the shadows melt in light
It’s plain to see, it’s only empty dreams.
You are an outsider looking in
Stranger in your own house
It must be hard I know
To be the only one wondering why everybody’s laughing
And it seems like the joke is all on you.

Here you stand with the drifters
Knowing nothing will turn the stream around
You’re the lone voice screaming out loud
But the people are deaf, seems like all is lost
But this surge of hope still carries on
And only you can feel that even in the deepest darkness
Time will turn like a raging bull.

Pressure rising, tempers flaring up
We’re near the tipping point
But at the break of dawn they’ll raise another song
And break your righteous heart

AKAWOGBEKUN
(Outward appearances can be deceptive; still waters run deep
The house left to the slothful will collapse in disuse.
The swift ascend quickly but patience has its reward)

Oju funfun ko ni’wa re
Bara dudu koroi, e maise t’aiwe
Akawogbekun to nwoye ki ma i s’ole
Sebi’nu lo nro
A ko’ra jo nwuwa ibi, tifunloran, won o l’ona meji
Ile a gbe f’obun lati so, bi o ba dawo igbe ni yio di
Igbo nla ni yio da
Igbe ni yio di
Ayarasasa, iyen le sa’re g’oke
Onisuru, iyen a de’be dandan
Ologbonaye iyen nwoye ki ma i s’ole, sebi’nu lo nro

DREAMING (ON A BREEZY NIGHT)
Dreaming (dreaming 2ce), on a breezy night
She comes to me, daughter of the sea
In her eyes burn fire, smoke in her nostrils
And her belly button gushes out the fluid of life
What she says to me takes me by surprise
“Call the chosen ones, there’s work to be done”

Of what value is an African life to them
Are we just a headline of horror and shame?
To feel my pain, you have to walk in my shoes
You’ll have to wear my skin, babble in my tongue
“People of the land, inheritors of pain
Let your vision rise and soar with the eagle”.

E kede ayo ni gbangba, ojo idunnu l’ojo oni o
Eni a ro pe ko le pa’go, se b’oun ma lo ko’le alaruru
Ara e gbimo ka bo’ri aini, k’onikaluku mura si’se re
Eniti d’oku ni o ni’reti, isegun nbo f’eniti o rewesi

Dreaming (dreaming 2ce) on another night
She touches me, our mother of the waters
I bring you laughter for the long days
And strength and faith to see you through the tunnel
When the morning comes, reach to the sun
On the road again, reach for tomorrow

IRETI-OGO
(Let the righteous stand firm; the moment of triumph is near)
Eni t’o duro ko duro rege, asotito oni’nu re
Ojo oni le koro die, o di dandan k’ola wa o dara
Jowo je ka mu’ra, ka ma se siyemeji
Ojo ola nbo, o nbo wa dun s’o gbo
Ore mi m’okan le, gb’oju re s’ibi giga
Ireti ogo re nbo wa d’ire

Gbon’ra jigi, k’o duro gbagba
Ma i da’wo duro ore mi ibere la wa o
Tarasasa, ma se m’owo l’eran o
Baoku ise o tan o, l’awon agba nwi

ABUKE OSHIN
(Adapted from the folktale regarding Tortoise’s betrayal of Snail
over the demise of the King’s favourite hunchback)

Igbin se’un to d’oshin
Oba da igbin l’ola, won ma f’igbin j’oye
Won fun l’arewa k’o mu s’aya o
Igbin g’esin roboto, igbin te’pa ileke
Igbin nj’aye olowo o
Oba da igbin l’ola, won ma f’igbin j’oye
Won fun l’arewa k’o mu s’aya o
Igbin p’abuke oshin – gbangundungban

A bo’ri onibaje o geere, ire ni ko ya’le awa, ire
Osi adanu ki won yago, ire ni ko ya’le awa, ire
Ew’esin olopuro nigbangba, ibi ko ni wo’le eyin, ibi
Odale ore on’igba ote, ibi ko ni wo’le eyin, ibi
Af’aibawon ja won nbinu - ire ni ko ya’le awa, ire
B’otiwuk’ori, otito l’agba - ire ni ko ya’le awa

TEN LASHES
Don’t you worry about the wicked
Who succeed in their evil ways
Soon their memory will fade away
They will die like plants that wither
Disappear like smoke
It may seem a long time coming
And the suffering never ends
When they think they’ve got it all
They will fall like flies in the fire
Disappear like smoke
So stand! Even when the system is turned all against you
Stand! Even when they come to take and rub you out
Stand! Even when they say -
Give him ten lashes, give twenty lashes, shut his mouth forever
Hit him on the head o, beat him on the body too, teach him a lesson
Iduro l’a duro l’onitoun sa’re wa,
O l’oun o je gba’ru e b’o s’oun
Ka f’oju eni gbo’le, ka gba t’owo eni
Ka tun bu’yepe si ni l’enu
Ijoko la joko, l’onitoun sa’re de
O l’oun o je gba’ru e ni t’oun
Ka fi’ya je baba, ka mu’ya s’eru
Ka wa f’omo s’owo ile igbonse
Stand! Even if you don’t believe anything will change
Stand! Even when it seems all hope is lost
Stand! Even when they say -
Give him ten million, pay him in dollars, shut his mouth forever
Hit him on the head o, beat him on the body too, teach him a lesson

YO’WO
(The fruits of their deeds will swing back upon the malevolent
and their progeny. Remove thine hands from evil. Now!)

