AWILELE

Words and Music composed, written and arranged by Olusegun Akinlolu. No part of these lyrics should be shared in any form or any public space without giving credit to the writer. All rights reserved. © & ℗ 2004 EniObanke


 

1. IBA F’ỌLỌJỌ
Ọlọ́jọ́ òní ìbà rẹ 
A ṣè’bà, a júbà, a wọ́lẹ̀, af’oríbalẹ̀ f’Ọ́lọ́jọ́ ò e 
Àwa dé olú ọ̀run, a ṣè’bà f’Ólọ́jọ́ o 
Baba ò mà lè r’ọ́mọ k’ó má m’ọmọ 
Wá gb’ọpẹ́ wa, wá gb’àdúrà wa 
Lọ́jọ́ òní o, b’a ṣe njáde lọ o 
K’á má ṣìṣe o, k’ayé ó rójú, k’á má ṣìṣọ o 
Àwa dé olú ọ̀run, a ṣè’bà f’Ólọ́jọ́ o 
Baba ò mà lè r’ọ́mọ k’ó má m’ọmọ! 

We pay homage to He who owns today 

Lord of the heavens, we bow before thee 

A father never overlooks the needs of a child. 

May our supplication meet your favour. 

As we go out this day, 

May we encounter only good fortune. 

We come before thee, owner of all days  

A father always recognises his child.

2. AWILELE 
Má a dún, má a dún, onílu mì, má a dún, má a dún 
Má a fọ́n, má a fọ́n, onífèrè yí o, má a fọ́n, má a fọ́n o 
Ẹ má a kọ́, ẹ má a kọ́, ẹ̀yin elégbè mi, ẹ má a kọ́, ẹ má a kọ́

À ní kó ma a ro - Àwilele! 
L’étí ẹlẹ́gàn o - Àwilele! 
L’étí kẹ́nimámàní o - Àwilele! 
Awọn aṣenibánidárò - Àwilele! 

Wọ́n sọ ’lé owó d’ahoro - Àwilele! 
Wọ́n ti sọ’lé ọlọ́ọ̀rá d’aṣálẹ̀, wọ́n sọ ’lé owó d’ahoro o 

(Play on drummer, play on 

Blow hard, my hornsman, blow 

Sing, back up singers, sing 

Let it ring loud 

In the ears of the unbelievers, 

The greedy and the selfish 

They have turned the house into an empty shell 

Ravaged a fertile land into a desert) 

Tani yíò r’ogun - taló fẹ́ j’agun? 
Ogun ọ̀rọ̀ mà ló kàn yí o - ó dé, jagunjagun dé! 
Ogun ọ̀rọ̀ mà ló kàn yí o - ó dé, jagunjagun dé! 

Ẹní bá le kọ́ k’ó má a kọ́, ẹní bá le sọ́ k’ó má a sọ́ 
Ẹní bá le kọ́ lórin o - à ní ẹ má a sọ́ (3ce) 
Ogun ọ̀rọ̀ mà ló kàn yí o - ó dé, jagunjagun dé! 
Ogun ọ̀rọ̀ mà ló kàn yí o - ó dé, jagunjagun dé! 

(So who wants to go to this war of words? 

Let those who can write go ahead 

Let those who can speak open up 

Let them who can sing belt it out 

In this war of words) 

Ṣó dáa k’ọ́mọ ẹnìkan má a wọ’ṣọ tuntun l’ójojúmọ́ 
K’ọ́mọ ẹnìkan má a w’àkísà kiri 
Ṣó dáa k’ọ́mọ ẹnìkan má a re’lé ìwé olówó nlá 
K’ọ́mọ ẹnìkan má a re sùkúù abẹ́ igi 
À ní tó bá da, ẹ jẹ́ a má a ba lọ - ẹ jẹ́ a má a ba bọ̀ 
Tó bá da, ẹ jẹ́ a má a ba lọ - yíò kángun síbì kan 

(How can it be right for some children 

To wear new clothes every day 

While others go about in rags? 

How can it be right for some children 

To attend these expensive private schools 

While others learn in the open, under trees? 

