Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My mother has once again introduced me to something new musically. She asked me recently if I had heard of a song called 'Olori Oko'. I told her no, but somehow, the title sounded familiar. (It turns out another blogger had featured the artist Infinity, but I never had the chance to listen to the song).

I went to YouTube and low and behold, there it was. After listening to the song, I realized that this is the sort of Nigerian music that I have been looking for. I found the song to be inspiring and uplifting. The video, though the online quality was poor, was nice as well. I find it to be in line with the great history and tradition of theater that is commonplace in Nigeria. Reminded me of a trip my class took to watch a play at the National Theatre many years ago. Good times.

Anyway, here is the video for Olori Oko. It is in Yoruba (at least most of it) but you should be able to enjoy it nonetheless. It is also heavily influenced by the Bible and cleverly weaves in many Yoruba proverbs. If I find a translation, I will post it.

Further Reading:

-Nigeria vs. The African Continent II - P-Square "Say your Love"
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent III - Infinity's "Olori Oko"
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent IV - Tuface
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent V - Ty Bello's "Greenland"

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Naija Vixen said...

this has to be one of the best naija songs ever...the lyrics arent meaningless and the tune is just wow...i wish them great success...they deserve it


I completely agree, Ms. Vixen. Only hope that our people can continue to produce quality products, in this case - music, that make a difference and bring us all enjoyment.

Tai said...

Hi SolomonsYdelle...since you haven't gotten around to it, here's mMy translation of the lyrics of Olori Oko by Infinity:

Verse 1
(In English)
Hmmnn...I have seen the future
Though I am not a hmmn
In the book of Revelation....
There is warning for the nations

He that has an ear, let him hear...
What the spirit is saying....


(in Yoruba)
Aisi n le Ologbo (it is in the absense of the cat...)
Loun mu eku sako (....that the mouse begins to strut)
Yiyo ti Ekun n yo (the leopards's playful dance...)
Ki ma e se tojo (...doesn't come from cowardice)
Agba ki wa loja (With elders in the market place...)
Kori omo tutun wo (...a brand bew baby's head should never be lopsided)
Fitila yi to tan (Before this flame burns out...)
Imole wole wa!!! (....Let the dawn arrive)
Imole ti de!!! (And the dawn has come!)


Chorus (4x):

Olori oko shi n bo wa (The king of the forest is coming....)
On bo wa ( coming..)
On bo wa le ( coming home)

Verse 2

(In Yoruba)
Afo pin ina (The nemesis of light...)
To loun o pa fitila (...who thinks it is he who puts out a flame...)
Ara re ni opa (only snuffs himself out)
Se bi Aaro to ba gbon, eh (after all, the cripple who is wise...)
L'ogun aso tele ki ipa, Aiye egbo (...will not perish in a foreshadowed war, please hear)
Afoju di omo eniyan (It is with the vigilance of men...)
Olohun Oba (...that oh God Almighty)
Iku lon mu dani (holds death in his clutch)


Aisi n le Ologbo (It is in the absense of the cat...)
Loun n mu Eku sako (...that the mouse struts his stuff)
Yiyo ti Ekun n yo (The leopards's playful romp...)
Ki ma e se tojo (...doesn't make him a coward)
Agba ki wa loja (Elders cannot preside over the market...)
Kori omo tutun wo (...while infant's heads come lopsided.)
Fitila yi to tan (Before the lamp burns out...)
Imole wole wa (...Let the light come in)
Imole ti de, eh!! (And the light has come! eh!!)

Chorus (4x):

Olori oko shi n bo wa (The king of the forest is coming....)
On bo wa ( coming..)
On bo wa le ( coming home)

Aiye Ile, Aiye Ile (This World...our home)
Edumare Baba (God Almighty, Creator)
Edumare Baba (God Almighty, Creator)
Emura, emura.... (Get ready)
Emura, emura.. (Get ready)

ye... ye.... ye... ye... ye.... (speaking in tongues)

Chorus (4x):

Olori oko shi n bo wa (The king of the forest is coming....)
On bo wa ( coming..)
On bo wa le ( coming home)

Aye Ile, Aye Ile (This World...our home)
Edumare baba (God Almighty, Creator)
Edumare baba (God Almighty, Creator)
Emura emura.... (Get ready)
Emura emura.. (Get ready)

Olorioko nbo o (The king of the forest is coming...)
Jagunmolu nbo o (The peace warrior is coming)
Papa nla ti n jo tohun tohun (Bid daddy dances in anticipation)
Efufu ti mi le titi (salutations)
e eh
Olorioko nbo o, emura (The king of the forest is coming....get ready!)
Oba a sa ya (salutations)
Oba aidigbolu (salutations)
Eni o digbolu o asi mu wo mu womu...

Note: All song lyrics are the property and copyright of their original owners and authors.

Hope this helps......
Tai Adelaja


Hey Tai: Thanks for the lyrics!!!

Benjamin Opabunmi said...

Tai Adelaja has done a great work translating the Olorioko Music.
Kudos to him!

All the same there are still some other translations which are not very clear.

Olorioko is a figurative word and should not be translated as a concatenation of words i.e. "Olori" - "Oko".
It should be regarded as The Leader, and not as the head of the forest.

Afopinna is also a type of Insect which has a characterisitic of flying against light. This account for the assertion that afopina to loun o pa fitila, ara re ni o pa.
Meaning the insect that is ready to put out the lamp will end killing itself.

Papa nla to njo tohun tohun refers to God as consuming fire.
Efufu tin mile titi - The Great Wind that shakes the earth.

Anyway, I may not be a commanding authority in Yoruba Language and my translation is open to be criticized.

Benjamin Opabunmi

Olayemi Popoola said...

Benjamin and Lai are both learned in yoruba theology. You guys have done a great job. While Lai innocently did a translitration, Benjamin pointed out the historical and Biblical rendition of the intent of the author of the song.


@ Tai, Benjamin & Yemi: Thanks for providing a rich context to the song and the comments. Much apreciated. Please come by often!

sexxy-b said...

Gd job Tai. hat was a fabulous translation.

sexxy-b said...

@ Tai, i meant that not hat

Tai said...

Infinity's Olori Oko holds personal significance for me not just because I am the son of a yoruba preacherman, but also because the song is anchored by instrumentation partially facilitated by the "Bali" pattern in Yamaha's groundbreaking QY-10 Sequencer/Arranger ... a pattern which, as a musician myself, I have drawn inspiration from for some of my own compositions. Infinity deserves credit for transmutating this otherwise "canned" preset into a glorious song about faith and redemption. Kudos, Infity!!!!

Anonymous said...

very good post

yoruba movies

Anonymous said...

Indeed one of the best nigerian songs ever. I've listened to it over and over in my car, on my ipod, on my computer @ work and I never get tired of moving to it. Gr8 job to all with the translation!

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