Eniro’foibi, inu ara re ni o je si
Yio ru’yoku lo si’le, omo re a je ni’be dandan
Enite’ba ote, obe ete ni o fi je
Ani yio ru’yoku lo si’le, iran re a je ni’be dandan
O ba de yo’wo o, yo’wo o ninu ibi
Yo’wo o, yo’wo o ninu aida

Ekun ipayinkeke, ni’le awon asebaje
Ofa oro ti e ta s’oke, iyen lo pada wa’le
Ekun ijansemole o, n’ile apamolekun
Oko ofo ti e so s’oja iyen lo dabo wa le

A ngb’ero ko le da o, ki’bukun ilu le kari
Modaru f’ori so’le, o ni a fi ki gbogbo re o je t’oun
A ns’eto ko le jo, k’omode ri k’alagba ri je
Baseje faake ko’ri, esin ni o gba kehin

Mase bawon ko’le etan
K’o ma ba bawon jijo ete
Ma se ba won din dodo egbin

ONE GOOD SOUL
Ore k’a ma puro, b’aye se nlo yi o
Ajinibasun a d’oko – e ri yen ro
Ani t’aba la’ju la o ri b’o se ri o
Egbe onibaje nd’ode atunluto
When you turn to the right,
Looking for love - it’s not there
Then you look to the left, up and down
Seeking for hope – it’s not there
And everything is upside down; it seems like the end
But even one good soul is a blessing to this land
Stand firm!

Ore ka ma puro, ojo ng’ori ojo
Nse lo da bi ko ni se e se – e ri yen ro
Ani t’a ba la’ju n l’a o le r’ona lo
Ilosiwaju nbo wa dandan, b’a fe b’a ko
When you turn to the old
Looking for wisdom – it’s not there
Then you turn to the youth on the street
Seeking for strength – it’s not there
And everything is upside down; it seems like the end
But even one good person is a blessing to this land
Stand firm!

When you turn to the holy men
Looking for truth – it’s not there
Then you turn to the mothers
Seeking for justice – it’s not there
And everything is upside down; it seems like the end
But even one good soul is a blessing to this land
Stand firm!

LIGHTS OF SPAIN
This one's for my brotherman
Heavy heart, had a tough life
Dreamy eyes fixated on distant shores
So he packs all his memories, puts them all in a rucksack
Take a trip through the Sahara desert for a fee
So here we go on the road again
May the gods ride by your side
Roll and toss and bump along

Through the pains and the horrors
And many bones turned to dust
On a camel, on a truck, to the seething sea
Some give up in the middle
Some will be turned around
But everyone will lose a bit of his soul
So here we stand at the shore of hope
Cold and numb and drained of life
But the lights of Spain beckon

I seek a sign in the rising sun
I seek a union with the moon
I’m a struggling man with no place to call home
I seek a sign in the whispering winds

So remember Mr. Borderman
I’ve travelled, come a long long way
And there is no going back to the hell I left behind
And I ask of the heavens above
Send me back to the world again
But next time let me be of lighter shade
So wake me up when this dream is over
We'll be landing in a while
And all the pain will be no more

I seek a sign in the rising sun
I seek a union with the moon
I’m a lost soul with no one to call friend
I seek a sign in the whispering winds

LEKELEKE
(The sacred bird arrives with a message of communal salvation
But the people turn on it and calamity befalls the land)

Lekeleke nfo l’oke, eye funfun ni
Aso ala ni mo wo elepo ya fun mi
Lekeleke nbo l’ona, eye funfun ni
Fo, maa fo, maa fo, eye olola
Bo, maa bo, maa bo, eye onire
Sometimes I wish I could fly like a bird in the sky - away, away
With the love and the strength of the fathers
On the wings of the spirit of the sky
In the warmth of the bosom of the mothers
With the knowledge and the wisdom that I need
To set my people free, set my people free…
O nbo l’ona, eye oba ni ko se to o
O nb’onile wi, o nkilo f’alejo, o ni e maa so’ra o
E ma fi’ya j’opo, at’omo oku orun
O ni e f’eso s’aye, e ma te talaka mo’le mo o
O nbo l’ona, eye oba ni ko se to o
Awon omode ilu, won wa ko’ra won jo, won fe so’ko p’eye
Eye ko, eye o ku, nse lo nfo, nse lo nbe lat’igi s’igi
Awon agbagba ilu, won wa ko’ra won jo
Won fe l’eye l’oko, won nk’ada jade, won nk’ake jade,
Won nge gi oko - o di ka, o di ko
Eye ko, eye o ku, nse lo nfo, nse lo nbe lat’igi s’igi
L’aipe l’aijina, won ge gbogbo igi tan, o wa ku’gi kan l’oko
Igi iroko, igi ti gbogbo aye nfe, eyi ti gbogbo aye nbo
O di ka, odi ko, ko ma ku gi kan loko o!
Ko wa pe l’eye fo lo o - pagidari igi da
Pagidari igi da, eye fo lo o…

