Mudcat Café message #2242473 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99389   Message #2242473
Posted By: Azizi
22-Jan-08 - 07:31 PM
Thread Name: African Folk Songs
Subject: RE: African Folk Songs
Here's a link to a YouTube video of the Nigerian folk song "Akiwowo":
Akiwowo by Voices Of Africa Choral & Percussion Ensemble
"Akiwowo - The trainman, is a traditional song from Nigeria, West Africa about the trainman whose name is Akiwowo. This song was taught to us by Baba Tunde Olutunji. Also recorded by Santana in the 1970's"


Here's some information about the meaning of the song "Akiwowo":

Note that I'm posting almost the complete page of this link in case the original page is withdrawn:

Subject: Meaning of African Lyrics
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: georgeskye-ga
Posted: 26 May 2005 18:13 PDT

What is the meaning of this African song: Phonetically the words are:
A Kee Wo Wo oo no kar ee lay, oh say doh oo no ka ee lay lay. These
are the main words which are repeated over and over.

Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 26 May 2005 22:45 PDT

"The lyrics you've quoted are from Babatunde Olatunji's song, "Akiwowo
(Chant to the Trainman)". It is a variant of an old Nigerian folksong.

Here is a translation:

(Chant to the trainman)

Akiwowo Oloko lle
Akiwowo Oloko lle
lowo Gbe Mi Dele
lowo Gbe Mi Dele
Ile Baba Mi
Akiwowo Oloko lle
Chorus:Oloko lle
O Se O

Akiwowo conductor of the train
Akiwowo conductor of the train
Please take me home
Please take me home
To my fathers house
Akiwowo conductor of the train
Chorus:Conductor of the train"

Yahoo! Groups: Djembe

Here's some information about the song's background:

"Bamidl, olk il,

Bamidl, olk il,

Jw gb mi d'l,

Jw gb mi d'l,

Il baba mi, o-.

Bamidl, olk il.

Bamidele, owner of the train,

Bamidele, owner of the train,

Please take me home,

Please take me home,

To my father's house, o-o

Bamidele, owner of the train.

In some songs, Bamidl is substituted for Akwowo, who is the main
character in roy's poetry. Late Baba Oltnj, Nigerian master
drummer who was also an immigrant in America popularized this tune by
using the Akwowo name. Baba was old enough to know what happened when trains were brand new in Nigeria, and for him, Akwowo was a famous conductor who faithfully ensured that the passengers on his train did not miss the train. roy's Akwowo both recalls Baba's and is in synch with our childhood memories of 'Bamidl, olk il'. It recalls Baba's lyrics in the sense that there is a common name. It is in synch with our childhood memories because the central character is a trainmaster."

African Migration

My Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: akiwowo "babatunde olatunji"