Well, we shall see how this will end) 

A ó d’ènìyàn l’ọ́la o 
Àwa yíò d’ènìyàn l’ọ́la yé 
A ó wọ ’ṣọ olówó, àwa yíò wọ bàtà oyè 
A ó wọ ’ṣọ ọlọ́lá, àwa yíò wọ bàtà, yé 
A ó d’ènìyàn l’ọ́la o... 

(We too shall be human by tomorrow 

Garbed in rich clothes and royal shoes 

We shall be human tomorrow) 
 

3. Ṣ’O WA PA? 
Ẹ wá jíjó ọlọ́gbọ́n, ẹ wá jíjó aláyọ̀ yí o 
Ijó yá, ijó olóyin 
Ṣèbí ’jó la ní ẹ jó, èwo ni tìjà? 
Mo ní s’ẹ wà pa, ọ̀rẹ́ mi s’ẹ wà pa? 
Ṣé o le gb’ápá, ṣé o le gb’ẹ́sẹ̀ yí o 
Nj’ó le mi ’rí, ṣé o le mì bí ẹni jù ìrùkẹ̀rẹ̀ 
Ṣé o le d’òkòtó oníyẹ̀rì? 

(Welcome to the club of the wise 

Time to dance, the happy dance 

No trouble-makers permitted here 

Hope you are in top form 

Ready to shake and move your body?) 

People love to hear us sing 
We say the things that really matter 
You know they love to watch us play 
Say it makes them come alive 
It gives them power, gives inspiration 
Something to hold on to 
Gives them the strength they need for tomorrow 
Everybody’s welcome here, oh yeah 
We’ve got to get up, got to move on, cos this is the time 
Get up, move on, it’s your time, it’s okay 

Àwọn eléré l’ó nṣ’eré yẹn o 
Ẹ ò r’àwọn boys b’ọ́n ṣe njo o 
Àbí e ò r’àwọn girls b’ọ́n ṣe nko mọ́ ‘lẹ̀… 
Ọ̀rẹ́ mi má mà gbẹ́yìn o! 

Ẹ ò r’ọmọdé yẹn b’ó ṣe njó - ijó, ijó 
Ṣèbí ijó la wá jó kò mà s’íjà níbí…
 
(The band is super-tight tonight 

See the boys and girls going at it 

Don’t be left out my friend 

Watch that young ‘un doing it 

We are here to dance, not for trouble)
 

4. OMINIRA 
Màmá a dé o, ẹ wá là'rọ̀ yí yé wa o 
Ẹ̀yin ìyá a dé o, ẹ wá là'rọ̀ yí yé wa o 
Wọ́n l'ọgbọ́n ọlọ́gbọ́n o ni ìí jẹ́ á p'àgbà ní wèrè 

Ṣebí ọgbọ́n ọlọ́gbọ́n o ni ìí jẹ́ á p'àgbà ní wèrè o 
Wọ́n l’ẹni t’ó bá bèrè ọ̀nà ìyẹn kìí ṣì ’nà 
Ẹni t’ó bá bèrè ọ̀nà wọn kìí sọnù láíláí 
Màmá a dé o, ẹ wá là'rọ̀ yí yé wa o 
Ẹ̀yin ìyá a dé o, ẹ wá là'rọ̀ yí yé wa o 

“Ọ̀rọ̀ tí ẹ béèrè, ó lọ̀tún ó lòsì 
Ọ̀rọ̀ tí ẹ béèrè, ó níwá ó lẹ́yìn o: 
Bí ẹ bá s’òtítọ́ o, ayé yin á dùn, yíò l’áyọ̀ 
Bí ẹ bá s’òdodo o, ìlú yín á tòrò, yíò ládùn o 
Ẹ má f’olè j’ọba, ayé yin á dùn, yíò l’áyọ̀ 
Ẹ má f’òpùrọ́ j’oyè, ìlú yín á tòrò, yíò ládùn o” 

(We have come to you mothers 

Please unravel this riddle, show us the way 

The wisdom of the elders can never be discounted 

And he who asks for directions never gets lost 

“That which you seek has pros and cons: 

If you embrace truth, 

You will find peace and progress 

If you choose the right people to lead, 

Your society will experience joy and plenty”) 

I know what we've been through 
It is time to seek a better way 
Greedy people in these high places 
Hungry leaders stealing from the poor 
My people too dey suffer o in silence 
They will never talk until it's too late for them 

Òmìnira wa nbọ̀ o, òmìnira... 
Jẹgúdújẹrá ò r’ílé gbé, alápapín ò r’ọ́nà gbà 
Apọmọlẹ́kún ò rí mú mí o 
Òmìnira wa nbọ̀ o, òmìnira... 