ANYONE, EVERYONE
Is there anyone out there
Who understands the way we feel inside?
Raped in the bloom of youth
Sold our innocence on the auction block
Is there anyone listening
Tiny voice in a sweet lullaby
Yes, I will rock you to sleep my child
And when you wake up, will be a new day
Oh, everyone out there
Have you ever had a chance to live a life?
Sprung from your prison of consumption
Put on a smile for me; quit living a lie
So, will you stand for something or remain a loser?
Time passes by and you’re not getting younger
Stand firm on the path to renewal
Blood of the innocent, wash your sins away
(Wash ‘em away)
Now they say it's a new dawn
You open your eyes and it’s all misty
Here is the vision I sold you once
Darkness and sorrow in a land of plenty
Too many hands reaching
The cup is full and here comes payback
You talk of hope and new ways my friend
The rot is deep, much deeper that you think
O, everyone out there
Do you understand the language of pain?
Can a man be real and still be free?
Stand up for something, stay and be counted
So will it build or is it all over?
Promises too many to deliver
We can stand on the side and watch it all unfold
Or we can join our voices and be heard

Is there anyone out there
Who understands the way we feel inside?
Too many hands reaching for shore
Blood of the innocent splattering the walls
So will you stand for something or remain a loser
Time passes by and you’re not getting younger
We can stand on the side and watch it all unfold
Or we can join our voices and be heard

SONGS OF THE TRICKSTER
(Recapturing the magic of childhood with three folk songs
from the popular stories of Ijapa – Tortoise - the trickster)

Ilu mi dun kekeke
Ilu mi dun kakaka
Ilu mi s’oro enu re ki ngbo

Omode meta ns’ere - ere o, ere ayo
Okan l’oun o we’kun
Okan l’oun o g’ope
Okan l’oun o ta’run
Owekun, owekun, owekun
Ogope, ogope, ogope
Otarun, otarun otarun

Rere o, rere omo oluwo – agbamurere
Iya f’ewure le, o ni nko’de se
Baba f’aguntan le, o ni nko’de se
Mo l’o d’igbo efon, o d’igbo erin
Agbara ojo l’o fa mi l’ese, mo ye gere
Mo ye gere s’odo, mo ba d’eru ahun
Ahun gbe mi s’ilu, o ni nma ko’rin

Mo ri keke kan – gbinrin ajalobale, gbinrin
Opobipobi, opobipobi, oripolobi o

Take me back to the place of merry-tales
Where we’ll roam in happiness
We’ll be riding aloft on magical adventures
Fix me up in your world of no pretense
We’ll be innocent again
We’ll be riding aloft on magical adventures and make-believe

PAEAN TO SORROW
Welcome to sorrow
We bring you peace in the shape of war
Lots of horror to spice your joy
We bring you hope in calibrated jars of pain
Out of reach and yet so close
So fleeting yet lingering
Like a dream snuffed out in youth

Welcome to sorrow
This is the night of your new trial
Tribulation in a loud voice
Dazzling lights in a scattered sky
And the violence of it all
Brings you to an ecstasy of denial
Elements in improper alignment
And death in the name of freedom

There’ll be no record of this nightmare
Only the harsh reality of lost innocence
And fear that can’t be spoken of
There’ll be no parade for the heroes
The scorching memory of faded dreams
How you lost a war you never even fought
And time stops
Stands still
You fold up
Welcome to sorrow

AKOJADE
(As we sow shall we reap and none shall outlive the earth)
Ole f’airo’ko f’aiko’be, o mi reti owo
L’aide’le f’oka, t’ebu bo’le, o nru’bo ojo
Onifakafiki-fikifaka l’ori iro
Yio ba ni’be o - ofo l’o ma ba
On t’a ba gbin l’aye, oun l’a ma ka
Ko ba won d’oja, ba won na’ja, o nlogun ota
Oniwuruwuru, agb’ona abuja, af’erud’oloro
Ko ba won d’oko, ba won d’odo, o ns’oro ikore
Yio ba ni’be - ofo l’o ma ba
On t’a ba gbin l’aye, oun l’a ma ka
Ojo nlo kia, asiko o duro, ma s’ole
Enikan o pe titi ko lo’le aye gbo o

Eni nse’ranlowo, fa’nis’oke, ko ni s’alaini
Onirele okan, abowof’agba, yio pe ni’le
Bo ku die k’eni’re jin s’ogbun, igbala a yo de
Yio ba ni’be - ire l’o ma ba
On t’a ba gbin l’aye, oun l’a ma ka
Jowo s’oro iwuri, oro rere, f’eni t’o nsa’re
Ka ma f’iwa ilara at’aimora f’owo ago s’ehin
Eni nja’ja rere at’ominira, ka gbe won duro
Ka le ba ni’be - ire l’a ma ba
On t’a ba gbin laye - oun l’a ma ka
Ile aye, af’oba fi’le ni
Enikan o pe titi ko lo’le aye gbo o

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A Sampling of Songs