Friday, 24 April 2009

J.M. Kennedy

My dream is to post a plethora of Lugbara lyrics and this is one of the very first projects I have indulged myself in. J.M. Kennedy is a very enchanting Arua musician and I felt his works should be my priority ... From Mukono, Kampala & Mbarara to Arua, Pakwach & Koboko, we are all West Nilers. Literally blogging, we are all west of the River Nile unlike Soroti, Mbale and Jinja, not so? If so, then believe the Psycho and savour these sounds from J.M. Kennedy, the American Lugbara in West Nile … “For GOD and my Country-side, West Nile”

In “AYIKORU”, Kennedy depicts a desperate (though broke) young man begging a beautiful, honorable girl to marry him. Unfortunately, she is not interested. I love this song not only because of the girl’s name but also the boy’s struggle; every man goes through something similar – She might say ‘No’ when she actually means ‘Wait, I have a boyfriend but have to dump him first. You make me blush a little but better get the money or forget it, ha ha ha! Now I gatcha’ … (4:07 mins)
[HOOK in Luganda:]
Watch me now everybody (Body), sample them Mr. Deejay (Deejay). Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro, Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro (Wulira), Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro. Muliro, muliro, muliro.
[CHORUS in Lugbara:]
“Ayikoru la, mi ari dri ma! (A’dhu?)
Malemi ma okuru (Aaah!)
Ma ‘ba ma asi mi ‘dri’a (Ale ma ku.)
‘Dini ku, ‘dini ku (Iku ma!)”
“Ayikoru la, mi ari dri ma! (A’dhu?)
Malemi ma okuru (Aaah!)
Ma ‘ba ma asi mi ‘dri’a (Ale ma ku.)
‘Dini ku, ‘dini ku (Iku ma!)”
[VERSE ONE:]
Ayikoru ma le mi ‘i ‘do,
‘Ba azi nduni mani leleni yo.
Alete asiki ama aku mibe‘do.
Ama nenga matamba mibe ra.
Mani cera mavu mali tu yo,
Te twalu ama nga mali isu ra yo.
‘Badi leta mani miniri fudrici tu,
Adusikuni mi onyiru tu, alatararu, inzitaru,
Ani alete mi ma okuru
[CHORUS:]
[VERSE TWO:]
Ayikoru, you are my heart, you can be sure that I’m truly yours.
When you’re around, I feel so good.
Together, me and you can make a good good couple.
Ayikoru, you are my heart, you can be sure that I’m truly yours.
When you’re around, nothing goes wrong.
Together, me and you can make a good good couple.
[HOOK:]
Watch me now everybody (Body), sample them Mr. Deejay (Deejay). Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro, Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro (Wulira), Mr. Deej’ yongeza muliro. Muliro, muliro, muliro.
[INSTRUMENTAL:]
(A’dhu?)
[CHORUS:]
[Repeat VERSE ONE, CHORUS, VERSE TWO, and HOOK:]
[Repeat CHORUS thrice:]