(Our liberty is imminent 

The destroyers will be turned out 

The usurpers will be barred 

And the bullies will find no space 

Our liberty is imminent) 
 

5. E KỌ’MỌ L’EDE 
You and I, we are wrong

If we think everything is right 
There’s a fire burning on the roof, 

Our future is dying as we sleep 
We must awake from the lies 

We’ve been told about ourselves 
There’s no reason to be ashamed 

Of who we are and where we’re from 
Ẹ jọ̀wọ́ o, ẹ k’ọ́mọ l’édè ilẹ̀ wa o 
Ẹ jọ̀wọ́ o, ẹ k’ọ́mọ l’ásà ilẹ̀ wa o 
Ẹ jọ̀wọ́, ẹ k’ọ́mọ n’ítàn ilẹ̀ wa o 
Ẹ jọ̀wọ́ o, ẹ fún wọn l’áṣọ ilẹ̀ wa wọ̀ 

(Please teach the children our local languages 

Please teach them of our culture 

Please tell them our stories 

Please give them traditional dresses to wear) 

You’re so proud today 

To hear them speak in a foreign tongue 
It’s not fair to keep them away 

From who they are and live a lie 
All these children, they are strangers 
To their own roots and culture 
We must try to right the wrongs 
And show them the beauty in who they are 

Ó d’ení - ení, èjì, ẹ̀ta, ẹ̀rin, àrún, ẹ̀fà… 

(Now, let’s count - one, two three, four, five, six...) 

6. MA FO’YA 
Here standing we don’t know why 
Understanding is rare 
Good men living on borrowed time 
Sanity’s gone to the dogs 
The pains of the people, like the rain 
Falling in streams of tears 
A lonely child looks to the sky 
The stars are silent tonight 
Child! 
There’ll be a better way 
The sun will shine in your eyes 
Ọmọ ò, ọmọ ò 
Ọmọ ò, má bẹ̀rù, ọmọ ò, má fò’yà o 

(Fear not, child) 

Time, like an ever-flowing stream 
Bears all her sons away 
They fade like a dream fades at break of dawn 
And we are still the same, we don’t change 
Times, they may come, they may go 
They bring changes in what we see and what we know 
But the hearts of men are set in greedy ways 
We don’t change 
Everything is still the same 
It’s just the way we are 
Somebody’s loss is another’s gain 
History recalls, we never learn 
And the poor and the young always take the blame 
Child... 

I wish I had the answers 
I’ll take your pains away 
I wish I was the angel of peace 
Change the world in a breath 

7. COME, WARRIOR 
Ẹ bẹ jagunjagun k’ó wá’lé 
Ẹ̀ bá bẹ jagunjagun k’ó wá’lé ò e 
Ìfẹ́ ni yíò bo’rí ìkórira o 
Òtítọ́ ni yíò bo’rí irọ́ 
Ìtàsán òrùn yíò bo’rí òkùnkùn biribiri 
Ẹ bẹ jagunjagun k’ó wá’lé ò e 

(Please ask the warrior to return home 

For only love can overcome hate 

Truth will rise above falsehood 

The sun’s rays will disperse the deepest darkness 

Please ask the warrior to return) 

Come, warrior come 
Come to the place of wisdom 
Lay your burden down, rest your soul 
The sun will shine tomorrow 
Whether you like or not 
Love is the only way we’ll be free 
Come, warrior come 
Hey! Listen to the music 
Rest a little while, heal your wounds 
Time will pass you see 
All secrets revealed 
Love is the only way we’ll be free 

Brothers, sisters, people, love is the answer 

8. AWỌN AGBA 
Ìjà l’ó dé t’órin d’òwe - ẹni’re 
Ọ̀rẹ́ ọjọ́ àná t’ó wá d’ọ̀tá ìlú o - ẹ rọra ṣe 
Ẹ̀bẹ̀ gbogbo wa s’Eĺédùmarè - Ọba ògo 
Ká má ṣe tẹ́ l’ójú ọ̀rẹ́ àt’ẹbí - k’á má ṣìṣe o 
K’á má ṣìṣe o ẹ ṣ’àdúrà 

