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Reflections: Songs from Village Days

02/11/2016

“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.” Sai Baba

Reflections: Songs from Village Days

Reflections: Songs from Village Days

The Rat & Cockroach Song
Oke na ochicha nānọ n’ime moto (ụgbọ ala)
A rat and a cockroach were in a car
oke bụ lu driver (onye na-akwọ)
The rat was the driver
ochicha bụ lu conductor (ya na-eduzi)
The cockroach was the conductor
na-ese sịga … fhioom! (cigarette)
Smoking a cigarette …. fhiooom!

 

Music plays a special role in so many lives; it holds some of my fondest memories of my childhood, youth, and adult years. When I hear a song that I love, I find myself transported to a time when I was enjoying a moment with friends, family or by myself. Most of my musical memories are happy, positive ones, and even those songs attached to tougher times are often tunes that helped me push through a dark, sad, period in my life. So, when I saw the Discover Challenge choice of a topic for this week, I was stoked. I know I could have picked a popular song that we all recognize but I’ve done so in several posts such as: Inspiration: Memories of Guantanamera…, Reflections: Taken Back In Time…, or Memories: The Lion Sleeps Tonight…   This time, I decided to revisit some of the songs that were part of my memories of village life.

As I contemplated this exercise on SONG, an amusing, old song popped into my head. I searched my memory bank for the lyrics to the song, while a few other songs danced before me. Soon, I was back in the village with my buddies, playing and laughing and making up our own lyrics;  even singing some local favorites. Musical memories flooded my mind,  and I found myself revisiting some of the funny songs I learned in my father’s village, many moons ago. The Rat and Roach song has stayed with me because it is both a hysterical scene to visualize and a funny ditty to sing. It is a song in Igbo and I included the English translation above. I remember laughing so hard whenever the opportunity arose to sing it with my friends or siblings. Now, as I reflect on that song and sing it out loud, I can feel the deep joy and laughter we shared. That is the powerful impact music has on our memories and lives. Come back later for a recording I made of that old favorite. Do you have songs you made up or only remember singing as a young child? What memories are attached to yours?

 

More Below!

“Men, even when alone, lighten their labors by song, however rude it may be.” Quintilian

Reflections: Songs from Village Days

Reflections: Songs from Village Days

Where Is Veronica – A Bluesy song?
Ele Veronica ooo
Where is Veronica?
Ele Veronica ooo
Where is Veronica?
Uụmụ boys e were ya pụọ (ụmụ nwoke)
The play boys have taken her away

Ele Veronica ooo
Where is Veronica?
Ele Veronica ooo
Where is Veronica?
Uụmụ boys e were ya pụọ (ụmụ nwoke)
The play boys have taken her away

Onye ọ bụla Veronica ooo
Anyone named Veronica
Onye ọ bụla Veronica ooo
ga-ahapụ ya za aha ọzọ
Should leave it and change their name

Ele Veronica ooo
Ele Veronica ooo
Veronica nwata eze
Veronica child of a king
Nwa o gando!
Wayward child!

 

What would your life song sound like? Songs are used in many ways to make statements about all aspects of lives, and, as Amy Winehouse once said, “Every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen.”  A few songs come to mind: Reflections: Pennies From HeavenBy Heart: I’m Wishing On A Star…, and any other tunes you might find in my Musical Notes files.   In many parts of Africa, music is a key way the oral traditions and history of a community are transmitted. In villages across the Continent, griots and other talented folks create songs to tell stories of important events that occur in the lives of the inhabitants; both good and bad. during special seasons in a village, the musicians and singers would gather to compete against each other with quickly invented stories accompanied by songs. I would boldly say that the poetry slams of the 21stC were invented and practiced way back in the old, dusty, countryside. Stories informed the lives of the villagers and told folks what their friends and neighbors were up to. Many of the song/stories were often quite a revelation/exposé meant to praise or embarrass the antics of a local.

In my father’s village, they had songs for everything; the harvest, the new moon, war, births, deaths, celebrations and also gossipy songs that exposed the bad behavior of people. The songs were not reserved for the elderly, as any young person who allowed their youthful exuberance to get in the way of common sense, soon found themselves in a starring role at the center of a village song. The song above is not quite the humorous partner to the first song I shared. It is a highly critical song created for the sole purpose of humiliating or shaming a village girl; she is what we would call a wayward child. Veronica was a bit of a wild child and despite her parents efforts to control her with an iron hand, she slipped out often to hang with the boys. Eventually, she eloped with one of the boys and things turned ugly. When she finally returned to the village, she was shunned like the lady in the Scarlet Letter and had to find her footing in her community again. The saga behind Veronica’s plight and how a song was written about her is an example of how we use music to store information. Again, this was a song from my dad’s village and we learned it during the war when we spent time there. What are your cherished memories of childhood songs?

This post was inspired by two Daily Post Prompts: –  Song  –  For this week’s challenge, tell us the story of your special connection to one song (or another discrete musical composition, from a jazz tune to a techno track or opera aria). When did it start? How has it changed over time? Does the song’s meaning reside in the melody, the lyrics, the performer’s voice — or some other intangible element?  To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.

Positive Motivation Tip: Enjoy the songs of your youth…  and reminisce

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos:  via Wikipedia, or  cartoon animalsart sculpture, roach cartoon, via  Pixabay and/or my Personal Collection

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Author Brandi Kennedy permalink
    09/02/2017 6:42 pm

    It is interesting how much songs can mean to us over the years, not only as information stores (the way we teach our children to sing the alphabet so that they can remember it, for instance) but also for emotional comprehension and lesson-learning. And equally interesting perhaps, is the way they stick with us, years after we would have expected to have forgotten them.

    Like

  2. terrislittlehaven permalink
    10/02/2017 8:11 am

    I love songs from the village days. I’ve been trying to open my mind to new types of songs this year and music.

    Like

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