“BA AKOSI” is a soulful master-piece [I would vote it as the Best West Nile Song (Category yet to be introduced) at the PAM Awards] about a homeless man lamenting that he has no relatives and wonders where the good Lugbara are. In Lugbara Culture, it was the duty of families to take care of destitutes through a unique cultural system called “Amadingo”, where the rich look after the poor and therefore everyone in the tribe is given attention. You will probably find such a culture in Arab communities where for instance in Dubai, no beggars are allowed on the street … (4:33 mins)
[INTRO:]
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya, Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya?
[CHORUS:]
Ma’do mani drici ‘ba akosi ‘do yo, wowo (Aa aa ah!)
Ma’do mani drici ‘ba akosi ‘do yo, ma ‘anvi la (Mamu ri ngwa ya?)
Ma’do mani drici ‘ba akosi ‘do yo, wowo (Aa aa ah!)
Ma’do mani drici ‘ba akosi ‘do yo, ma ‘ati la (Mamu ri ngwa ya?)
[VERSE ONE:]
Ma ‘aga ndra muke muzo Senior’a
Te ‘ba azi ma fees ofepi yo ya.
Ako ‘dri Arua, amu Kampala ‘dale, te ‘bazi mani o’azu yo ya.
Mo ‘do la njila ma dri’a ‘ba azaza le, adusikuni aku mani lazu yo ya.
Polisi ‘biki ma, jiki ma aru jua, te ‘ba‘azi ‘imupi ma nepi yo ya.
Meca azoru, ‘ba jima aro jua, te ‘ba‘azi ma agapi tepi yo ya.
Ojo piri deki ma ‘do yo (Ba madri ‘imi ngwa ya?)
[CHORUS:]
[VERSE TWO:
Nyakudi ma ‘dri’a, o’azu bakokoru ‘bala ‘doni’a.
Malu mani drici a’dusi ojo azini, iki ijoru.
Mungu la, mi’ ari dri ma, kiri kiri, iko ama ‘aza!
Mungu la ‘do, mi’ ari dri ma fo, kiri kiri, ma owu mivu ya.
Nyakudi ma ‘dri’a ojo fila ojo misi.
Yehova la, kiri kiri, idri ma nga lira.
Iko ama ‘aza ya, ah ah mama!
[CHORUS:]
[INSTRUMENTAL:]
[VERSE ONE:]
[HOOK:]
Lugbara ala ‘imi ngwa ya (Aa aa ah!)?
Lugbara ala ‘imi ngwa yo (Ma mu ri ngwa ya?)
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya? Kiri kiri (Aa aa ah!) Iku ma ku!
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya, wululu (Ma mu ri ngwa ya?) Iku ma ku!
Nyakudi ma ‘dri’a, o’azu bakokoru (Aa aa ah!), ‘bala ‘doni’a.
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya (Ma mu ri ngwa ya?)
Lugbara ala emi ngwa yo? Oh! (Aa aa ah!)
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya, (Ma mu ri ngwa ya?) Iku ma ku!
Lugbara ala emi ngwa ya, wululu (Aa aa ah!) Eku ma ku!


“MOVE YO’ BODY” virtually takes you to the dance hall club. Arua, the capital of the Lugbara has a very vibrant night life. If this song does not make you move, you seriously need to groove up to the Arua level. The beats are seductive and the lyrical rhythm is hotter than fire. I did not know that Kennedy could perform both rap and reggae-ton until I heard this gem … (4:39 mins)
[INTRO:]
Biri biri, biri biri biri by, J.M. Kennedy on the mic
Biri biri, biri biri biri by, bad man ragga-muffin on the mic
[HOOK:]
Move yo’ body, body
Move yo’ body, body, body
Move yo’ body, body
Move yo’ body, wen U hear me. Movin’ d’ body, body
Movin’ d’body, body, body
Movin’ d’body, body
Movin’ d’body, watcha!
If you like it, let me see yo’ hands up, and everybody say Whoa (Whoa!)
If you like it let me see yo’ body move and everybody say Yeh (Yeh!)
[CHORUS (Kennedy in brackets):]
When I hear this music (Give 2 dem, give 2 dem!),
My body feels like movin’ (Aha aha!)
When I hear this music, I feel like dancing then (Move yo’ body now!)
I feel like dancing
(Shake yo’ body now, move yo’ body now, shake yo’ body now) Baby.
When I hear this music (Give 2 dem, give 2 dem!),
My body feels like movin’ (Aha aha!)
When I hear this music, I feel like shaking (Move yo’ body now!) my body
(Shake yo’ body now) Like Shaking (Move yo’ body now, shake yo’ body now) Baby.
[VERSE ONE:]
Dangerous, serious, yu neva coulda dance.
Everybody in the club, let me see yo’ body move!
Ragga music so nice, ragga muzik so sweet, ahhh!
Jump and dance, listen 2 the ragga beats.
Any tym yu hear the muzik, everybody wanna move
So yu move it 2 the left and I move it 2 the rite, eh ehh!
Move yo’ body, body
Move yo’ body, body, body
Move yo’ body, body
Move yo’ body, wen U hear me. Movin’ d’ body, body
Movin’ d’body, body, body
Movin’ d’body, body
Movin’ d’body, watcha!
[CHORUS:]
[VERSE TWO:]
United we stand, and divided we fall.
People of the world, we have to put our hands together.
Together we are one, we are one family. Africans, Europeans, we are no enemies.
We gat to live together in a one harmony; support our music in a world unity
African connection is the way forward to go,
All that we need is support our own.
Global connection is the way forward to go,
Africans, Europeans, Americans, we are one, we are one.
[CHORUS:]
[VERSE ONE & CHORUS:]
[HOOK:]
If you like it, let me see yo’ hands up and everybody say Yeh (Yeh!)
If you like it, let me see yo’ body move and everybody say whoa (Whoa!)
If you like it let me see yo hands up and everybody say Whoa, whoa, whoa
(Whoa whoa whoa!)
[CHORUS:]