(Conflict arose, made words impossible 

Turned a common song into assumed abuse 

Our plea to you Eledumare, 

May we not lose face in front of family and friends 

May we not step into trouble) 

Àwọn mà la gb’ádé fún, àwọn àgbà 
K’ágbà má ṣe wọ́n l’áàrin àwa o 
Àwọn mà lá bá l’áyé o, àwọn àgbà 
Ìbà f’éwú, f’orí ba’lẹ̀ f’ọ́lọ́gbọ́n 

B’ọ́mọdé l’áṣọ kò l’àkísà bí àgbà 
Ó yẹ ká b’ọ̀wọ̀ f’áwọn aṣaájú wa o 
Àwọn mà la gb’ádé fún o, àwọn àgbà 
Ìbà f’éwú, f’orí ba’lẹ̀ f’ọ́lọ́gbọ́n 

Ìbà fún bàbá, ìbà fún màmá o 
Gbogbo ẹbí, gbogbo ará ilé o 
Ará àdúgbò, gbogbo ará abúlé o 
Gbogbo ìlú ni wọ́n nso’wọ́ pò t’ọ́mọ 

Àwọn mà la bá l’áyé, àwọn àgbà 
K’ágbà má ṣe wọ́n ní ìlú àwa o 
Àwọn mà la gb’ádé fún o, àwọn àgbà 
Ìbà f’éwú, f’orí ba’lẹ̀ f’ọ́lọ́gbọ́n 

Àní ’jà l’ó dé t’órin d’òwe - ẹni’re 
Ọ̀rẹ́ ọjọ́ àná t’ó wá d’ọ̀tá ìlú o - ẹ rọra ṣe 
Ẹ̀bẹ̀ gbogbo wa s’Eĺédùmarè - Ọba ògo 
Ká má ṣe tẹ́ l’ójú ọ̀rẹ́ àt’ẹbí - k’á má ṣìṣe o 
K’á má ṣìṣe o ẹ ṣ’àdúrà 

(We give the crown to the elders 

May their kind never be scarce in our community 

We met them here on earth, the elders 

We pay homage to the grey hairs of wisdom 

No matter the quantity of clothes a child has to flaunt 

He cannot possess as many rags as an elder 

We must always respect our forebears 

Homage to our fathers and mothers, 

Neighbours and relatives distant and near 

It takes a whole community to raise a child 

Conflict arose, made words impossible 

Turned a common song into assumed abuse 

Our plea to you Eledumare, 

May not lose face in front of family and friends 

May we not step into trouble) 

These people drifting with no destination 
Must find a purpose for life 
I’ve just had a vision of life and abundance 
Places you’ve never been 
I stand for love, I won’t be bought 
I’ve come to fulfill your dreams 
I stand for love, it won’t be long 
I’ve come to fulfill your dreams 
These voices drifting from high, high places 
A new day is coming soon 

Ẹ gbé wa ẹ̀yin àgbà, ẹ má mà jẹ́ a tẹ́ o 
A nwo’jú rẹ Èdùmàrè, ẹ má mà jẹ́ a tẹ́ o 

(Raise us up, oh elders 

That we may not be put to shame 

We look to you Edumare 

May we not be put to shame) 

9. MATTERS ARISING 
E a mà dé o, a mà dé o, 
A wá nk’ìlọ̀ fún’ra wa ni o 
E a mà dé o, a mà dé o, 
Ẹ jẹ́ á s’òtítọ́ fún’ra wa o 

Ìwọ gb’ẹ́sìn s’órí, gbogbo ará ìlú ti wá d’ẹlẹ́ṣẹ̀ lójú ẹ 
Ẹ̀yin gb’ẹ́sìn s’órí, ẹ wá npà’nìyàn l’órúkọ Ọlọ́run l’ókè 
Ṣé ìwọ ti gbàgbé 
P’Ọ́lọ́run ọba, Ọlọ́run ìfẹ́ ni kìí kórira 
Ṣé ẹ̀yin ti gbàgbé p’Élédùmarè alágbára 
Ó lè gbè’jà ara rẹ̀ 
Ìwọ dé’pò ọlà, o wá nsì’wà wù, o ti gbàgbé orísun 
Òń j’ayé olówó, ọmọdé ìlú nwọ’nú àkìtàn k’ébi má pa wọ́n o 
Kò le s’álààfíà nínú ìlú b’ínú ará ìlú ò bá dùn 
Kò le s’álààfíà f’ólówó fún tálákà 
Bá ò bá s’òtítọ́ ní ‘jọba o 

