Mudcat Café message #1980493 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99389   Message #1980493
Posted By: Azizi
26-Feb-07 - 10:56 PM
Thread Name: African Folk Songs
Subject: RE: African Folk Songs
The Funga Alafia song is found on a number of websites along with what is said to be its translation. These websites say that the song is traditional to Nigeria, or Liberia. I've also found a website that indicates that this song is of West African origin [I believe this is true] but then says its from Ghana [I don't believe this is true]. And I found several sites that indicates that the lyrics of this song are from the Swahili {KiSwahili} language !!??!!

Some sites just give the generic term "traditional" to this song {perhaps because they're not certain what language the words are from}.

If you pardon the pun, for the record, I believe the lyrics are Nigerian {Yoruba} and some of the lyrics may also come from Liberia, West Africa. An African American man told me that the word "funga" means 'welcome' in a Liberian language. However, I've not been able to find any documentation for that information.

Besides some confusion about which language this song is from, there's also disagreement about what the words mean. However, even though websites [and song books]don't agree on the exact translation of the Funga Alafia song, they all agree that it is a greeting song.

Here's some examples from various Internet sites:

Fune-gah a la fee-yuh
Ah-shay ah-shay
Foon-ga a la fee-yuh
Ah-shay ah-shay

Cow-ah ey-lah-bah
Ah-shay ah-shay
Cow-ah ey-lah-bah
Ah-shay ah-shay

I welcome you into
My heart today
I welcome you into
My heart today

http://www.songsforteaching.com/folk/fungaalafeeya.htm

[I suppose that this website wrote the words phonetically. If so, they should have indicated that.]

**
Funga Alafia (Swahili welcoming song)

Funga Alafiya, Ashay, Ashay
Funga Alafiya, Ashay, Ashay
Funga Alafiya, Ashay, Ashay
Funga Alafiya, Ashay, Ashay
Ashay, Ashay, Ashay, Ashay
Asay, Ashay, Ashay, Ashay

Translation:
With my thoughts I welcome you
With my heart I welcome you
With my words I welcome you
Funga Alafia Ashay, Ashay
http://www.education.mcgill.ca/edec-402-002/teacherswithoutborders/sarah/songssarah.html

[I definitely don't think the lyrics are Swahili. If someone can provide documentation of this, I'd be very interested in reading it. Btw, this site provides a link to a sound clip, but the link doesn't appear to go to any sound clip].

**

Funga Alafia (Traditional)

Funga alafia ashay ashay- Funga alafia ashay ashay – Funga alafia ashay ashay –
Funga alafia ashay ashay – Welcome my friends, welcome today- Welcome my friends, welcome today – Welcome my friends, welcome today – Welcome my friends,welcome today.

http://condor.admin.ccny.cuny.edu/~mmcenter/tk/gwilgus/linguisticdevelopment.htm

**
Funga Alafia – Swahili Traditional Call: Funga alafia Response: Ashay ashay Repeat as necessary

http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:TjpcHMBpzGAJ:www.21-learn.com/teamtarget/Passports/music/songs.pdf+funga+alafia+ashay+ashay&

**

"Funga alafia ashe ashe. Funga alafia ashe ashe." Esta canción es de África. El significado es, " Buenos Dias. Con mis ojos le saludo. Con mis manos le saludo. Con mi corazón le saludo." Este mes estamos en África. La clase de kinder hizó las mascaras de África y los palos de lluvia. Los estudiantes construyeron los palos de lluvia de tubos de cartón y clavos. Los llenaron con los palomitas de maíz, con arroz y las semillas de girasol. Un palo de lluvia es un instrumento musical que suena como la lluvia cuando lo gira lentamente. Cierre los ojos para oir el sonido de la lluvia con sus orejas y con su imaginación.Las alpacas visitaron el primer grado. Las alpacas son primas de la llama y del camello. ¡Sí, había alpacas en su aula! ¿Por que? Porque el primer grado estudío Perú y las alpacas son de Perú."

http://www.chavezcheetahs.com/art/?m=200605

-snip-

Using my high school Spanish from four decades ago, I think this says that Funga Alafia Ashe Ashe is an African song which means "Good Day. With my eyes I salute you {?} or I greet you {??}. With my hands I greet you. With my heart I greet you] I'm stopping there. How'd I do?

**

Also, here's a comment that might be of interest to Mudcat musicians:

"Funga Alafia" (we used the words "ashay, ashay", played it on orff instruments using C-C-G-C).
http://www.menc.org/networks/genmus/openforum/messages/8073.html