The song “LUGBARA” calls on all Lugbara to be proud of their traditional culture and shun behaving like urban tribes-mates who claim to know only Luganda; these drifters are referred to as ‘Lugbara Side Bs’ among Lugbara family circles… (4:23 mins)
[INSTRUMENTAL:]
[VERSE ONE:]
Mani aciri’a anve ‘dale,
Mosu ‘ba ki o’ma suru si afusi.
Buganda ki surusi afusi,
‘Badi Acholi ki ma suru si afusi.
Lugbara la, anziki ama mile!
Andreku ‘ba nga ama angu pa’de,
Akiri gbede, mali gbede,
Asizu, ama ‘du nga acoru.
O’azu ocoru amani muke ya? Suru Lugbara la ama omidri ama!
O’azu ocoru ena ‘amani muke ya? Suru Lugbara la ye ama omidri ama!
[CHORUS:]
(Lediyo) Lugbara ala ‘imi a’du te ya?
(Lediyo) Ayiko nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Suru ni avi lediyo)
Vurra ala ye emi a’du te ya? (Lediyo)
Afu nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Ti ni mu avi lediyo)
Ayivu la ye emi a’du te ya (Lediyo)
Ayiko nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Suru ni avi lediyo)
Maracha la ye emi a’du te ya (Lediyo)
Afu nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Ti ni mu avi lediyo)
Terego la ye emi a’du te ya? (Lediyo)
Ayiko nde emi surusi ku a’dusi ya? (Suru ni avi lediyo)
Aringa la ye emi a’du te ya?
[VERSE TWO:]
Ani cera emi azi eleki Luganda nje‘i.
‘Badi ‘iri zi ‘Ngoni?’, ‘iri ‘djo ‘Simanyi, Tewali, Ogamba Ki?’
Ma adripi, aazu Lugbararu eri izataru ya?
Suru Lugbara la, aledri ama zi: Aleki suru amadri ku a’dusi?
Suru Lugbara la, aledri ama zi: Aleki ti ‘ba azi dri ki a’dusi?
Suru Lugbara la, aledri ama zi: Aleki ama adripi ku a’dusi ya aaah?
[CHORUS:]
[VERSE THREE:]
Ani cera emi aziri ‘ileki Luganda nje’I, muke ‘ituki ‘imi’a nga.
Ma adripi, idri le Lugbara ongo tu ra, mi 'ise mi maru ‘dua, atuki ama nga!
Yakubu la, mi ajimani ndere, mi agbe mani cere! Yakubu la ‘do, mi aji mani ndere,
Amuki ani ama Lugbara ongo ‘do tu ani.
Yakubu la ‘do, mi agbe mani cere, eh! Mi aji mani ndere, eh!
Yakubu la ‘do, mi ‘agbe mani cere! [SOMEONE ULULATES]
[HALF CHORUS:]
Lediyo (Lediyo) Lugbara ala ‘imi a’du te ya? (Lugbara lediyo)
Ayiko nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Suru ni avi lediyo)
Vurra ala ye emi a’du te ya? (‘Badi Lugbara lediyo) (Lediyo)
Afu nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Ti ni mu avi lediyo)
Ayivu la ye emi a’du te ya (Lediyo)
Ayiko nde emi suru si ku a’dusi ya? (Lediyo) (Suru ni avi lediyo) (Oh!)
[INSTRUMENTAL:]
[VERSE THREE without Ululating:]
[CHORUS fades before end:]