Ọ̀rẹ́ òtítọ́ ṣ’ọ̀wọ́n o 
Ìfẹ́ òtítọ́ ṣ’ọ̀wọ́n yé 
Oò lè gb’ára l’ẹ́nìkankan o 
Wọ́n á bá ẹ jẹ o, wọ́n á bá ẹ mu o 
Bí o bá y’ẹ́yìn padà, wọ́n á s’ọ̀rọ̀ ẹ ní burúkú 
Wọ́n á bá ẹ l’ògbà, wọ́n á bá ẹ jẹ̀’gbádùn 
B’ígbà bá yí pẹ́rẹ́ gbogbo wọn á sá lọ o 
Ìlara ti pọ̀jù, ìkórira ti pọ̀jù 
Kò lè sí ‘́lọsiwájú nínú àbòsì 
Ìkùnsínú ti pọ̀jù àt’ìmọtẹninìkan 
Kò lè sí ‘́lọsiwájú nínú ìwà ìbàjẹ́ yìí o 

(Here we come again, 

Here we come with some bitter truth 

You, the zealot labelling everyone a sinner 

Religious Fanatic, killing people in the name of God 

Have you forgetten that his essence is love? 

Have you all forgotten that the Almighty Creator 

Is powerful enough to fight his own battles? 

And you, wealthy and powerful today 

You have forgotten your humble beginnings 

And responsibility to the society 

You give yourself up to debauchery 

While the children seek sustenance in garbage. 

There can be no peace in the city, 

If its inhabitants are not happy 

There will be no peace for the rich or the poor 

If there is no accountability in governance 

True friends are hard to find here 

Honest love, so scarce 

There is none you can trust - 

They will eat and drink with you 

And then stab you in the back 

They will be there to share the good times 

But when things change, they all disappear 

There is so much bitter envy and hatred 

So much skulduggery and selfishness 

How can there can be progress in this chaos?) 

10. OKE BỌLA 
Lọ́dọ̀ Màmá Àgbà, wá kálọ o - Òkè Bọ́là wá kálọ ò e 
N’ílé Awólọ́wọ̀ wá kálọ o, Sounds of Joy wá kálọ o 
Waateco wá kálọ o, Ìyá gbági wá kálọ o 

Màmá Onídodo e wá kálọ, Bàbá Ghana wá kálọ o 
Àṣẹ́gunṣẹ́tẹ̀, wá kálọ o, Ọ̀sándè-sáàngùn, wá kálọ o 
Ṣèyí ṣẹ̀rẹ̀rẹ̀, wá kálọ o 
Lọ́dọ̀ Màmá Àgbà, wá kálọ o - Òkè Bọ́là wá kálọ ò e 

(Come along to Mama Agba’s, to Oke Bola 

To Awolowo’s house, Sounds of Joy 

To Waateco, let’s go, to Iya Gbagi’s, 

Come along to Mama Onidodo’s place, 

To Baba Ghana’s…) 

Tell me what happened to the good days 
When we had everything going right? 
Brothers, what happened to the old songs 
We used to sing in the bright moonlight? 
We want to be happy, we all should be free 
Children have a right to share of this culture 
Bring back the good days… 

Kò s’ólóko l’óko - ẹyẹ ẹ bẹ̀rẹ̀ máa j’ọkà, ẹyẹ 

(The farmer is gone 

Alight birds, feast on the millet to your heart’s content) 

11. EACH TIME YOU TURN 
Olólùfẹ́, olólùfẹ́, olólùfẹ́, ọkàn mi wà lọ́dọ̀ rẹ 
Olólùfẹ́ mi o, olólùfẹ́, olólùfẹ́ ọkàn mi wà l’ọ́nà 

(Darling, my thoughts are with you 

My love, I long for you) 

You wake up in the middle of the night 
Find a reason to start a quarrel 
You cry up all the tears in your eyes 
And then you tell me you’re going away for the last time 
Each time you turn and wave your hands and say goodbye 
It’s like a load is lifted off my head 
Now you are gone I should be happy, girl 
But I don’t know why 
Why am I feeling so lonely now? 

