Mudcat Café message #1876810 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88125   Message #1876810
Posted By: Azizi
05-Nov-06 - 01:44 PM
Thread Name: Iko Iko
Subject: RE: Iko Iko
A visitor to my website www.cocojams asked if the Mardi Gras Indians chant Iko-Iko is the same as Zap Mama's song Iko-Iko.

Here's the bulk of my response to that query:

I had to look up the Zap Mama lyrics, and haven't heard the song sung by this group.

http://www.lyricskeeper.com/zap_mama-lyrics/227758-iko_iko-lyrics.htm has this version of the lyrics to Zap Mama's Iko Iko {from the album Mission Impossible 2}:

IKO IKO
Hey , mister see the sister
Don't you let them feel you
Sticks and stones may break your bones
But now her looks could kill you
Hey , come away
Souca souca na na
Come on , come on , miss
allez , allez ,
With a souca souca mama
Oh , hey , come away
Souca souca na na
Come on , come on , miss
allze , allez .
With a souca souca maman
On , hey , come away
Souca souca na na
Come on , come on , miss
allze , allze
With a souca souca mama
Come on , come on miss ,
allze , allze
With a souca souca mama.

-snip

http://www.morgud.com/stela5/lyrics/fd4t5.asp has this version of that Zap Mama song:

IKO IKO
{Voice): "Erurunti sacamona!"

(Group):
Hey now!
Hey now!
Hey now! (x2)

Hey mister, see that sister
Don't you let her thrill you.
Sticks and stones may break your bones,
But man, her looks could kill you.

ho, ho

Hey, come my way
Azucar* azucar mama
Come a come a nay sa le a le
With a azucar azucar mama

(Group):
Hey now!
Hey now!
Hey now! (x2)

Hey brother, there's another
Azucar mama turnin'
The sun will rise and blind your eyes
The fire keeps on burnin'

ho, ho

(Chorus):
Hey, (hey now) come my way
Azucar* azucar mama
Come a come a nay sa le a le
With a azucar azucar mama

(Chorus repeat)

(Group):
Hey now!
Hey now!
Hey now! (x2)

Hey, hey now, come on play now
Buy me 'smile' that's packin'
Better get it while you can
While the azucar mama's shakin'

ho, ho

(Chorus X 2)

(Group):
Hey now!
Hey now!
Hey now! (x2)

(mouth voices and shouting/longing)

(Group):
Hey now!
Hey now!
Hey now!
Hey now!
Hey now!

If your baby, makes you crazy
Don't know where she's goin'
Eyes so messed up that they look
Which way the wind is blowin'

ho, ho

(Chorus X 2)

Azucar, oh me!

Azucar, oh me! Azucar, oh my!
Azucar oh my! Come my way! (x4)

(Chorus X 2)

-snip-

Here's some thoughts about these versions:

First off, I think that the introductory phrase "Erurunti sacamona!"in the http://www.morgud.com/stela5/lyrics/fd4t5.asp version is similar to the "Jacoma fe nan e" phrase found in most Iko Iko songs.

Also I found it interesting that the first version listed above had the line "with a souca souca mama' but that in the second version it is changed to "with a azucar azucar mama". The person who posted the lyrics in the morgud.com website second version noted that "azucar" means sugar in Spanish. I'm not sure if "a souca souca mama" is traditionally a part of the Iko Iko song. I know that the French language and Creole versions of that language were very a part of the New Orleans cultural mix, but I'm not sure if the Spanish language and culture was also a part of that mix.

I'm also wondering if this line is the same as "Ah Uhh! Awww, sookie sookie now! that is found in the 1970 R&B hit song "Groove me" . That song was recorded by a New Orleans African American named King Floyd The expression "Ah sookie sookie" was {and I believe may still be}used by African American {and other?} men to express appreciation for woman. For instance, if a man sees a woman who is "built" or who is dancing sensually, he might say "Ah sookie sookie now". I 've always thought that the word "sookie' came from one of the nickname for Susan {Sukie}. But that word might have come from the Spanish word "azucar". Then again, it might also come from the West African female day name "Akosua" {female born on Sunday}.

-snip-

I mentioned to the person who submitted this query that I would post her {his?} question on this thread.

I'd be interested if any folks here have any thoughts on my thoughts about this song :o] or if you have any other comments about Zap Mama Iko Iko's song.

Thanks,

Azizi