“OH MAMA” calls on all parents to be there for their GOD-given children… (4:46 mins)
[Whistle blows then INSTRUMENTAL:]
[CHORUS in Swahili:]
Oh mama, please mama! Watoto wetu wana liya, wana kutaka nyumbani.
Oh baba, please baba! Watoto wetu wana liya, wana kutaka nyumbani.
[VERSE ONE:]
Ma adripi, ma adripi la. Mi ari dri ma! Anzi midri ‘iki aci drici kile ‘ima ati ni yo le.
Bongo yo, nyaka yo, school fees yo.
Okwa, okwa dale mi ‘yo sende yo. Te mi osu anve dale mivu sende ci.
Imi ra n(y)a kabisa.
Omu osi anve, ‘deri akwa ‘dale sabuni yo,
‘Deri akwa ‘dale a’ii yo
‘Deri akwa ‘dale sukariyo
‘Deri akwa ‘dale majani yo
Ma adripi, mi fi acisi, mi nga anzi midri ma ti ja ceni.
[CHORUS:]
[VERSE TWO:]
Aki ya Mungu, ma anvupi la. Kiri kiri mi ari dri ma!
Aki ya Mungu, ma anvupi la. Kiri kiri, mi ari dri ma!
Anzi midri ki aci drici kile ‘ima andri ni yo le.
Leta yo, alata yo, ayiko yo.
Oru andra, oru andra, mi aci a’du nda ya?
Anzi ma aza aga mini ku a’dusi ya?
Oku la, oru andra, oru andra, mi aci a’du nda ya?
‘Badi agu aza aga mini ku a’dusi ya?
Dale mi’i, dele mi’i. Azi midriri ja mini te a’dusi ya?
Oku azi midri anzi ma tambazo, aku tambazo, ago tambazo?
Temi aci dale, ago ojo jamini bo ya? Mi aci dele, aku ojo jamini bo ya, aah?
Anyway!
[CHORUS & INSTRUMENTAL:]
[VERSE THREE:]
Mungu dri midri drile ba fe anzi isuzu ra, kiri kiri, ‘imba emata muke fo.
Ani cera alio ci tandi, te were’a ri ife anzi ni ci.
Ada ada ‘badi alio ci tandi, te were’a risi ipe anzi ma ti sukulu’a.
Deejay Ronnie, I need a witness. All the deejays, I need a witness.
Spread the news, guys on the radio!
Let them know that I am a Northern guy, ah! Western guy, ah! A champion guy, ah!
J.M. Kennedy. A Northern guy, ah! Western guy, ah! A champion guy, ah!
J.M. Kennedy, I!
[Kennedy Speaking:]
To all the deejays, keep the fire burning!
[CHORUS:]
[Sing BACKGROUND VERSE with CHORUS thrice:]
Mungu dri midri drileba fe anzi isuzu ra, kiri kiri, ‘imba ema ta muke fo)
[ENDING:]
Anyway!