Ó tún ti nlọ nìyẹn, ó ti gb’ápamọ́wọ́ rẹ̀ 
Ó ti wé gèlè s’órí, ẹ mà bá mi bẹ̀bẹ̀ 
Ará ilé, èrò òde ẹ mà bá mi bẹ̀bẹ̀ 
Ó tún ti nlọ nìyẹn o à 

(There she goes again 

She’s grabbed her bag and put on her head gear 

Neighbours, strangers, help me plead with her 

There she goes again) 

You are restless, you don’t belong to anyone 
One day you are here, the next you are gone away 
I’m tired of the selfish games you play 
But I’d be lying if I should deny you are still the one 
Ó tún ti nlọ nìyẹn, ó ti gb’ápamọ́wọ́ rẹ̀ 
Ó ti kó bàtà s’ẹ́sẹ̀ 
Ẹ mà bá mi bẹ̀bẹ̀ 
Ará ilé, èrò òde ẹ mà bá mi bẹ̀bẹ̀ 
Ó tún ti nlọ nìyẹn o à 

(There she goes again 

She’s grabbed her bag and put on her shoes 

Neighbours, strangers, help me plead with her 

There she goes again) 

My love, we didn’t plan it this way 
Honey, we said we’d go all the way 
My love, I need you more everyday 
Honey, down on my knees begging please 

12. ORUKO RERE 
Through the wild jungle we’re coming back home 
Through the fire and through the sea 
I know mother my promises to you 
To make you a queen before you die 
The years are gone and you’re losing hope 
But I will never give it up for you, for me, for life 
Never fear the shadows of night 
Be on guard every hour of the day 
Put a smile on the faces of the fallen 
Loving and living and strong 

I told my father very long time ago 
I’ve got to be a man of my own 
Change the world with a rhythm and a melody 
Many horrors and pain abound, it’s getting harder everyday 
But I will never give it up for you, for me, for life 
Never share the path of the wicked 
Never never be pawn for greed 
Follow the words of the great ancestors 
Loving and living and strong 

Yèyé, ẹ má mà b’ínú sí wa o 
Kò s’ówó l’ òní, ọ̀la mbọ̀ wá da 
Ṣèb’órúkọ rere ó sàn ju’lé ọrọ̀ 
Ọmọ ọkọ nṣe ìwọ̀n tó lè ṣe o 
Bàbá, ẹ má mà b’ínú sí wa o… 

(Mother, Father, Family, Friends 

Please do not be cross with us 

Today’s lack will give birth to tomorrow’s plenty 

A good name, they say, is worthier than material wealth 

We are doing the very best we can) 

Through the wild jungle we’re coming back home 
Through the fire and through the sea 
Through the darkness and pain of lost hopes 
Our weapon is a message of hope 
The more they push us, the stronger we are 
And we will never give it up 
For you, for us, for life 

13. LEKELEKE 
Lékeléke nfò l’ókè, ẹyẹ funfun ni 
Lékeléke nfò l’ókè, ẹyẹ funfun ni 
Aṣọ àlà ni mo wọ̀ elépo yà fún mi 
Lékeléke nbọ̀ l’ọ́nà ẹyẹ funfun ni. 
Fò, máa fò, máa fò, ẹyẹ ọlọ́lá 
Bọ̀, máa bọ̀, máa bọ̀, ẹyẹ oníre 

(Lekeleke, white bird flying high 

I’m in my pure white garment, 

Steer clear of me palm-oil bearer 

Here comes Lekeleke, a white bird. 

Fly, fly high, you affluent bird 

Come, descend, bird of good fortune) 

Sometimes I wish I could fly 

Like a bird in the sky - away, away 
With the love and the strength of the fathers 
In the blessing of the spirits 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 

Ó nbọ̀ l’ọ́nà, ẹyẹ ọba ni kò ṣe tọ́ o 
Ó nb’ónílé wí, ó nkìlọ̀ f’álejò, ó ní ẹ máa sọ́’ra o 
Ẹ má fì’yà j’opó, àt’ọmọ òkú ọ̀run 
Ó ní ẹ f’ẹ̀sọ̀ s’ayé, ẹ má tẹ tálákà mọ́’lẹ̀ mọ́ o 
Ó nbọ̀ l’ọ́nà, ẹyẹ ọba ni… 

(Here he comes, the king’s bird, don’t upset him 

He speaks to both the natives and foreigners 

Says we must watch out, tread carefully 

Be good to the widows and the orphans 

Stop trampling on the poor 

Here he comes, the king’s bird, don’t upset him) 

Àwọn ọmọdé ìlú, wọ́n wá kó’ra wọn jọ, 

Wọ́n fẹ́ sọ̀ ’kò p’ẹyẹ, 

Ẹyẹ kọ̀, ẹyẹ ò kú, nṣe ló nfò, nṣe ló nbẹ́ lát’igi s’ígi 
Àwọn àgbàgbà ìlú, wọ́n wá kó’ra wọn jọ 
Wọ́n fẹ́ l’ẹ́yẹ l’óko 
Wọ́n k’ádà-á jáde, wọ́n káàké-é jáde, wọ́n ngé gi oko 
Ó di kà, ó di kò-ó 

Ẹyẹ kọ̀, ẹyẹ ò kú, nṣe ló nfò, nṣe ló nbẹ́ lát’igi s’ígi 
L’áìpẹ́ l’áìjìnà, wọ́n gé gbogbo igi tán, ó wá ku’gi kan l’óko 
Igi ìrókò, igi tí gbogbo ayé nfẹ́, èyí tí gbogbo ayé nbọ 
Ó di kà, ó di kò-ó, kò mà ku ‘gi kan l’óko o! 

Kò wá pẹ́ l’ẹyẹ fò lọ o - pagidarì igi dá 
Pagidarì igi dá, ẹyẹ fò lọ o 

(All the children gather, to stone the bird to death 

To no avail, he just bounds from tree to tree 

All the adults arise with matchetes and axes 

To rid their town of this pest 

They cut down the trees, one after the other 

The bird merely glides to the next available spot 

Now they’ve felled every tree except the mighty iroko 

The one tree beloved and revered by all 

But even that soon goes down. 

Now, there is no tree left in the forest! 

And then the bird flies off far away 

Leaving the townsfolk to bemoan 

Their waywardness, loss and ruin) 

14. O YA O! 
Ó yá o! 
Bàbá, màmá, ẹ má mà ṣe sùn mọ́ o 
Ọ̀rẹ́, ará, ewu mbẹ lóde o 
Bàbá o, màmá o, ẹ má mà ṣe sùn lọ o 
Ọ̀rẹ́, ará, jàmbá nkan’lẹ̀kùn 
Ẹ má mà gb’olè láàyè, ẹ má mà gba jàgùdà 
Ẹ má mà gb’oníjìbìtì, ẹ má mà gba kọ̀ndẹ̀ 

(It’s time! 

Fathers and mothers arise from your slumber 

Friends, kinsmen, trouble is brewing 

Fathers and mothers arise from your slumber 

Friends, kinsmen, danger is at the door 

Don’t let in thieves and robbers 

Don’t give in to swindlers and criminals) 

Ọ̀la ṣì máa dára o - á dára, á dára 
Ayọ̀ mbọ̀ l’ọ́la o - á dára, á dára 

(Tomorrow looks promising - full of goodness 

Joy comes in the morning - all will be well) 

So when you think you’ve got problems, pain in your heart 
There is a place you can go to and come out anew 
There is a place called history 
It’s there in the books 
Darkness will give way to light 

Kí’jó tó d’ijó àná ọ̀rọ̀ táa sọ ẹ má gbàgbé o 
Ẹ bá mi kálọ o, ọ̀rẹ́ ẹ má gbàgbé o 

(Before this party becomes yesterday’s news, 

Do not forget what we discussed 

Come with me, friends, do not forget) 

Ayé d’ojú rú, kò s’ówó l’ápò 
Ayé d’ojú rú, kò s’áyọ̀ n’ílé o 
Ayé d’ojú rú, kò s’ówó l’ápò 
Ebi np’ọmọdé o 

(Our society in turbulence, pockets are empty 

No joy in our homes and the children starve) 

Bàbá, màmá, ẹ má mà ṣe sùn mọ́ o… 

(Fathers and mothers arise from your slumber…)

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