“MUNGU SI” highlights the time tested principle that “Anything is possible through GOD”, He is the oneway to true happiness, wealth and fulfillment. Kennedy recommends that instead of crying, ask GOD for help … (4:52 mins)
[INSTRUMENTAL then INTRO:]
Wololo,‘badi wolele! ‘Badi la, mi ayiko yo adusi ya?
[CHORUS:]
Mi owu a’dusi ya? Izi Mungu ni bo ya? Eh!
Katro adre ewaru ngoni ti, ojo lu Mungu si.
Mi owu a’dusi ya, ma adripi la? Izi Mungu ni bo ya? Eh!
Katro adre ewaru ngoni ti, ojo lu Mungu si.
Mi owu a’dusi ya? Izi Mungu ni bo ya? Eh!
Katro adre ewaru ngoni ti, ojo lu Mungu si.
Mi owu a’dusi ya? Izi Mungu ni bo ya?
Katro adre ewaru ngoni ti, ojo lu Mungu si.
[VERSE ONE:]
Katro alio ni ti, katro azoni ti, katro ‘ba akoni ti, izi Mungu ma ti’a!
Katro alio ni ti, katro azoni ti, katro ‘ba akoni ti, izi Mungu ma ti’a!
Ondwa akoni ya, fees akoni ya, azi akoni ya? Mungu ni fe ra.
Ondwa akoni ya, fees akoni ya, azi akoni ya? Mungu ni fe ra.
[CHORUS:]
[VERSE TWO:]\
Bongo akoni ya, nyaka akoni ya, djo akoni ya, izi Mungu ma ti’a.
Bongo akoni ya, nyaka akoni ya, djo akoni ya, izi Mungu ma ti’a.
Oku akoni ya, agu akoni ya, nva akoni ya, Mungu ni fe ra.
Oku akoni ya, agu akoni ya, nva akoni ya, Mungu ni fe ra.
[CHORUS:]
[J.M. Kennedy speaking:]
Ma adripi, azini ma anvupi. Imi ma asi ni ora a’du ‘yo si?
Buku Mungu ni Matayo Chapter 6 (azia),
versi 25 (kali ‘iri drini towi) chazu pere 33 (kali na drini na)
‘yo kini, “Mi ma a’i okoni suru Mungu dri, e’yo dria ni nga ovu eza ru midri…”
[CHORUS:]
[INSTRUMENTAL till fade]

“DON’T WORRY” is a hope-inspiring slow-jam. Its message is simply: “Don’t worry, be happy and have hope; GOD cares” … (3:58 mins)
[INTRO RAP:]
Now this one is dedicated to everyone, […Complicated patois-mumbling follows…]
Oh why, why, why, why, why, why? Oh why, oh why, O LORD have mercy!
[CHORUS in Lugbara:]
Don’t worry, have hope! Say a prayer, GOD will care.
Don’t worry, have hope! Say a prayer, GOD will care.
Mi ora ku, mi aa asi teza be. Izi Mungu, Mungu ni nga fe ra.
Mi ora ku, mi aa asi teza be. Izi Mungu, Mungu ni nga fe ra.
[VERSE ONE:]
Many times in your lives, you’ll be faced with some,
Difficult situations and you don’t know what to do.
It might be poverty, it might be adversity.
Even in your valley of death, never lose hope.
Humble yourself to Jehovah in prayer,
One day he will make you rise.
But keep on asking, keep on knocking, keep on seeking,
One day you will find, you will find.
[CHORUS in Swahili:]
Don’t worry, have hope! Say a prayer, GOD will care.
Don’t worry, have hope! Say a prayer, GOD will care.
Osi jali, kuwa na matu maini. Wamba Mungu, ata kuwokowa
Osi jali, kuwa na matu maini. Wamba Mungu, ata kuwokowa
[VERSE TWO:]
You really don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
Stop worrying about it, concentrate on today.
You better live your life, one day at a time.
Dry your tears, be honest, be happy with what you have.
‘Cause you’ll never worry away the problems that you have.
The best you can do - persevere patiently.
You’ll never worry away the problems that you have,
the best you can do is to persevere patiently!
[CHORUS in Lugbara:]
[INSTRUMENTAL:]
[VERSE THREE:]
Why do you worry when the Power of Prayer is yours?
To move the mountains and to open the doors
The struggle and strength, growing tired and old
The hand that’s offered, you refuse to hold.
You go on worrying your way through life,
Instead of learning how to trust and prosper
Keep on asking, keep on knocking.
Keep on seeking, one day you will find, you will find.
Oh why, why, why, why, why, why? Oh why, oh why, O LORD have mercy!
[HOOK:]
Show them style, show them style, show them style. Come on, come on!
Show them style, show them style, show them style. Mi ora ku yo!
Show them style, show them style, show them style. Come on, come on!
Show them style, show them style, show them style. Mi ora ku yo!
[Repeat Lugbara CHORUS twice:]





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